Family Travel Tips for Visiting the @NCZoo in @TheHeartofNC during COVID-19

Disclaimer: Thanks to all at NC Zoo who work so hard to keep the visitors and animals safe. Media tickets & lunch were provided in exchange for review of our visit.

Family Travel Tips for Visiting the NC Zoo during COVID-19 | SobeSavvy.com

During these uncertain times, finding fun safe things to do with a child has been challenging to say the least. Lucky for us the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, NC comes in very high on the fun and safe things to do list. Most folks know this is not only one of the nations greatest zoos but it is THE largest natural habitat zoo in the world. Being only 90 minutes from the Triangle makes this day trip easy for well over a million residents here. Since a couple of years have passed since our prior family visit to the zoo, (which you can revisit that blog post >> here), me and my #HeighPartyof3 were very excited to return!

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My #HeighPartyof3 took a day trip to @theheartofnc to visit @nczoo and had a fun time enjoying the outdoors in a safe environment. We found out so many interesting things like: • How has the NC Zoo taken safety measures for Covid-19 😷 • Why do flamingos have pink feathers 🦩 • What local and sustainable ingredients are used to make the food for visitors to enjoy 😋 Take a 👀 at my instastories where our daughter, @outandaboutava did an IG story takeover to capture some Family Fun highlights from our day. I also have a recap video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/evEHEcHVI3k Plus, you can read more Family #soTravelsavvy Tips for Visiting the NC Zoo during COVID-19 on the blog, SobeSavvy.com! Have you been to the Zoo since Covid-19? What was your experience like?

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What To Know Before You Go

Due to COVID 19 the zoo has made some major changes in how they do business to ensure everyone has a safe time. Guest must now buy their tickets in advance on a timed basis. This helps to spread out any crowds during their operating hours so there is no overcrowding at any point of the day. Although they can accomadate up to 15,000 people daily they now limit only 2,000 guests per day. All guests have the room to social distance.

Guests are also strongly encouraged to wear mask coverings during their visit. Walkway paths are now designated one way only and they have added dozens of sanatizing stations and signage throughout the zoo. The majority of indoor exhibits are closed and all guests must enter through the “North American” section only.

NC Zoo is committed to the #NCZooCares & #StayStrongNC initiative and is reminding everyone to don’t forget your Ws! Wear. Wait. Wash.

WEAR a face covering.

WAIT 6 feet apart from other people.

WASH your hands often.

Learn more at nc.gov/covid19

KIDZONE

The Kidzone play area just reopened and my daughter was excited to check out that space. After being indoors nowadays for virtual homeschool, she enjoys any chance to play outside. They have many ways the kids can creatively explore the world of play by using their senses. Upon arrival, we were greeted at the entrance of the Kidzone with items such as hand sanitizer, disposable masks if needed and encouraged to grab chalk to write a message on the wall. They only allow a certain number of kids in at a time as a safety precaution.

Playing in the KIDZONE at NC Zoo | SobeSavvy.com

Lunch at NC Zoo

Located in the North America Plaza, The Iron Hen (while currently closed to the public) is an on-site restaurant where we met PR Officer, Moriah Angott (who filled us in on upcoming events, plans for Asia, and Covid -related initiatives they are taking.) We also met a representative from their food partner, SSA, to learn more about their nutritious and delicious options for providing visitors with food from local and sustainable ingredients.

We were treated to lunch which consisted of chicken quesadillas with a side salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing made in-house, and grilled chicken drizzled with Chipotle mayo, rice and grilled seasonal veggies. Our daughter had the chicken tenders (which are hand breaded and made with chicken breast from local farm, Joyce Farms) plus fries! She said it was really good and that you can tell the chicken tenders were better than processed chicken nuggets. For dessert we had their pumpkin parfait and freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, which we devoured! Everything was flavorful, sustainable and made with care. I would definitely return just to eat there! For more info on dining options and catering for events, read >>here

Tune in for more NC Zoo

On October 31, 2020 get ready for the premiere of “Secrets of the Zoo: North Carolina”, which will be shown on the Nat Geo Wild Channel. The eight-part series features stories of every kind — from emergency and routine animal procedures and animal husbandry to rescue, rehabilitation and release.

Viewers will get an inside look at North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro, home to the largest zoo in the world. Spread out over an enormous 2,600 acres, this AZA accredited zoo has thousands of individual animals, more than 212 species and a diverse range of landscapes, including swamps, prairies, rivers, forests and even a desert. It’s more of a wildlife reserve than a traditional zoo, and many species share habitats as they would in the wild. At a time when the traditional concept of a zoo seems out of sync with animal welfare, the North Carolina Zoo leads the way and has achieved global recognition for setting zoo standards.

SobeSavvy Tip- Shoutout to the always helpful and resourceful Susan Dosier (@SDosier) at DK Communications Group for providing me with the following tips that I’ll kindly pass on to you:

Make sure everyone is in comfortable shoes and clothes. (the zoo is huge, and you guys will walk a lot.)

• If it’s chilly or raining, the animals are actually more active. Be sure to put rain gear in your backpack in case of an unexpected shower!

Don’t miss the videos from the North Carolina Zoo. See their suite of options on Facebook like this video of the second baby rhino of 2020 learning to stand.

The North Carolina Zoo is also offering a Facebook Live EDVentures Online Series. Every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, children and adults will learn more about a species living at the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.

👀Watch this recap video from our fun day at NC Zoo !

Overall, we were impressed with how well they are doing to ensure guests are safe, surprised by the crowds(and their willingness to follow rules and wear masks) and appreciated the technology of being able to scan out map via QR code which provided support for a better guest experience!We had an amazing time at the zoo and it was such a great way to spend a beautiful fall day! I would definitely recommend visiting for a safe family fun activity. Stay connected and follow @NCZoo and @TheHeartofNC on social! For driving directions and more information about the NC Zoo, visit www.nczoo.org

📍North Carolina Zoo

4401 Zoo Parkway Asheboro, NC 27205
1.800.488.0444

http://www.nczoo.org

Top 3 Reasons to Visit @NCZoo this Fall! #FamilyFun #NCZoo #VisitNC

Leslie Heigh, Founder of SobeSavvy.com and daughter, #outandaboutAva enjoy their first visit to the NC Zoo

The North Carolina Zoo has been on our list of family fun things to do since we moved here a couple of years ago. It is located in Asheboro, NC., which is just a short one and half hour ride from Raleigh, making this the perfect place to spend a Sunday Funday with my husband and our 6 yr old daughter. Take a peek at our visit to the zoo on YouTube here. We had a blast!

North Carolina Zoo | Grab a map ~Get ready to explore! 

Before you go, know that this zoo is HUGE! This conservation park has 500 acres to explore making North Carolina Zoo the World’s Largest Zoo. The map showed us that there were two areas to see- North America and Africa and it was suggested that it would take two to three hours to tour each region. In total, your trip to the zoo could be 4 to 6 hours of fun! We did not see everything, but that’s ok since we do plan to return in the spring when the zoo hours are longer and the seasonal attractions are open daily from April-October. The Park is open all year except for Christmas Day.

North Carolina Zoo | The World’s Largest Zoo!

Besides the obvious reasons of lesser crowds and cooler weather, here are my Top 3 Reasons to Visit NC Zoo this Fall ~

  • Gorgeous Fall Foliage and over 52,000 plants throughout the zoo!Not only am I an animal lover but I love nature. The autumn leaves were a sight to see when we arrived at the zoo! I was really impressed with the upkeep of the grounds and enjoyed the beautiful environment. With hiking trails thru swamp-like areas, streams, prairies, gardens, and grasslands, North Carolina Zoo in the Fall is such a scenic experience.

    North Carolina Zoo | Tropical Plants – Aviary

North Carolina Zoo| 52,000 plants throughout the 500 acre conservation park

  • Discover more than 1,600 animals ..and maybe take a selfie with one! This zoo has major animal habitats and you can find animal feeding schedules posted on the website, at the plazas or even at the animal habitats. Meet the keepers and find out about conservation efforts. This zoo’s mission is to help protect animals around the world and a visit here supports efforts to save endangered species. There are such a variety of animals here that you are sure to see your favorite! 

    North Carolina Zoo | Elephants

    North Carolina Zoo | Giraffes & Zebras 

  • Learn and Play ..all in one day! This zoo is definitely kid-friendly and educational, which makes this a great activity to do in the Fall because your child may reflect on this for school assignments. With a dedicated Kidzone and playground, there were many opportunities for my 6 year old to enjoy just being a kid. Inside the Forest Aviary, we enjoyed stopping by the cart and learning about birds. Did you know that birds bones are hollow?! It’s one of the reasons they can fly and we can not. There were many interactive areas, hands-on activities and informative fun for everyone! Check out more photos on my Facebook page.

    North Carolina Zoo | #outandaboutAva enjoys Playdoo fun in the KidZone

    North Carolina Zoo | Stop by the NC Zoo Smart Cart

SobeSavvy Tip: In celebration of Veterans Day, NC Zoo is offering Veterans & Military free admission Nov. 10-12.

Be sure to visit NCZoo.org for a complete listing of family-friendly weekend activities and find out how to become a member of the NC Zoo Society! We had so much fun and look forward to more future trips. Tell me…

Have you ever been to the NC ZOO? 

NORTH CAROLINA ZOO

4401 Zoo Pkwy

Asheboro, NC 27205