Membership FAQ

A North Carolina Zoo Society membership makes you a partner in the Zoo’s global efforts to support:

  • Animal Well-being
  • Conservation
  • Education
  • Field Work
  • Research

...and, welcomes you into a community of people who share your love of nature and wildlife.

A visit to the North Carolina Zoo is a fun and affordable way for families to spend time together. A Zoo Society membership makes these visits even more affordable by providing 12 months of free admission to our Zoo and free or discounted admission to more than 150 partner zoos and aquariums across the country.

Members also enjoy a subscription to the Zoo Society's quarterly magazine, Alive, which provides detailed information about the Zoo's good works and insider information on upcoming events and programs.

What should I do if I lose my membership card?

The North Carolina Zoo Society charges $5 to replace a lost membership card. Call us (336-879-7250) Monday-Friday, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. to purchase a replacement card, or simply order a card during your next visit.

When can I start using my membership?

Your membership begins the moment we receive your payment. To use your membership to enter the Zoo, show your membership card (or proof of membership purchase) and a picture ID to the person working in any of the Zoo Society's Express Entry Ticket Booths. These booths are on the far left when you approach a Zoo entrance.

If you buy your membership on Zoo grounds: Your membership is active right away. Use your receipt as a temporary membership card until your permanent card arrives in the mail.

If you buy your membership online: Your membership is active right away. Use a digital or printed a copy of your email confirmation receipt as a temporary membership card until your permanent card arrives in the mail.

If you buy your membership in the mail or over the phone: Expect your membership to become valid within about two weeks after you mail or call in your payment. To check on the status of your membership, please give us a call (336-879-7250) during the regular work week (Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.).

How long is my membership valid?

Annual memberships are valid for a full 12 months. Lifetime memberships remain valid through the lifetime of the named member.

How do I get my membership card?

Your Membership Card will be mailed to you. You should receive it within 10 to 12 working days from the date that we receive your payment. If it does not arrive within two weeks, please call us to let us know.

Can I visit the North Carolina Zoo without my card?

Sure! Stop by the Members-Only express entry ticket booth located at the far-left of any entrance. Show a photo ID and ask the person in the booth to confirm the status of your membership. This option is available ONLY at the North Carolina Zoo. You must have a  valid North Carolina Zoo Society membership card with you to receive free or discounted admission at a reciprocating institution.

Why do I have to show photo ID with my membership card?

As a non-profit organization, the Zoo Society relies on membership and admission revenue to remain sustainable. We require a picture ID to verify that any person using and benefiting from a Zoo Society membership is the person who purchased or owns that membership. Requiring an ID protects the value of a Zoo Society membership and protects Society members whose cards may have been lost or stolen.

I have "+1" on my card. What does that mean?

This number indicates how many guests your membership level includes. Free guest admissions are only honored at the North Carolina Zoo, not at reciprocating institutions. Unless prior arrangements are made by phone, guests are admitted ONLY when they arrive at the Zoo in the company of the member named on the card. To make special arrangements, please call our office (336-879-7250) Monday- Friday, during regular business hours 8 a.m.- 4 p.m.

The second adult named on my membership card cannot come with me on a visit. May I bring a guest with me instead?

No. Member benefits may not be transferred to a non-member. If you purchase a "Plus" membership or an "Add-On" membership option, you may use the add-on or the plus to bring a non-member into the Zoo with you as a guest.

I have a family membership but cannot come to the Zoo. May I have a babysitter or a relative take my children to the Zoo for me?

If you have one of the Zoo Society's "plus" or "add-on" membership, you may make special arrangements for a sitter or other guardian to bring your children into the Zoo without you. Make these arrangements by calling our office (336-879-7250) Monday-Friday, between 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Does the North Carolina Zoo Society reciprocate with other zoos and aquariums?

Yes!  Zoo Society members are eligible to receive free or discounted admission to more than 150 reciprocating zoos and aquariums nationwide. Click here to see a current listing of organizations that reciprocate with the North Carolina Zoo Society.

How do I use my membership to visit a reciprocating zoo or aquarium?

To gain free or discounted admission to a partner zoo or aquarium, you will need to present your current  Zoo Society membership card and a picture ID to the person selling tickets at the reciprocating institution. Reciprocating institutions do NOT share membership information with each other, so you will have to provide the reciprocating institution with proof of your membership at the North Carolina Zoo Society.

Is my membership tax-deductible?

A portion of your membership dues is tax-deductible. The amount of that deduction will be printed in the welcome letter that will arrive with your new membership card. Members are welcome to call the Zoo Society business office during regular business hours to request that information (336.879.7250).

As of October 1, 2017, the tax-deductibility of non-life memberships are estimated to be as follows:  For Individual Memberships, $59; for Companion Memberships, $79; For Family Memberships, $84; For Family-plus Memberships, $91; For Grandparent Memberships, $84; For Grandparent-plus Memberships, $91; for For Zookeep Memberships, $149; for Curator Memberships, $261.

Does my employer offer a matching gift program?

Check with your Human Resources Department to determine if your company offers a matching gift program.

How do I change the address information associated with my membership?

To change the address information associated with your membership, please use the Membership Address Change online form.