VIP Public Tours — 2024

 

About Public Tours

We organize our public and private VIP Tours to provide exciting, fun, and educational behind-the-scenes experiences for our guests. Private tours are nearly identical to public tours: they last about an hour, visit the same locations, and take guests close to the Zoo’s animals and their keepers.

How Public and Private Tours Differ

  • All public tours take place on a Saturday or a Wednesday and may admit up to 16 people for a tour;
  • Private tours are scheduled on a date chosen by the buyer and may be scheduled for any day of the week. A private tour may include up to six people—all of whom attend at the buyer’s discretion.

 

Our Commitment to Safety

COVID-19 Restrictions Required to Participate in Tours Associated with At-risk Species.

To protect your health and the health of the Zoo’s animals and staff, the Zoo still requires guests to wear masks and possibly gloves to participate in some behind-the-scenes experiences.

Gloves are always required when guests feed an animal during their tour.

Masks are required during tours that take guests close to species known to be vulnerable to COVID-19 infections. Masks are required in behind-the-scenes spaces occupied by primates (lemurs, chimpanzees, gorillas, or baboons), cats (cougar, lion, bobcat, or sand cat), or otters.

If you are unable to wear a mask for any reason, you have the option to postpone a tour until COVID protocols are lifted or to receive a full refund for your purchase.

To ensure the safety of our guests and staff, we also limit the number of people attending different tours and have minimum age requirements for children to attend. Minimum ages vary from 5 to 12 years old, depending on the tour location. Age limits are noted on tour descriptions.

Public tours are $115 per person for North Carolina Zoo Society Members.
Non-Members pay an additional $15 per person.

[View a list of our VIP Public Tours organized by months by clicking here.]

  • Avian Propagation Tour
    Join us for a tour of the Avian propagation area.
    Children must be at least 10 years old to attend.
    ADA accessible
  • Black Bear and
    Grizzly Bear
    Get up close to two bear species!
    Children must be at least 10 years old to attend.
    ADA accessible
  • Chimps in
    Training
    Engaging Chimps with training and enrichment.
    Children must be at least 12 years old to attend.
    ADA restrictions apply to some mobility issues
  • Cougar Behind the Scenes
    Learn how the keepers care for these grand cats.
    Children must be at least 10 years old to attend.
    ADA accessible
  • Wolf Howl After Dark
    Howl with the Red Wolves during a nighttime tour!
    Children must be at least 10 years old to attend.
    ADA accessible
  • Elephants
    Up Close
    See how keepers care for the elephants.
    Children must be at least 12 years old to attend.
    Restrictions apply to mobility issues
  • Meet & Feed the Giraffes
    Feed the Giraffes and meet the Red River Hogs.
    Children must be at least 6 years old to attend.
    ADA accessible
  • Gorilla Health Care Secrets
    Watch Gorillas cooperate in their health care.
    Children must be at least 8 years old to attend.
    ADA accessible – alert us to mobility concerns.
  • Behind the Scenes at Lion
    Watch the keepers
    train a mighty Lion.
    Children must be at least 12 years old to attend.
    ADA accessible – alert us to mobility concerns
  • Meet & Feed an Otter
    Go backstage at Streamside to feed an otter.
    Children must be at least 8 years old to attend.
    ADA accessible
  • Rhinos,
    So Close!
    Reach out and touch a rhino behind the scenes.
    Children must be at least 8 years old to attend.
    ADA accessible
  • Rocky Coast
    Adult Tour
    Polar Bears, Arctic Foxes, and more for adults.
    Children must be at least 12 years old.
    ADA restrictions apply to some mobility issues
  • Rocky Coast Family Tour
    For families with kids as young as 5 years old.
    Children must be at least 5 years old to attend.
    ADA restrictions apply to some mobility issues