VIP Tours

Amazing Experiences Await You at the North Carolina Zoo!

Click here to view our entire 2024 VIP public tour schedule.
To stay abreast of all the Zoo Society's programs, sign up for our free monthly Z-mail by clicking here.

Public Tours

PUBLIC VIP TOURS take guests behind the scenes to get close to the animals and to meet and learn from the keepers who care for these animals.

The price listed for each tour is the price per person for NC Zoo Society members. Non-members pay an additional $15 per person.

PLEASE NOTE:  We schedule most public tours on Saturdays. Before purchasing a tour take note of the minimum age a child must be to attend. Age requirements are set to protect the well-being of our staff, guests, and animals. Children younger than the age limit will not be admitted on a tour.

ACCESSIBILITY: If you have questions about a tour or the accommodations we can make for guests with mobility or other concerns, please fill out this Contact Us form and type your questions in the "Your Message" text box. Be sure to include your email address in the space provided on the form. We typically respond to questions within 24 hours.

IS THE TOUR YOU WANT TO ATTEND SOLD OUT? Email jparker@nczoo.com and tell us your name, which tour (both the date and kind of tour) you want to attend, and the number of people who would be in your group so that we can add you to a waiting list.

Click on the button below to learn more about these tours and access a complete listing of available tours. Select any tour option for additional details and guidelines about each.

Private Behind the Scenes Tours

Private Tours provide the same experiences as public tours, but the buyer chooses the tour date, which can be set on a weekday or weekend. Private tour groups may contain up to  4 or 6 people, depending on the tour. The buyer determines who to include on the guest list. A paying adult must accompany any child younger than 17. Before booking a private tour, please note the age requirements for children to attend. Children younger than the specified age may not go behind the scenes.

If the month that you want to schedule a particular private tour has sold out, and you want us to try to schedule a second tour that month,  email jparker@nczoo.com and tell us the following:  Your name, the tour you want to schedule, the date (day and month) you want to schedule this tour, and the age of any children you want to include.

Please note: The extra fee paid by buyers who do not belong to the North Carolina Zoo Society provides them with a one-year family or a grandparent membership to the North Carolina Zoo Society. This new membership grants them free admission to the Zoo for 12 months, including on the day of their tour. (Other member benefits are explained here.)




Keep in mind that tour admission prices are tax-deductible as a donation to the NC Zoo Society, and all donations support the North Carolina Zoo's wildlife conservation programs.

Questions about the VIP Tour program should be sent to us through the Contact Us form on the website. Be sure to include your email address and to explain your question or questions in the "Your Message" section of the form. Questions submitted this way are usually answered within a few hours during the work week and within 24 hours on weekends.

Jayne Owen Parker, PH.D.

It's Time to Make Plans for Some Fun in 2023!

Be assured—we have put precautions in place to protect our animals, staff, and guests from COVID-19.