The North Carolina Zoo Will Open to the Public June 15


The North Carolina Zoo will open to the public Monday, June 15 with some new procedures in place to help ensure the safety of staff and guests.

The biggest change will be advance purchase of timed tickets for entry into the Zoo. Walk-up entry to the Zoo is not available at this time; everyone must pre-arrange their visit, including zoo members or those holding previously purchased tickets. The Zoo will initially open with a capacity of 2,000 visitors.

Guests can only enter and exit through North America. The Zoo’s pathways are configured into a one-way walking experience through North America and Africa wherever possible. This is to encourage social distancing while ensuring guests can stop by each outdoor habitat. Guests will see directional signs and decals on the ground to help them navigate the expansive Zoo.

If assistance is needed to get back to the exit in North America after guests have finished their visit to the Africa region, there will be open-air trams available operating at one-half capacity. Tram service is limited only to guests exiting the Park from Junction Plaza to the North America tram stop.

Throughout each day, zoo staff will frequently clean and disinfect restrooms and frequently touched surfaces. Additional hand sanitizer stations have been placed throughout the Zoo for guests to use.

Important things to know before you go:

  • Full list of guidelines for visiting at Please read before you visit.
  • No walk-up entry is available at this time. All guests, including zoo members, must pre-arrange their visit, including children under two.
  • Reservations are taken for three weeks out.
  • Credit or debit card payment is preferred.
  • The Zoo is unable to provide refunds for weather or animal visibility.
  • Guests are encouraged to bring refillable water bottles.
  • Indoor and enclosed habitats are closed at this time. This includes Aviary, Desert, Streamside, Polar Bear Underwater Viewing and Ice Cave, and Sea Birds.
  • Playgrounds and Smart Carts are closed at this time.
  • Seasonal attractions including Giraffe Deck, Air Hike, Treehouse Trek, Carousel and Butterfly Garden are closed at this time.
  • Our gift shop will be open with limited capacity, and food service will be take-out only.
  • If you choose to purchase food inside the Zoo outdoor seating is available with tables set six feet apart.
  • If you wish to bring your own food, you can picnic at our Solar Pointe picnic area before or after your Zoo visit.
  • Strollers are not allowed on the exit tram, except for folding, umbrella-style strollers that fit in the seat. Guests can also rent strollers at the Zoo, but these are not allowed on the trams.
  • Wheelchairs and Electric Convenience rentals are available, and they will be sanitized between uses. There is limited availability, and they are rented on a first-come, first-served basis.

Guests are encouraged to follow the “Three Ws” as outlined by the N.C. Dept. of Health and Human Services – WEAR a cloth face covering, WAIT in line at least six feet away from others, and WASH hands frequently or use hand sanitizer.

Keep up to date by visiting our website at