This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of North Carolina Zoo. The opinions and text are all mine.
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If you asked our oldest son what he wants for Christmas, his answer never changes: “I want a monkey.” Since that’s not happening (with a family of six, our house already feels like a zoo… no need to add a monkey), we did the next best thing- we went to the zoo.
His interest in monkeys has spread to his siblings and his cousins, so when we mentioned that we were going to take everyone to The North Carolina Zoo, they were all so excited! The North Carolina Zoo is about 90 minutes away, in Asheboro, but we knew that we could make a day of it. We left the house around 9:30 and arrived at the zoo close to 11:00.
From there, the kids immediately wanted to ride the carousel (this is Allie’s FAVORITE thing to do!). Everyone joined in and rode it about four times in a row!
Next, we went on a Zoofari. We boarded a specially outfitted, open-air vehicle for an exclusive tour of the 40-acre Watani Grassland exhibit! We had a great, funny, experienced zoo educator who introduced us to the nine-exhibited species—nearly 100 animals! She taught us about rhinoceroses, gazelles, greater kudus, ostriches, exotic antelope, and elephants. We were so close to the rhinoceroses!
I think their favorite part was watching the ostrich peck at our vehicle for about five minutes, over & over. They laughed so hard!
After the hour-long Zoofari, we went on an Air Hike. I can’t say this enough–>> this was so much fun! The kids love it and our guide, Megan, was terrific. It was a little bit of a challenge to our physical abilities, but it was so fun & adventurous.
It is an elevated course that features a series of activities designed to safely test balance and climbing skills plus increase self-reliance. You put on a harness & helmet, and then you & your group go up the rope tunnel to the central hub platform. From there, you can go to 11 other platforms & complete 23 obstacles. You have an hour, so if you move quickly, you can do some of them a second time. Our favorite things were the swinging logs, plank walk, tight rope, spider web, post hop and balance beam, to name a few. (Beau loved the Burma bridge!)
Next, we went to the Giraffe Deck to feed the giraffes. We stopped by and looked at so many animals along the way. The North Carolina Zoo has a dedicated team of experts – biologists, habitat designers and veterinarians, who provide exceptional, compassionate care for the more than 1,600 animals that call the park their home. We learned that the North Carolina Zoo is leading efforts locally and globally to protect the diversity of wildlife and wild places.
Before we left for the day, we had to see DINO ISLAND in 4-D This was Ethan’s FAVORITE part.
He was so excited and asked to do it again. It is about how an Earth Science Team has to save the dinosaurs, including the last remaining T-Rex, from the erupting volcanos on Dino Island. We race against time to protect ourselves from dinosaurs, lava, rocks & whirlpools. It’s so realistic!! Allie thought that the dinosaur was going to get us and was so relieved that we made it out safely at the end. Hahaha! It was fun and even the adults liked it… a lot!
While we didn’t have time for the paddle boating this time because we spent so much time observing the animals, so we plan on going again in a few weeks to do the paddle boating (and probably the air hike again). The North Carolina Zoo trip was definitely worth the drive, and we all learned so much. There are signs and information about each animal, so you can really understand so much about the animals. It was a great trip.
If you are interested in taking a trip, visit NCZoo.org for more information or call 800.488.0444.
Note: Special guest experiences, such as Giraffe Feeding, Paddle Boats, Carousel and Zoofari, are an additional fee and are open April –October. Cool bonus: A Polar Express experience is playing at the 4-D Theatre weekends in November and December, plus the Carousel and Paddle Boats are also open weekends in November.