ASHEBORO, NC – The North Carolina Zoo will begin its summer operating hours, opening all venues April 1. Summer hours, which are 9 am – 5 pm, will continue until the end of October.

The following includes some of the fun things visitors will find at the zoo soon:

  • This year zoo visitors can trek into Dino World to explore a forest of dinosaurs like they have never seen. During certain hours on the weekend, visitors can meet and take pictures with an animated, 14-foot long Tyrannosaurs rex, which walks and is handled by a paleontologist.
  • Enjoy Spongebob SquarePants 4-D, The Great Jelly Rescue! Join SpongeBob, Patrick and Sandy on a wildly hilarious 4-D adventure to rescue the Jellyfish of Jellyfish Fields from Plankton’s evil clutches.
  • The zoo’s KidZone exhibit, which is a playground aimed at connecting kids with nature, is set to reopen for the second year. KidZone has animal encounters and features a stream, tree top trail, mud café and a butterfly garden.
  • Guests will want to stop by the polar bear exhibit to see Anana, the zoo’s iconic polar bear. The exhibit features an indoor gallery with educational graphics, video footage of polar bears in the wild and an artificial ice cave.

Starting in April, all fun venues such as the giraffe deck, carousel, renovated Africa bridge, as well as both parking lots and entrances, shuttles and the connector trail, will be open.

On March 27 and March 30 from 11 am until 2 pm, there will be media days for members of the press who would like an exclusive tour of Dino World.

The North Carolina Zoo is an agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Donald R. van der Vaart, Secretary; Pat McCrory, Governor.