ASHEBORO, NC ­­— Some like it hot, and some like it cold! At the North Carolina Zoo from Jan. 1-6, get half-off admission and see animals from the tropics to the Arctic.

Due to the very cold weather expected this week, many of the African animals, like the elephants, gorillas and lions, will be staying warm and toasty in their behind-the-scenes quarters so will not be seen by guests. But our native animals from North America are right at home in this Arctic blast!

See polar bears, Arctic foxes, seabirds, cougars, elk, bison, black and grizzly bears and red wolves. Stop in at any of our heated habitat complexes to help you stay warm during your visit. At the Streamside building, you can cast your eyes on native fish, get safely close to copperheads, timber and diamondback rattlesnakes, then enjoy the frolicking otters and bobcats. The Desert building offers a warm immersive experience among free-flight birds, reptiles, interesting cacti, vampire bats, and the adorable sand cats. Step into the Aviary, a domed building, and be transported to the tropics, surrounded by lush plants with free-flight exotic birds. Plan to stay as long as you wish in this tropical paradise and see how many birds you can find. 

Heated transportation is available inside the Zoo and is included in your half-off admission. The Iron Hen Express and Junction Café are open 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily to serve guests hot meals. Please note our seasonal attractions like the Carousel and 4-D Theater are closed for the winter season.

About the North Carolina Zoo

At the North Carolina Zoo, we celebrate nature. As the world’s largest natural habitat Zoo, we inspire a lifelong curiosity about animals for the hundreds of thousands of people who visit our Zoo each year. Our dedicated team of experts provides exceptional, compassionate care for the more than 1,600 animals and 52,000 plants that call our Park home. We also lead efforts locally and globally to protect wildlife and wild places because we believe nature’s diversity is critical for our collective future. The North Carolina Zoo invites all of our guests to witness the majesty of the wild in the heart of North Carolina and welcomes everyone to join in our mission to protect nature’s diversity. Visit to begin your life-changing journey.

About the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources

The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources (NCDNCR) is the state agency with a vision to be the leader in using the state’s natural and cultural resources to build the social, cultural, educational and economic future of North Carolina. NCDNCR’s mission is to improve the quality of life in our state by creating opportunities to experience excellence in the arts, history, libraries and nature in North Carolina by stimulating learning, inspiring creativity, preserving the state’s history, conserving the state’s natural heritage, encouraging recreation and cultural tourism, and promoting economic development.

NCDNCR includes 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums and Jennette’s Pier, 39 state parks and recreation areas, the North Carolina Zoo, the nation's first state-supported Symphony Orchestra, the State Library, the State Archives, the N.C. Arts Council, State Preservation Office and the Office of State Archaeology, along with the Division of Land and Water Stewardship. For more information, please call 919- 807-7300 or visit