Membership FAQ

The NC Zoo Society is your bridge to more than a Zoo visit. We make you a partner in the Zoo’s global efforts to support:

  • Animal Well-being
  • Conservation
  • Education
  • Field Work
  • Research

...and, we welcome you into a family that cares about nature.

A visit to the North Carolina Zoo is a fun and affordable way for families to spend time together. Joining the Zoo Society makes these visits even more affordable by providing free admission each time that you visit—and by offering free or discounted admission to more than 150 partner zoos and aquariums across the country. Best of all, when you join your membership dues provide valuable financial support to the North Carolina Zoo and to the conservation and animal protection it conducts in North Carolina and around the world.

Your membership also strengthens your connection to the Zoo by providing a subscription to the Zoo Society's quarterly magazine, Alive. The magazine provides you with in depth information about the Zoo's good works and insider information on upcoming events and programs. And, if you choose to join one of our higher levels of membership, you can even bring one or more friends into the Zoo as guests each time you visit.

What should I do if I lose my membership card?

The NC Zoo Society charges $5 to replace a lost membership card. Call us (336-879-7250) Monday-Friday, from 8 am-4 pm, to purchase a replacement card, or simply order a card during your next visit.

When can I start using my membership?

Your adventures at the North Carolina Zoo can begin as soon as we receive payment. Please note the following information about processing and activation times.

If you purchased your membership on Zoo grounds: Your membership is active right away. You will receive a receipt that will serve as a temporary membership card that you can use at the NC Zoo until your permanent card arrives in the mail.

If you purchased your membership on-line: You can begin entering the NC Zoo as a member right away. Just print your email confirmation/receipt and bring it with you when you visit the NC Zoo or simply show it at the Members-Only express entry gate on your mobile device along with a photo ID.

If you purchased your membership on through the mail or over the phone: Your membership will be active within seven (7) working days of us receiving it in our office. If you would like to visit before your membership card arrives in the mail, call our office (336-879-7250) Monday-Friday 8 am-4 pm, and you will be issued a day pass or confirmation email.

How long is my membership valid?

Memberships are valid for one year from time of purchase; they are not based on the calendar year.

How do I get my membership card?

Your Membership Card will be mailed to you. You will receive it within 10 to 12 working days from the date we receive your payment.

Can I visit the Zoo without my card?

Sure! Stop by the Members-Only express entry ticket booth located at the far-left of either entrance. Photo ID is required. However, please be sure to take your membership card with you when you visit one of our reciprocal zoos.

Why do I have to show photo ID with my membership card?

As a non-profit organization, we rely greatly on membership and admission revenue for support, and therefore we must prevent misuse of memberships. Not only does requiring ID protect the value of all memberships, but also protects you if your card is ever lost or stolen.

I have "+1" on my card. What does that mean?

This number indicates how many guests your membership level includes. Guests are only honored here at the NC Zoo and may not use the membership card by themselves unless you make prior arrangements for them to do so by calling our office (336-879-7250) Monday- Friday 8 am- 4pm.

The other named adult is unable to come with me; may I bring a guest in his/her place?

The membership is non-transferrable, so a guest cannot come instead of a named member. Only if you have purchased a Plus membership or an Add-On can you bring a guest.

Can my babysitter or a relative bring my children?

If you have a Family Plus membership, sitters or guests can bring your children without you, but you must make prior arrangements for them to do so by calling our office (336-879-7250) Monday-Friday, 8 am- 4pm.

Are you reciprocal with other zoos and aquariums?

Yes! The NC Zoo Society has a reciprocal agreement with over 150 zoos and aquariums nationwide. Please follow this link for a complete listing of participating organizations.

How do I get into reciprocal zoos and aquariums?

To gain free or discounted admission to partner zoos or aquariums, you will be required to present proof of your NC Zoo Society membership. We do NOT have access to reciprocal member databases, and they do NOT have access to ours. To visit another institution without your NC Zoo Society membership card, you can call us (336-879-7250) Monday - Friday, from 8 am - 4 pm, to request a membership confirmation email.

If you want to visit another institution on a weekend and do not have your membership card with you, your best alternative is to ask the partner institution to allow you to confirm your membership over the phone. You can call 336-879-7292 to speak with a Zoo Society employee about confirming the membership. The partnering institution may, or may not, honor your request.

Is my membership tax-deductible?

A portion of all memberships is tax-deductible and that information will be on your welcome letter when you receive your card. If you do not have that, please call our office at 336.879.7250 to find the tax-deductible amount of your specific membership. As of October 1, 2017, the tax-deductibility of non-life memberships are estimated to be as follows:  For Individual Memberships, $59; for Companion Memberships, $79; For Family Memberships, $84; For Family-plus Memberships, $91; For Grandparent Memberships, $84; For Grandparent-plus Memberships, $91; for For Zookeep Memberships, $149; for Curator Memberships, $261.

Does my employer offer a matching gift program?

Check with your Human Resources Department to determine if your company offers a matching gift program.

How do I change the address information associated with my membership?

To change the address information associated with your membership, please use the Membership Address Change online form.