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Old 11-08-2018, 05:13 PM
 
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I have a 2 and 5 year old and am thinking about going to the Zoo on Veteran's day. Not sure how busy it'll be and it's worth 2+ hours in the car.

Anyone have experience with it? What's the best way to maximize time/fun especially for young kids?
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Old 11-08-2018, 06:32 PM
 
Location: under the beautiful Carolina blue
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It's a lot of walking with young kids. It's a really good zoo....went with my daughter on her second grade trip (she's in HS now). I believe at this time of year only one of the entrances is open....which is fine....start there and it's down hill most of the way. On the way back take the tram to the entrance. But if your kids aren't good walkers or won't go in the stroller they might be a bit young.
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Old 11-08-2018, 07:51 PM
 
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I always enjoyed that zoo when my kids were younger. Bring a stroller and keep your expectations realistic about seeing everything. We would usually just try to do one section (usually Africa). There's a really nice picnic area outside if you want to stick a cooler in the car, and the playground is well done too.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:07 PM
 
Location: Charlotte
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If you don’t mind walking then you’ll be fine, the zoo is nice.
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Old 11-08-2018, 09:23 PM
 
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It involves a lot of walking, so bring a stroller. Trams are available and those can come in handy at the end of the day. That being said, I *love* the NC Zoo and absolutely *loved* going there during the cooler weather months. Those are the best times to see it, IMO. It's a great experience because so much of the zoo is spaced far apart, which makes it feel less like a traditional zoo and more like a (long) nature walk. The area in which the rhinos are is downright impressive because of the space. You might even want to take a pair of binoculars just in case they are at the far end of the field.

One thing to note if visiting during cooler weather -- they don't let the large African animals out until the temperature reaches 45 degrees. So if it turns a little chilly and you arrive early in the day, you might want to plan to see other parts of the zoo until it warms up a bit.

I really enjoyed the NC Zoo and so did my kids at that age.
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:17 AM
 
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Great, thanks all! We'll try to make it and will bring a stroller!
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Old 11-09-2018, 06:56 AM
 
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With a 2 year old, I'd choose the Columbia Zoo. Its a lot less walking and the animals are more accessible because of small open habitats. I appreciate the NC zoo for what it is - more humane for the animals (large habitats with plenty of room for animals to act naturally -i.e. avoid humans) and a very nice botanical garden. I'm not sure a 2 year old would appreciate those qualities.
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Old 11-09-2018, 08:55 AM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
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You'll see more riding the zoo TRAM, as exhibits are well spaced out...of course that might be hard with strollers, but it saves a lot of walking between exhibits.

There are several indoor exhibits that I would suggest so the young children can get close up...

Last edited by greatblueheron; 11-09-2018 at 09:16 AM..
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Old 11-09-2018, 12:45 PM
LLN
 
Location: Upstairs closet
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It’s not just kids that get walked to extreme. We took my dad, who, at the time, walked 18 regularly, and I was afraid we were going to have to airlift him out. Finally flagged down a maintenance vehicle which gave him (and me) a lift.
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Old 11-10-2018, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Chapelboro
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I took my kids there plenty when they were that age. We did not use strollers much. Had a baby carrier that I used some. If you're a reasonably fit human being it's not bad at all. My main exercise is walking the dog. I'm not a runner and don't belong to a gym. Not a problem at all for us. It's a really great zoo. I can't stand the zoos with small enclosures. There are some exhibits at the NC zoo where I wish the enclosure was bigger too, but overall it's a very nice zoo.

We never rode the tram.

They had a great playground at that time (10 yrs ago now) with oversized gourds and spider webs for the kids to climb around. It was fantastic. I have some wonderful memories and photos of my kids and me in the gourd.
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