Field Trip Friday: It’s A Zoo Life


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It has been awhile since I have done a field trip Friday post, but I’m very excited to share our latest field trip with you! I had wanted to take my four year old back to our state zoo since his birthday in April but the timing and weather have just not worked out. However, we found this smaller zoo that is closer to home and a great day trip for us. I’m so glad we took the time to check out and plan to go back and visit again.

This is no ordinary zoo; this facility is the large backyard of a family home and includes over 85 animals. Unlike many zoos where you just walk through and read signs while looking for the animals, each person who visits It’s A Zoo Life takes a guided tour including a variety of animal encounters.

With-in seconds of our group walking through the gate with our tour guide the children were in an enclosure and petting kangaroos. As an adult that was an amazing experience and the children were even more thrilled than I was.  They were soft and gentle animals and you could tell that they were very comfortable in their environment and with their caretakers.  Then the camel in the next enclosure came walking over and the children were able to pet him through the fence. As a Campbell University graduate, I’m a big fan of camels!

There were some animals like a Watusi Bull and several emus that we viewed from behind the enclosure while the guide told us more about the various species and the stories of the individual animals. There were other animals such as a variety of turtles and tortoises that they children could pet and even some goats. The goats and a bird which we saw later were the only two that my four year old was brave enough to pet but my older two children were much more interactive with the animals.

I think my twelve year old son’s favorite animal was the wolf! The wolf was 90% wolf and 10% Malamute and we were able to be in the enclosure with the wolf and get quite close to it though we did not touch it. I was very impressed with their policy of only allowing you to touch animals that were comfortable with it and allowing them to go back into their homes at any point. There were also a variety of barnyard type animals including chickens, sheep, ducks, and goats.

The last two animals that we had the chance to see were a talking bird which would sit on your arm or shoulder and a sloth. I had seen a sloth at another local science museum but it is far away and rather hard to see. This one we were able to see up close and watch it hang from a tree and then later walk itself back into the house.

Our tour guide was very personable and knowledgeable and did a great job teaching the children about the various animals. They had a chance to ask any questions they had about the animals as we went through the tour. When the tour was over we were able to utilize their picnic area which includes some nice tables and chairs underneath a large tent for shade. There was also a bouncy house and some playground equipment for the children to enjoy when they were finished with their lunches.

Unlike many zoos you did need reservations to get into Its a Zoo Life since all admissions include a guided tour. They offer tours Tuesday through Saturday at 10 am and 1pm. You can make individual or group reservations. I highly recommend group reservations if it is an option both because it is a significant savings and because it was a lot of fun for the children to do together.

In addition to running the tours, the zoo has recently begun a television show on TLC, Our Wild Life. We had not seen it prior to our visit but the children were so excited that we watched the first episode that night when we got home. It is very much like many reality shows, a bit corny and staged, but the children loved it and are still talking about it a week later.

Overall, this was a great field trip for a family or group. While you may not see as many animals as you would at a typical zoo, you certainly get a more up close and personal experience with the animals. Many of these animals are rescues that needed a safe home.  All of my children enjoyed the trip and would like to go back again soon.  Do you have a zoo near you that you enjoy visiting?


Where: 4313 NC Hwy 42, Macclesfield, North Carolina

Hours of Operation:

Tuesday through Saturday (10 am and 1 pm tours)

Costs: $20 ages 6 and up $10 ages 2-5

Homeschool Discount: Homeschool Groups get a rate of $10 per person 2 and up (under 2 free)


Food: You can pre-order meals if you desire or bring a picnic lunch and enjoy at their picnic area.

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