UPDATE:  As of July 1, 2020, until further notice, the WNC Nature Center remains temporarily closed to the public. The Nature Center is working closely with local officials to develop a plan to safely reopen. This will most likely take place during Phase 3 of North Carolina’s Stay Safe COVID-19 order. We anticipate opening during the month of August and will update the website and our social media platforms as soon as a date is confirmed.

Open 361 Days a Year: 10:00am – 5:00pm, last entry 4:30pm

Birthday Parties

Due to current group size restrictions with North Carolina’s Stay Safe order, no birthday parties are currently being scheduled.

Where else can you share your birthday with otters, wolves, and red pandas?!

Have your next birthday party, baby shower, or small special event at the WNC Nature Center!

Your reservation includes

  • Two-hour room rental
  • Admission to the Nature Center for 20 guests, including children and adults. Your immediate family members (spouse and children under the same household) are free and not included in your guest count. Children 2 years or younger are also free and not included in the guest count.
  • Tables and chairs set up
  • Use of a fridge/freezer in the Birthday Cabin
  • A self-guided tour of the Nature Center during and/or after your party (please no arrivals before the reservation time).
Outside view of the Birthday Party Cabin

All proceeds from parties directly support the Nature Center and the animals that live here. If you’d like to have a “donation party” for the Nature Center animals, their wishlist can be found here.

Decorated Birthday Party Cabin

Reservations

To inquire about availability, please call 828-259-8091 or use the Party Reservation Form below. 

Details: 

  • Check out our Birthday Party FAQs here!
  • If you are interested in gem mining (not offered in winter), please ask when making your reservation.
  • You will receive confirmation of your reservation by email, along with event day instructions and directions to the Nature Center for your guests.
  • You may arrive 30 minutes prior to your designated reservation time to set the room up and stay 30 minutes past your designated end time to clean up.
  • You are responsible for cleaning the room (tables, chairs, trash) after the party.
  • Pinatas, balloons, tape, and alcohol are prohibited. 

 

 

Fees

Parties cost $200 for Friends of the WNC Nature Center members and $225 for non-members. An additional $100 security deposit will be charged at the time the reservation is made. This deposit is fully refundable if the event space is left the way it was found and rules are followed.

Full payment is required at the time of the reservation (we cannot hold your spot).

Refunds

A full refund will be issued if cancellation is made two weeks prior to the scheduled event. No refunds will be given for cancellations less than two weeks out (snow/ice permitting).

Cancellations

To cancel your reservation, you must call 828-259-8091. Please speak directly to a Friends of the WNC Nature Center staff person to cancel an event. We cannot guarantee your cancellation if you leave a voicemail.

Party Reservation Inquiry

Please submit the requested information to inquire about having a party at the Nature Center. Submitting this form does not guarantee your reservation. You may also call 828-259-8091 to see about rental availability.

Frequently asked questions

During the winter and cooler weather season, parties are held in the Forest Floor classroom in the Education Center.  During the early fall, spring, and summer, parties are held in the Birthday Cabin, located on the second level of the Nature Center.

Absolutely! You can arrive 30 minutes prior to your designated reservation time to set up the room. The room also come pre-decorated with vinyl tablecloths and basic decor.

You cannot bring balloons of any kind or pinatas to the Nature Center. We also ask that you don’t tape or pin things to the walls. If these guidelines are not followed, your security deposit will not be refunded.

Yes, outside food and drink is allowed. There is also a refrigerator/freezer available to keep food cold.  No alcoholic beverages are allowed.  If alcohol is brought onto Nature Center premises, the party will immediately end, all guests will be required to leave the premises, and the security deposit will not be refunded. Law enforcement officials will be contacted if needed.