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 September 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

Join the Friends & Save!
Your membership can pay for itself in as few as two visits!
with AZA & ASTC
With free or reduced admission to more than 450 zoos, aquariums, and science centers, membership with the Nature Center is one of the best deals in the nation!

Member Benefits

Join the Friends of the WNC Nature Center to become a member today! Becoming a member is one of the best ways to support the Nature Center’s mission. 

Your membership provides funding and resources to support educational programs, animal care, conservation efforts, and facility enhancements. 
Memberships are not refundable.

COVID-19 closures and attendance restrictions may temporarily affect reciprocity at participating Zoos, Aquariums and Science Centers.  Please call participating facilities prior to visiting to ensure they are accepting reciprocal memberships. 


Free daily admission to the WNC Nature Center and its seasonal events, like Hey Day, Howl-O-Ween, and A Winter's Tail.

Nature Center DisCounts

Member discounts at the Nature Center Gift Shop, special events, education programs, summer camps, and birthday parties.

Discounted admission to 450+ centers

Free or half-priced admission to more than 450 zoos, aquariums, and science centers nationwide.*

*Reciprocity may change. Please call before visiting reciprocal facilities. We do not offer refunds due to changes in reciprocity.
**Note that science centers within 90 miles “as the crow flies” of your home address or the Nature Center may not honor reciprocity. 

Friends E-Newsletter

Subscribe to learn about member giveaways, upcoming events, animal updates, and conservation efforts in your inbox each month!

Choose the perfect plan for you




Includes all membership benefits for one person 

American River Otters Obi and Olive



Includes all membership benefits for one person and one guest
or two named adults
or one named adult and one child in the same household

Barnyard Animals



Includes all membership benefits for two adults and four children/ grandchildren under 18 years old. Add a child/grandchild for $14

Red Wolf



Family Membership + 5 one-day guest passes




Family Membership + 10 one-day guest passes

Red Panda



Family Membership + 10 one-day guest passes + donor recognition

Gift Memberships

Want to give the gift of Nature? We offer personalized gift memberships, as well as gift certificates for yet-to-be-named recipients.

To purchase a gift membership, use our regular membership forms above to choose the plan for your recipient; the forms include a section for gift recipient information and a personalized message. 

A Friends membership is perfect for the animal lover, environmentalist, or hard to shop for family member, friend, or colleague in your life. For any occasion- birthdays, holidays, special events- a membership is truly the gift that keeps on giving!

As with all memberships, gift memberships are valid for one year from date of purchase. Contact the Membership Office at 828-259-8092 if you would like to purchase a gift certificate or would like the gift membership to start at a later date.

Frequently asked questions

You can purchase your membership at any time on our website.

Memberships may also be purchased in person at the Nature Center during operating hours or over the phone by calling 828-259-8092.

Yes! Present your membership receipt and entrance receipt at the Front Entrance ticket window before 4:30 pm on the day of your visit, and the admission price for anyone included on the new membership will be refunded.

Membership cards will be mailed within 10 business days. If you purchase in person, your receipt will serve as your pass until your permanent cards are received. 

If you have not received your cards within three weeks, contact the Membership Manager at (828)259-8092 or membership@wildwnc.org.