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Monday, November 27, 2017
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Go Wild!  The WNC Nature Center is a great place for a field trip.  View over 60 species of native animals, enjoy the outdoors, and get involved in STEM.

Opportunities for Groups of 10 or More Students:

  • 30-60 Minute Guided Programs
  • Self Guided Visits
  • In-School Field Trip Programs

All guided programs are available Monday through Friday, August - April; no programs are available in May.  In-School Programs and Self Guided Visits are available all year!

How to Plan Your Trip:

  • Read through the descriptions below and pick your field trip options, or download the Academic Guide here.
  • Download the School Reservation Request Form here and email it to [email protected] or fax it to 828-298-2644. If you do not have access to internet or a fax machine, then please call (828) 259-8080 between the hours of 9-5 and ask to speak to someone in the education department.

  • If any student has a special need and/or needs special assistance, please indicate at the time of scheduling.

  • A reservation is required to guarantee group rates. 

Academic Group Admission Fees:

Home School Groups (10 or more children with reservation) for Self Guided Visit:
  • Asheville City Home School (preK-12th grade) $3.95 + 7% state sales tax, per student or adult
  • Non-Asheville Resident Home School $4.95 + 7% state sales tax, per student or adult
Public & Private Schools (10 or more children with reservation) for Self Guided Visit:
  •  Asheville City School (preschool-12th grade) $3.95 + 7% state sales tax, per student or adult
  • Non-Asheville School $4.95 + 7% state sales tax, per student or adult
  • School teachers, teacher assistants, and professional bus drivers free
Guided Program/Tour Fee (add this to the Admission Fee above, no tax on educational programming)
  • $1 per program per student and/or adult chaperone

Guided Programs:

Discovery Programs: Interactive Nature Experiences in 30-minutes

- Snakes and Turtles
Grade Level:  K – 12th grade - NC Essential Standards: K.L.1.1, 1.L.2.2, 2.L.1.1, 3.L.1.1, 4.L.1.2, 5.L.1.2, 6.L.2.3, 7.L.1.4, 8.L.3.2
What makes reptiles special? Explore the ecology and biology of turtles and snakes in this hands-on session.  Compare and contrast native reptiles through discussion or age-appropriate games/activities.  You'll even get to meet a couple of our live ambassadors!

- Wild Tales
Grade Level:  K – 1st grade - NC Essential Standards: K.L.1.2, SL.K.2, 1.L.1.1, SL.1.2
Animals have been a part of stories from ancient legends t modern bedtime tales.  Join us for the Cherokee story of the first fire and a current animal biography.  Students will take part in the tales and meet some living animal characters.

- Masters of Metamorphosis
Grade Level: K – 2nd grade - NC Essential Standards: K.L.1.2, 1.L.2.2, 2.L.1.1-2
Metamorphosis is a special way of growing up, unique to insects and amphibians.  Meet a live animal "metamorphosis master," role play the life cycle of a butterfly, and sculpt a play-doh tadpole into a frog.

- Down on the Farm
Grade Level:  K – 4th grade - NC Essential Standards: K.L.1-2, 1.L.1, 2.L.1.1, 4.L.1.2-3
Discover the steps of wool production, play a sleuth game with farm clues, and be a bee in a pollination simulation.  This adventure connects animals to agribusiness, food production, and even human culture.  Teacher/chaperone participation required.

- Nature At Night
Grade Level:  2nd - 6th grade - NC Essential Standards: 2.P.1.2, 3.L.1.2, 4.L.1.4, 5.L.2.3, 6.L.2.3
Nature doesn’t go to sleep at night - owls, opossums, and a whole different cast of animals come out after the sun goes down.  Analyze unique survival adaptations such as camouflage, hearing, sight, and echolocation as you compare your senses with those of local nocturnal animals.

Investigation Programs: Hands-on Animal Science in 60-minutes

- Crafting A Habitat
Grade Level: K - 1st - NC Essential Standards: K.L.1.2, 1.L.1.1, 1.L.2.2
What does an animal really need? Take a mini-tour to analyze how the Nature Center designs habitats for some of our resident animals.  Students will then put their creativity to the test by working in teams to construct their own mock habitats.

- Life Cycles
Grade Level: 2nd -  NC Essential Standards: 2.L.1.1, 2.L.1.2,
Investigate metamorphosis and other changes animals experience as they grow up.  Match the stages of various animals from newborn to adult, observe and sketch a living life cycle, and role play the life cycle of a bird.

- Locomotion: Anatomy and Physiology
Grade Level: 3rd - NC Essential Standards: 3.L.1.1
Explore animal movement through multiple stations.  Compare and contrast anatomical differences between animal species.  Move like an animal to discover the various muscle groups within our bodies. Calculate how far animals travel in our Migration Map challenge.  Create an animal's story using tracks.

- Avian Attributes
Grade Level: 4th - NC Essential Standards: 4.L.1.2, 4.L.1.4
Examine the world of birds to explore how animals' adaptations help them survive.  Students observe and analyze a live raptor and then work collaboratively to construct a unique species from a mix of bird heads, bodies, and feet and design the perfect habitat for their creations.

- Zoo Ecosystems
Grade Level: 5th - NC Essential Standards:  5.L.2.1, 5.L.2.2, 5.L.2.3,
How do we recreate a habitat for a wild animal?  Go behind the scenes to see how we create homes for our resident animals accounting for biotic, abiotic, and human factors, then work collaboratively to design your own habitat for new species.

Cubs & Kits Programs: 30 minutes of Animal Fun for PreK - NEW for 2017!

- Colors of Nature, NC Foundations: CD-11, CD-14, CD-15
Green, brown, gold, and red.  All our colors can be found in nature, and each color generally can tell us something special.  Practice color matching, play a camouflage game, and appreciate the beauty of our natural world.

- Our Five Senses, NC Foundations: CD-1, CD-14, CD-15
Sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing: these are our five senses, but they are the same ones animals use.  Compare your senses to those of different animals - look through compound eyes like an insect, identify by touch like a raccoon, smell like a snake, and more!

- Animal Story Time, NC Foundations: LDC-8, CD-5, CD-14
Counting, moving, sounds, and more.  Join us for fun stories, silly songs, and wild games to learn about the animals of the Appalachians.

Wild About Wildlife Guided Tour

Grade Level:  1st - 12th grade - NC Essential Standards: Coming soon!
Learn more about native wild animals as you tour animal habitats an visit the fox, racoon, cougar, bobcat, coyote, and wolf habitats.  Natural science concepts such as behavioral adaptations, food chains, communication and other survival techniques will be covered.

Self Guided Visits

Our 43-acre facility houses more than 150 animals native to the mountains of North Carolina, our beloved Appalachians. During a self guided visit, you can explore the Nature Center at your own pace and use our animals and facilities to meet your own educational goals.  Sketch the cougars, practice map reading skills, go on an animal alphabet search, or just have fun exploring! We also offer two short, free public programs each day on an animal topic open to all visitors, one at 11:30 am and the other at 2:30 pm.  

Age-appropriate scavenger hunt packets encourage students to search for clues and answer questions concerning each group of animals. The “Scavenger Hunt” packets are emailed to teachers who then make copies of the packet for their students prior to coming to the center.  Bring pencils and clipboards for your students.

In-School Field Trip Programs

We now offer in-school field trips within 50 miles of Asheville.  Let our educators bring 30-minute, hands-on programs and living animal ambassadors to your classroom.  Select one of our standard offerings or call us to discuss custom options for your grade, topic, or NCSCOS standard!

In-school Program Fee: $1 per student.  No additional costs or travel fees! Minimum $50 payment required to reserve a program, but we're happy to provide programs for 10 to 150+ students.

7 options currently available for PreK through 8th grade.

Descriptions coming soon to the web! Call us now for more details.

Auditorium Presentation: Fur, Feathers, and Scales
Grade Level:  Kindergarten – 6th grade
Program Length: 45 minutes 
An opportunity for students to learn the importance of preservation and conservation through a one-hour presentation (45-minute presentation/15-minute Q&A) with a live snake and turtle, animal skeletons, skins, feathers, skulls and more.  Students have a chance to interact closely with live native animals and touch the many samples on the display table.

Auditorium Program Fees
Inside Buncombe County:
$300.00 per 45-minute session (M-F, 9:00am – 3:00pm) 
$375.00 per 90-minute session (M-F, 9:00am – 3:00pm) and
$450.00 per 45-minute session pre/post hours (M-F, before 9:00am & after 3:00pm, including Saturdays and Sundays)

Outside of Buncombe County:
$400.00 per 45-minute session (M-F, 9:00am – 3:00pm) 
$475.00 per 90-minute session (M-F, 9:00am – 3:00pm) and
$550.00 per 45-minute session pre/post hours (M-F, before 9:00am & after 3:00pm, including Saturdays and Sundays)


  • Full payment for GUIDED PROGRAMS is due fourteen days prior to the scheduled reserved arrival date. Please bring ADMISSION PAYMENTS on the day of your field trip as one non-refundable payment for the entire group (both students and adult parent chaperones). Teachers, teacher assistants, and professional bus drivers of private and public schools are given free admission.
  • Payments are accepted as check or credit card (Visa or MasterCard). Make check payable to the WNC Nature Center. An Invoice will be included with your Reservation Confirmation.
  • Any adult wishing to pay directly at the door on the day of arrival will be charged the full admission fee of $10.95+tax/person.  If the lead teacher collects payment from all the adults and submits this payment on check-in, chaperones receive the discounted rate described above.
  • The Nature Center will remain open rain or shine. Have your students dress appropriately. Should the WNC Nature Center close during your scheduled event for any reason, we will reschedule your event or reimburse your organization in full.
  • Nature Center Family Memberships or any other affiliated zoo memberships are not valid for students with a group or school reservation.  

If a group must cancel a scheduled visit, please call the Nature Center at least 14 days prior to the scheduled arrival.  A service fee of $50.00 will be applied to all cancellations less than 14 days from reserved arrival date. The Nature Center remains open rain or shine. When cancelling, please speak directly to a Nature Center staff person or email the information to [email protected]. Call (828) 259-8082 between 8-9 am to cancel. 



~ WNC Nature Center ~ 75 Gashes Creek Road ~ Asheville ~ NC 28805 ~
Phone (828) 259-8080


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