By Guest Blogger Suzy Fielders

The Conservators Center is a hidden gem of the Triad. I found out about it originally as a coworker from where I used to work volunteers there. Turns out a large majority of their staff is all volunteers. My daughter and I have been a couple times now and always thoroughly enjoy it! It’s a great option for a fun family outing or a unique date with your significant other.

Unlike a zoo, most of the tours are just that… tours. As in it’s not randomly walking around to see the animals like most zoos. This was actually one of the things my daughter and I loved most about it as the tour guides had such great stories for every single animal. It really felt like you got to know the animals themselves.

Be sure to listen to the story of Arthur Tiger and Kira Lion who ‘bunk’ together. You’d think a lion and a tiger wouldn’t, but they are the best of friends. My daughter loved their story the best!

My favorite part was the real interactions we got with the animals. The guides got all the lions roaring at one time on our tour – and it was really something to hear. Another awesome vocal demonstration was by the howling wolves. You’ll also learn, and hear, tigers don’t purr like our house cats, but chuff. The guides also are great at getting the Tigers to chuff.

Every so often they do open the park to allow people to walk around, and each also features tons of extras. We went to the tree toss in January a couple years ago, and it was so fun. It’s called a tree toss as people and businesses donate their used Christmas trees, for the animals to play with. Not only was there all the amazing animals and their stories, but the kids could make ‘presents’ for the animals. These present were ‘toys’ that the workers added treats into for all the animals. My daughter has such a fun time doing this.

There were also vendors, beverages (including wine from a local winery that supports the Conservators Center with proceeds from their sales), and a food truck.  It really was such a fun way to enjoy the holiday spirit, post holidays!

They have some awesome fall tours as well, like their Trick or Treat Tour and Legends and Lore Tour (ages 14 & up). These are great ways to get in the Halloween spirit, enjoy time together as a family, and meet some wonderful animals. They also have their very popular Pumpkin Prowl. This was such a fun event as well – getting to watch the animals enjoy their pumpkins.

If you haven’t been, then I highly recommend you add this to your list of day trips. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience to get up close and personal with nature’s remarkable animals.

The Conservators Center is home to over 80 animals, and more than 21 species; employs more than a dozen full and part-time individuals; and is a hub of volunteer activity. The park welcomes over 16,000 visitors each year from all over the state and across the country. In addition, the Center participates in collaborative educational efforts with other institutions that expand the educational impact far beyond the park’s borders.*

Conservators Center
676 E. Hughes Mill Road
Burlington, NC 27217
Find them on Facebook HERE

*Cited directly from their web site


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