CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 12 /PRNewswire/ — Asheboro’s North Carolina Zoological Park topped the list of the state’s most popular field attractions last year, according to the annual survey released by Carolina Field Trips Magazine. The Randolph County based attraction saw 129,869 field trip visitors during the 2005-2006 school calendar year.
“It’s clear that teachers, school administrators and parents have come to see the zoo as a valuable classroom where students can learn important lessons about nature, science and many other subjects at the same time,” said NC Zoo Public Relations Manager Rod Hackney. “The zoo has always considered education one of its primary functions. The zoo constantly strives to teach young people the value of wildlife and the importance of preserving wild habitats and natural resources that sustain all of us.”
For the third straight year Discovery Place in Charlotte was second in the survey with 117,583 field trip visitors, while the State Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh was third with 114,181. Dan Nicholas Park in Salisbury was fourth, followed by the Schiele Museum in Gastonia.
Rounding out the top ten biggest field trip destinations in the survey were the Lazy 5 Ranch in Mooresville, the Morehead Planetarium in Chapel Hill, Paramount’s Carowinds in Charlotte, the Natural Science Center in Greensboro, and Exploris in Raleigh.
“In a year which started with soaring gas prices after Hurricane Katrina, it’s amazing how well so many field trip attractions in North Carolina did,” said Carolina Field Trips Magazine publisher Sam Rogers. “Museums, attractions and other field trip related venues continue to aggressively promote their products regardless of economic issues. I expect the new academic year to be much better than last year for most attractions, and they’re still many new attractions coming on the market, including Ghost Town in the Sky in Maggie Valley along with the new zoo and animal park at the Natural Science Center in Greensboro.”
Top 25 NC Field Trip Attractions: 1. NC Zoo, Asheboro 2. Discovery Place, Charlotte 3. NC Museum of Natural Sciences, Raleigh 4. Dan Nicholas Park, Salisbury 5. Schiele Museum, Gastonia 6. Lazy 5 Ranch, Mooresville 7. Morehead Planetarium, Chapel Hill, 8. Paramount’s Carowinds, Charlotte 9. Natural Science Center, Greensboro 10. Exploris, Raleigh 11. Poe Center for Health Education, Raleigh 12. NC Museum of History, Raleigh 13. Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Charlotte 14. NC State Legislative Building, Raleigh 15. NC Museum of Life and Science, Durham. 16. NC State Capitol Building, Raleigh 17. Old Salem Museums and Gardens, Winston-Salem, 18. SciWorks, Winston-Salem 19. NC Museum of Art, Raleigh 20. NC Aquarium, Fort Fisher 21. Biltmore Estate, Asheville. 22. Coastal Carolina Museum/Ingram Planetarium, Ocean Island Beach 23. Tryon Palace, New Bern 24. Linville Caverns, Linville 25. The Mint Museums, Charlotte.