But, as temperatures shot up to 90 and beyond and we sucked from our water bottles, my girls, mom and I were eager to find places to cool off ... and linger for a little while.
Here were our favorite spots to cool down. Please share yours in the comments!
The Ice Cave: It sounded so inviting when we saw the name emblazoned on the outside of the building. And it is! Cool down in this beautifully cool building that's part of the zoo's polar bear exhibit. You'll find an indoor gallery with educational graphics and video of polar bears batting giant pieces of ice.
Misting stations: These are scattered across the zoo, but we spent some time getting slightly wet in the Kidzone exhibit on the North America side.
The Forest Aviary: The aviary on the Africa side of the zoo features tropical birds and plants ... and some nice places to cool off. The entrance, with benches, was a popular place when we were there. One woman was even doing a crossword puzzle. The exhibit is a little sticky, but vents in the floor also were blowing cool air. My kids spent some time standing right on top of them.
The 4D Movie: So, this will cost you extra - $4 to be exact, but we all thoroughly enjoyed it. Right now, the zoo is screening "Ice Age: No Time for Nuts." The building is cool and, the eight-minute movie includes some fun surprises that will cool you down, too. Find it in Junction Plaza.
The puffin exhibit: As these tiny birds zoom through the water or linger on the shore, visitors can enjoy a cool, dark room to watch all of their antics. Find these little guys on the North America side in the Rocky Coast exhibit with other seabirds.
The N.C. Zoo is in Asheboro about 90 minutes from the Triangle.