Habitat Programs

Habitat Programs & Events

One-of-a-kind opportunities with Grandfather’s most special residents.

Every day, the Grandfather Mountain habitat staff undertakes the sometimes monumental task of caring for all the habitat animals. But they also want to make sure visitors can enjoy the animals — and vice versa — on a more personal level. Several exciting opportunities let visitors see the wildlife up close, and delve more deeply into their behavior, antics and daily care, while special events will help participants celebrate the animals in a whole new way.

Habitat Programs and Events Schedule:

Behind the Scenes Tours

Offered on weekends April – October

See where the cougars and otters sleep overnight, meet black bears that are not commonly on display, learn the ins and outs of what it takes to care for the animals year-round, observe a training session and find out why the animals call Grandfather Mountain home.
$30 per person/$25 for Bridge Club members.

Keeper for a Day

Offered April – October

Come spend your day shadowing and working alongside the keepers of the Animal Habitats. Learn how to interact with the animals, clean up, prepare food and provide enrichments. Observe various training sessions, animal behavior and the inner workings of the animal habitats.
Full-day option: $150.00 per participant/$120.00 for Bridge Club members. Includes admission to the park, a T-shirt and lunch.
Half-day option: $75 per participant/$60 for Bridge Club members. Includes admission to the park and a T-shirt.

Animal Enrichments

Offered daily April – October

An enrichment is anything that breaks up an animal’s day — maybe a special scent or toy newly introduced into their habitat. Visitors to Grandfather are encouraged to view the animal enrichments, as they provide a great opportunity to see each animal active and close to the overlook of the habitat. No additional cost.

11 am: Deer Overlook
11:30 am: Bear Overlook
12 pm: Otter Overlook
12:15 pm: Cougar Overlook
1:00 pm: Bear Overlook
1:30 pm: Deer Overlook
2:00 pm: Bear Overlook
2:30 pm: Cougar Overlook
3 pm: Otter Overlook
3:30 pm: Bear Overlook

Habitats 2015 Program Schedule

Wednesday, June 17
Animal Birthday Party
Learn about the animals that call Grandfather Mountain home in a day of kids’ activities celebrating the Mountain’s bears, eagles, otters, cougars and deer. Included with regular admission.

Saturday, Oct. 3
Creatures of the Night and Bonfire Delight
Enjoy rare after-dark habitat tours of Grandfather Mountain, fireside tales and a chance to meet the park’s nocturnal residents. Online registration opens Sept. 4.

Saturday, Oct. 31
Beary Scary Halloween
Celebrate Halloween at Grandfather Mountain with crafts, nature programs, trick-or-treating and costume contest. Included with regular admission. Kids in costume enter park for half-price.

For more details on any of these events or opportunities, please call 828-733-8715 or email habitats@grandfather.com.

default calendar default calendar default calendar default calendar
  • The entire family (ages 13-50) had an excellent time. We went from the Mile High Swinging Bridge to the top of MacRae Peak. Beautiful trails, beautiful scenery, and beautiful weather. We will definitely all be returning soon....

    Winston-Salem, NC
    Read more››