Inside Tracks: Penguin Encounters

Come nose to beak with one of our engaging African penguins in this 45-minute program.

Encounter Info

Cost, per person: $45 Members / $45 Non-Members + general admission

Availability: Saturdays and Sundays at 3:15pm
Additional holiday encounters may be available. Click the "book now" button for dates.

Capacity: 8 participants

Minimum age: 6

Age restrictions: Children under 16 must be accompanied by a paying adult, with a maximum of 2 children per adult. Participants under 18 must have the program liability waiver signed by a parent/legal guardian.

Tickets may be available on the day of your visit and can be purchased at the Information Desk in the lobby.
NOTE: ticket sales end one hour prior to the experience's listed time.


  • Closed-toe shoes are required. Surgical booties will be provided to participants to maintain our birds' healthy environment.
  • All encounters are subject to change due to animal medical procedures or other unforeseen circumstances.
  • Photography is allowed and encouraged, but no tripods or selfie sticks, please.

Makes a Great Gift!

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Gift certificate note: You can email the gift certificate directly to the recipient or download a gift certificate to fill out and give in person!

Conservation IconConservation Note!

African penguins are an endangered species. The Greensboro Science Center partners with SANCCOB (the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds), an African seabird conservation and rescue organization in South Africa. To learn more about our conservation support, please visit and join our next Tuxedo Trot 5K and Kids' Fun Run!


We'll start in food prep to see what’s on the menu for our whole colony, and also pick out an enrichment for the bird you'll meet. Then we'll catch up to our keeper and watch a few minutes of our afternoon feeding before stepping behind the scenes to learn more about penguins in our encounter room. As the keeper wraps up the afternoon feed, he/she will join us to interact with our penguin.

Birds that work with us in the Encounters are generally well-behaved around people, but everyone has an off day. Touching the penguin is likely, but not guaranteed.
Please wear solid, closed-toe shoes (sneakers or boots, not athletic sandals) and long pants. The room is a comfortable 68 degrees, so no coat is required to meet these penguins. Be sure to bring a camera/cell phone for pictures!
Our program begins in the food prep area, with a wide range of seafood. Our penguins eat fish; please refrain from touching the animals if you have a known fish allergy.
Trade your printed ticket for a penguin token at the Information Desk. Our encounter groups meet inside the aquarium at the sign posted by "The Hungry Games" learning area, between Fishing Cat Cove and Otter Lagoon.
Advance tickets are advised and available online. Check for available spaces on the day of your visit at the Information Desk, in the lobby. Purchase tickets before 2pm.
The group meets at 3:10 and will start at 3:15. This is behind the scenes; there is no guarantee that a late person can be connected with the group. Tickets are non-refundable.
Most special needs can be accommodated with advance notice (required). Contact us at 336-288-3769 ext. 1357 with questions.