[Skip to Content]Privacy Policy
Skip to main content
City, State 1914 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20009

The National Zoo in Washington, DC

Also known as the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, it has a storied history and an admirable mission-to care for animals and educate the public. The 163-acre Zoo is open 364 days a year, and is free to the public. It's a popular Washington, DC tourist attraction, especially for families. From the cuddly Giant Pandas to the awesome lions, from the cheeky lemurs to the slimy salamanders, the National Zoo is an inspiring place to visit.


Hours -

Open every day except Dec. 25. From April to October, the grounds are open from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. (last admittance 6 p.m.), and Exhibit Buildings from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. From November to March, the grounds are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Exhibit Building from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Prices -



  • Fiesta Musical - Sep. 29
  • Autumn Conservation Festival - Oct. 5-6
  • Boo at the Zoo - Oct. 25-27


  • Visit the animal exhibits
  • Ride the carousel
  • Get lunch or snacks at one of 5 eateries
  • Pet the animals at the Kids' Farm
  • Buy a souvenir at the gift shop

Activities and Events

One of the newest additions here is the Speedwell Conservation Carousel. There are 58 animals representing more than just ponies-pandas, cheetahs, and Komodo dragons are also along for the ride. Each day the Zoo presents special education programs like Fish Feeding at the Farm, Small Mammal Enrichment, and North American River Otter Feeding. Kids can download activity sheet before getting to the Zoo, including scavenger hunts and bingo.


The National Zoo is divided into different areas that represent regions around the globe and some specialties. These include Amazonia, American Trail, Asian Trail, the Bird House, Cheetah Conservation Station, Elephant Trail, the Giant Panda Habitat, and Gibbon Ridge. Others are the Reptile Discovery Center, Lemur Island, the Great Cats, the Great Ape House, and the Invertebrate Exhibit.


  • What are the most popular and exotic animals at the zoo?

    The giant pandas from China are the most popular and well-known residents. Others are the big cats, great apes, and Asian elephants. All have web cams, so fans can follow them even when not at the zoo. Another popular stop for visitors in the Kid’s Farm, a petting zoo with goats, donkeys, alpacas, and a “pizza garden.”
  • Is there transportation inside the zoo?

    There is a shuttle from the Kids’ Farm to the Panda Plaza/Bus Lot. It’s only available during the busy season starting in June and runs from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The shuttle is free.

Helpful Links


Driving Direction to National Zoo
or Churchill Hotel Near Embassy Row
Write a Comment
By submitting this comment you agree that your personal information will be made public.
* Required Fields
Book Now Back to top