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National Zoo in Washington, DC (Visiting Tips, Parking, Photos & More)


Photo © Smithsonian National Zoo

The National Zoo, Washington DC's 163-acre zoological park set within the Rock Creek National Park, features more than 400 different species of animals. The National Zoo is a part of the Smithsonian Institution and admission is FREE! (There is a fee however, for parking in Zoo lots.)

Getting to the National Zoo

Address: 3001 Connecticut Ave., NW, Washington, DC
Closest Metro Station: Woodley Park/ Zoo /Adams Morgan and Cleveland Park.
The main entrance to the National Zoo is along Connecticut Avenue. There are also two entrances at the east side of the Zoo, near Rock Creek Park. One is off Rock Creek Parkway, the other is at the intersection of Harvard Street and Adams Mill Road. See a map of the National Zoo

Parking: Parking rates are $10 for the first hour, $15 for two to three hours, and $20 for more than three hours. If you are a FONZ member, parking is free. If you do not mind a short walk, you can usually find free street parking nearby.

Visiting Tips

  • To see all of the animals and exhibits at the National Zoo takes several hours. You should pick up a map and plan ahead so that you don't miss any of your family's favorite animals. Among some of the favorites are giant pandas, other bears, lions, giraffes, tigers, monkeys, sea lions, and much more. See a Guide to the Animals at the National Zoo
  • Visiting the National Zoo involves a lot of walking. You should dress appropriately for the weather and wear comfortable shoes. To avoid crowds, arrive early in the day or after 2 p.m. Weekdays are usually less crowded than weekends, and fall and winter are less crowded than spring and summer.
  • Check out the daily programs at the zoo including animal training, feeding demonstrations, and keeper talks. The National Zoo offers some great special programs throughout the year. See the schedule of special events at the National Zoo.
  • Be sure to visit the newest exhibits: The Giant Panda Habitat and Asia Trail and The Elephant Trails.

Photos of Animals at the National Zoo

Baby Animals
Asian Elephants
Andean Bears
Animals at the New Asia Trail
Tiger Cubs
Panda Cub, Tai Shan
Adult Pandas, Tian Tian and Mei Xiang
Cheetah Cubs
American Trail

National Zoo Hours

The Zoo is open every day of the year except December 25.
October 30 to April 1: Grounds are open 6 a.m. - 6 p.m. Buildings are open 10 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
April 2 to October 29: Grounds are open 6 a.m. - 8 p.m. Buildings are open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m.

Food and Shopping

Food concessions offer burgers, hot dogs, grilled chicken sandwiches, salads, ice cream, hot pretzels and other snack foods. Snack stands are scattered throughout the park. Visitors may bring their own food and drinks.

The National Zoo Store offers a great selection of gift items including apparel, hats, toys and games, books, videos and jewelry. You may also shop online.

Official Website: http://nationalzoo.si.edu

Conservation and Research

The National Zoo operates a 3,200-acre facility, located in Front Royal, Virginia, that houses between 30 and 40 endangered species. Research facilities include a GIS lab, endocrine and gamete labs, veterinary clinic, radio tracking lab, 14 field stations, and biodiversity monitoring plots, as well as a conference center, dormitories, and education offices. Read more about the National Zoo Conservation and Research Center

See page 2 for information about special events at the National Zoo.
Related Video
Tips for Touring the National Zoo with Kids

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