National Zoo

The Visiting Info shown below, if any, is always subject to change. Please check the facility's website for the latest information before making a trip.

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Facility:National Zoo
Description:Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Zoo is the nation's zoo. It is a 163-acre zoological park set amid Rock Creek National Park in the heart of Washington, D.C. You can visit the Zoo 364 days a year to see 2,000 individual animals of 400 different species. Come explore the Zoo and help us celebrate, study, and protect the diversity of animals and their habitats.
Address 1:3001 Connecticut Ave. NW
Address 2:
Zip Code:20008
V I S I T I N G   I N F O
Hours:See website for hours.
Admission:Admission to the National Zoo is FREE. There is a fee for parking in Zoo lots.
Telephone:(202) 633-4800
Website:Visit Website
Krissy Eckholdt, Co-op Member
This zoo is not only one of the best in the country due to its animals but the National Zoo website provides endless educational resources to plan your trip. We were able to supplement our entire science curriculum for the semester leading up to our trip with free courses through the "Education" section of the national zoo website.
Zoo admission is free. If planning to drive, print out directions beforehand. The area of DC where the zoo is located can be extremely difficult to navigate. Although there is a parking fee, you park very close to the zoo itself. If visiting while public school is in session, consider arriving around lunch and staying until the zoo closes to avoid large bus loads of children. If visiting during holidays, come early to avoid crowds. You are charged for maps inside the zoo, so be sure to print out one for free from the National Zoo website prior to the trip. You are allowed to pack in food for lunches and there are many benches available for eating. Food sold in the park is listed on the zoo website and tends to be pricey. This zoo is very spread out and there is a lot of walking between exhibits so bring strollers and use the inner zoo bus system when you can. The walking areas are very sunny with only patches of shade so bring hats, sunscreen, and water. Bathrooms are far between for little children so make sure and stop when you see one.
There are many indoor "houses" were like creatures are housed together. Although this is very convenient for seeing many animals in one air-conditioned place, it also results in a very smelly atmosphere, and can become uncomfortably crowded. If you are traveling as a family, avoid these houses if you see a large group entering and wait it out until they've left. Exhibits not to be missed are the Giant Panda habitat and the Great Ape House. Both exhibits have outside and inside portions, so if the animals are not outside, you won't miss them inside. The outside habitats can be very large, which is great for the animals, but frequently difficult for viewing animals. Be ready to have to look hard to find the animals or wait for them to move into view. Walkways are very wide and children can feel free to run ahead without parents losing sight of them.
Enjoy your visit to the National Zoo!
Pam R., Co-op Member
An amazing zoo experience! Set in the lovely Rock Creek National Park, this zoo hosts a large variety of animals from all over the world. It is beautifully landscaped with paved walking paths and easily accessible facilities. Our family loves to visit this zoo!
Mrs. Dyer, Co-op Member
This is the best zoo ever. The really neat thing is how close you are to the animals. In some zoos you may or may not see the animals because they have such large habitats. Here you will see the animals. It is a great place to visit and I highly recommend it. We also found a McDonalds in walking distance to have lunch.
rlb46341, Co-op Member
The National Zoo was so fun! It's small enough you can do it in one day but large enough to hold your attention. The layout of the zoo is a little confusing at first but once you get the hang of it it's fun.
DJ, Co-op Member
Best place ever to experience the animals up close. A definite trip to make with the children (old and young).
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