SEE THE ZOO IN A WHOLE NEW LIGHT!
Parking is $9 for members; $16 for non-members
ADMISSION IS FREE!
NOVEMBER 23-25, 30
DECEMBER 1-2, 7-9, 14-23, 26-30
ZooLights is brighter than ever! More than 500,000 environmentally-friendly LED lights transform the Zoo into a winter wonderland. Lit animal silhouettes, musical light displays, and a new garden scene light sculpture make for truly magical sights!
ZOO TUBING ON LION/TIGER HILL SPONSORED BY GEICO
It doesn't have to be a white holiday season to enjoy your favorite snow games. This year Lion/Tiger Hill will be transformed into a winter wonderland complete with two 150 foot long "snow tubing" tracks. Be sure to take the plunge down this magical snowless track!
SPEEDWELL FOUNDATION'S CONSERVATION CAROUSEL
Children (and adults) can begin a new tradition during their Zoo visit: a ride on the Conservation Carousel! Composed of 58 animal figurines, the carousel highlights the Zoo's incredible research and success stories. One of the few carousels in the world to use solar power energy with solar panels sponsored by Pepco Energy Services, it's a new spin on conservation.
Take a merry tour through the Zoo on the National Zoo Choo-Choo. This trackless train whisks guests around the Great Cats exhibit and features gorgeous views of the Zoo's holiday light displays.
Have your photo taken in the holiday sleigh on the Great Meadow!
Thaw your paws in our exhibit buildings and see our nocturnal critters! The Small Mammal House, Great Ape House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, and Kids' Farm will be open every night and will be offering special demonstrations and talks.
Back by popular demand this year, ZooLights guests will enjoy free costumed character photo opportunities with Panda Claws, the official ZooLights ambassador. Panda Claws will also perform nightly in the Snow Globe, funded by a generous donation from the SunTrust Foundation.
MODEL TRAINS and More
Be sure not to miss the Wildlife Train Park, located in the Visitor Center Auditorium, featuring trains on three levels and, new this year, hand-carved animal figurines depicting legendary and modern tales and fables about animals. Also new this year, a 12-foot long scale model of the iconic Smithsonian Castle built with over 45,000 LEGO bricks. And third display of a special LEGO town with trains, boats and planes! A special treat for the whole family.
Registration is now closed, but read more about the contest here!
This year's Gin-GRR-bread Habitat Competition, sponsored by Giant Food, celebrates the Zoo's newest exhibit, American Trail! Let your imagination run wild this winter while you design and build a habitat based on the theme A Winter's Tail on American Trail. Contestants may win a prize of a keeper-led tour!
Make an Impact
PEPCO-SMART ENERGY INFO
Pepco will present energy talks in the Think Tank to illuminate the best ways to save energy. Guests will receive free giveaways and learn how to conserve energy in their homes.
Make holiday shopping an eco-friendly affair at the Zoo's gift shops located throughout the park. Find a Zoo-themed present for everyone on your list! Browse the online store.
Parking will be available on a first come, first served basis. Parking is $9 for FONZ members; $16 for non-members.
STROLLERS AND MORE
Strollers, electric scooters, and wheelchairs are available at the Panda Plaza and Lion/Tiger Information Booths. Limited numbers are available; first come, first served.
Every Saturday night enjoy a complimentary shuttle ride from the Woodley Park metro station to the Zoo, generously provided by Open Top Sightseeing.
Warm up with hot chocolate, coffee, or hot cider or indulge in roasted nuts, kettle corn, cookies, pastries, and gingerbread. Parents get into the holiday spirit with a specialty spiked hot chocolate, glass of wine, or a cold beer, while everyone will enjoy dinner at the Zoo's restaurants with a special dinner at the Mane Grill, which will be serving a hot roast beef dinner with pan gravy, mashed potatoes, and daily market vegetables along with its regular menu. Food offerings are located in the Visitor Center and throughout the park.
In addition to attending this sensational event, you can help sponsor it or sponsor a specific light display.
We encourage you to join us in our green mission and take Metro to the Zoo. The Zoo's Connecticut Avenue entrance is between the Red Line's Cleveland Park and Woodley Park metro stops. There is also a Metro Bus that stops directly in front of the Zoo. Pedestrians may enter the Zoo through the Connecticut Avenue or Harvard Street entrances.