Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo



Adopt a Species

Adopt a species! Support the care of 1,800 animals at the National Zoo and the Smithsonian Conservation and Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia.

Smithsonian Campaign Goals

Member News

Andean Bear Cubs


Our Andean bear cubs make their public debut on Saturday, March 28! Mayni and Muniri recently had their names chosen by a public vote. The two brothers will be able to go outside into their exhibit yard starting at 10 a.m. every day, weather and cub behavior permitting. The cubs are still young, so they’re often more active in the morning, and can become tired or go back inside by late afternoon. In the morning they can be quite playful!

Andean bears, also called spectacled bears, are South America's only bears. Each individual has a unique set of whitish or cream "spectacles" encircling its eyes. Andean bears live in the Andes and outlying mountain ranges. Habitat destruction and hunting pose the greatest threats to their survival. Please come and visit these magnificent and adorable bears!

New Security Procedures For Spring Break

The directors of the Zoo and Smithsonian security, in consultation with several groups and the local community, have decided to start temporary controlled access on high visitation days. This will entail forms of visitor screening common at entrances to other Smithsonian museums to ensure that the Zoo is safe and fun during the most crowded days this spring.

The Zoo will implement this security solution during local schools' spring-break periods.

While these measures are being tested, we'll do our best to keep you informed on upcoming news regarding Zoo security and ensure that FONZ members have the easiest possible access.

If you have any questions, or if we can be of any assistance to you as a member, please contact us at 202-633-2922 or by email.

May is Member Month!

We will be celebrating you—our amazing FONZ members—the whole month of May. Join us at the Zoo for special members-only promotions such as:

  • Animal enrichment activities
  • Members-only mornings at animal houses
  • Special discounts and givaways
  • And much more!

Check back in early April for details.

Parking Changes

Parking rates at all five lots will now be a flat rate of $22. Premier members and above will continue to receive free parking by showing your FONZ membership card. Basic level members will continue to receive half off on parking by showing your FONZ membership card.

Lots C, D, and E are open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and will be pay on entry, so please have your MEMBERSHIP CARD ready to show upon entry! (And don’t worry; you won’t be locked in at lots C, D, and E after 6:00 p.m., the gates will open automatically for exit. The closing time is when the entry gate will close.) Lots A and B will be open from 8:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and will be pay on exit, so that’s when you will show your membership card.

With warmer weather fast approaching, the Zoo is going to become very busy, so we recommend members visit the Zoo early in the day. Get here at 8:00 a.m. if you can, especially on weekends! The exhibits might not open until 10:00 a.m., but there are plenty of animals out and about earlier in the morning, and concession stands and gift shops open at 9:00 a.m. So beat the crowds and arrive early for your best parking opportunities!

If you need a replacement membership card, please order one here. If you have any questions, please call our membership office at 202-633-2922 or email us.

Thank you for your support as a FONZ member. We look forward to seeing you at the Zoo!

Parking Refunds

Effective April 1 members are required to show their cards with a photo ID upon entry to parking lots C, D, and E, and upon exit at lots A and B. We are doing everything we can to alert members of this change proactively. Members who did not know about this change in advance of their visit and were charged for parking are eligible for a full refund of their $22 parking fee by completing and mailing the Parking Reimbursement Request Form within 30 days of the date printed on the receipt. Only one refund may be issued per account within a calendar year. To be eligible for the refund, you must hold a current FONZ membership and mail the completed form within 30 days of the parking date. Forms must be submitted with your parking receipt.

Parking reimbursements will no longer be available beginning January 1, 2015.