Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo




The National Zoo is open every day of the year except December 25. ADMISSION IS FREE!

Location Hours
Exhibit Buildings 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (4:30 p.m. closing in winter*)
Grounds 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (6 p.m. closing in winter*)
Shops 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (10 a.m. opening in winter*)
Visitor Center and Concessions 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (4:30 p.m. closing in winter*)
Last Admittance 7 p.m. (summer only)
*Winter hours in effect from November to March.

Early Closings and Late Openings

On occasion, the National Zoo closes early to host special events.

Animals and Exhibits

Cheetahs, zebras, gazelles, oryx, Przewalski's horses, lions, tigers, birds, and many other animals can be seen outside much of the time, and many more animals are on exhibit throughout the day in our air-conditioned and heated buildings (including the Reptile Discovery Center, Small Mammal House, Bird House, and Amazonia).

The best time to see giant pandas is between the hours of 8 a.m. and 2 p.m.

The Zoo is a popular destination and parking lots fill quickly, so we encourage you to arrive early in the day before animal buildings open or take Metro to the Zoo during peak attendance times.