The National Zoo covers 163 acres and it takes several hours to see all of our animals and exhibits. Plan ahead and your visit will be a memorable one.
The Zoo is a popular destination and crowds are large in April and May. Parking is limited; parking lots fill up by 10:30 a.m. this time of year. Take the Metro via the Red Line and exit at either the Woodley Park or Cleveland Park stations.
All animal exhibits and most concessions are open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day. Visitors can park and enter the grounds beginning at 8:30 a.m. The Visitor Center and Panda Plaza open at 9 a.m. daily. Zoo Hours
Explore the Zoo map and plot your route through the Zoo so you don’t miss anything. Choose a meeting place in case someone gets separated from the group.
See what programs are going on the day of your visit. Be sure to stay for one of the keeper talks, animal feedings, or other educational activities. Also check out our upcoming special events, and find out if your visit coincides with an early closing.
Many of our animals are in indoor exhibits, many others, including giant pandas, sloth bears, great cats, seals, and sea lions, are usually outdoors.
The Zoo's newest exhibit features 58 different species, all coexisting peacefully under a brightly colored, open-air pavilion. This gorgeous, custom-carved carousel features animals on exhibit at the Zoo and also some species which are the focus of Zoo scientists’ research to save them from extinction. The carousel includes beloved endangered species including giant pandas, Komodo dragons, and cheetahs, the attraction will welcome visitors of all ages to Lion/Tiger Hill with delightful animal figures and colorful scenery. Check out the Speedwell Conservation Carousel.
Learn more about our animals and highlights of the Zoo by taking a private walking tour led by one of our volunteer Zoo Guides. Tours are available for groups of 10 or less for $35 and are offered on weekend mornings. To discuss types of tours and scheduling call 202.633.3056 or 202.633.3061.