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Smithsonian National Zoological Park l Friends of the National Zoo

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Hours

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*)

*Winter hours begin early November and run thru end of March. Exact dates may vary each year. Please check back for updates.


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 the Metro to the Zoo during peak attendance times.

Early Closings and Late Openings

On occasion, the National Zoo closes early to host special events. This information is subject to change. Please check back prior to your visit.

Boo at the Zoo - Zoo Hours for October 23, 24, and 25, 2015:

3:00 p.m. Zoo closes from below the Small Mammal House to the Cross Roads including Great Apes, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, Great Cats, the carousel, and the Mane Grill.
3:30 p.m. Small Mammals, Elephant Community Center, Panda House, Bird House, Amazonia, and Amazonia Science Gallery close.
4:00 p.m. Entire Zoo closed.

Night of the Living Zoo – Zoo Hours for October 30, 2015:

3:30 p.m. Zoo closes from the Small Mammal House to the Cross Roads, including Small Mammals, Great Apes, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, the carousel, and Great Cats.

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.