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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.
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.

Rock-N-Roar – Zoo Hours for September 12, 2014:

3:00 p.m. The lower Zoo will close from Lemur Island to the Crossroads including Great Cats, the Great Cats Shop, Prairie Dogs, the carousel, and the Mane Grill.

Boo at the Zoo - Zoo Hours for October 24, 25, and 26:

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

Night of the Living Zoo – Zoo Hours for October 30, 2014:

3:30 p.m. The Zoo will close from the Small Mammal House to the Cross Roads including Small Mammal House, Great Apes, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, Conservation Carousel, Great Cats, and the Mane Grill.

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.