Smithsonian's National Zoo Will Temporarily Close to the Public Starting Nov. 23

This update was written by Associate Director of Communications Pamela Baker-Masson.

This message was distributed to members of the Zoo Neighborhood Council and local business owners near the Smithsonian's National Zoo Nov. 19, 2020.

The Smithsonian has just announced that due to the rise in pandemic cases, we will close again effective next Monday, November 23. While disheartening, it is the best decision to keep our visitors and staff as safe as possible. Below, I’ve embedded the Smithsonian announcement for your information if you wish to share further.

Best regards for your continued safety and well-being,

Due to rising regional and national cases related to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic, all Smithsonian museums, including the National Zoo, will temporarily close to the public starting Monday, Nov. 23. This will impact the eight Smithsonian facilities in the Washington, D.C., region that had reopened to the public to date. Due to the changing nature of the situation, we are not announcing a reopening date at this time.

The Institution’s top priority is to protect the health and safety of its visitors and staff. We will use this time to reassess, monitor and explore additional risk-mitigation measures. We are closely monitoring guidance from local governments, public health officials and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Visit our websites or follow the Smithsonian on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @smithsonian for updates. Visitors who had reserved timed-entry passes to visit at a future date are being contacted directly.

While the museums are closed, we invite the public to explore the Smithsonian’s online resources by visiting for more information on virtual exhibitions, online collections and educational resources.