The Smithsonian's National Zoo's giant panda cub is turning 1 year old! The celebration begins Aug. 16 and lasts a whole week, culminating in a special ice cake breakfast broadcast LIVE on the Giant Panda Cam.
From wriggly cub, to wobbly first steps, to playtime tumbles, to tree climbs (and falls), Xiao Qi Ji's first year brought much-needed moments of joy to millions worldwide. Take a look back at Xiao Qi Ji’s top 12 milestones that left people around the world in awe and "aww."
Monday, Aug. 16 to Sunday, Aug. 22
Why celebrate for just one day? Party all week long, from Aug. 16 through Aug. 22, and play "spot that toy!" Panda keepers picked out seven "beary" special toys for Xiao Qi Ji. Tune into the Giant Panda Cam all week to see his new presents!
Saturday, Aug. 21
7:30 a.m. ET
Tune in live at 7:30 a.m. to the Zoo’s Giant Panda Cam to see Xiao Qi Ji enjoy a sweet treat to start his special day. Mother Mei Xiang and father Tian Tian will also enjoy ice cakes individually, in honor of their son’s first birthday. A video of the special moment will be shared online post-breakfast if you are unable to tune in live.
To help ensure the safety of visitors of all ages, Zoo staff, and the giant panda family, the ice cake breakfast will be streamed live via the Giant Panda Cam before the Zoo opens to the public.
Saturday, Aug. 21
8-9 a.m. ET
Smithsonian National Zoo members will be the first to visit Xiao Qi Ji and the festively decorated Panda House on his birthday! Learn more about becoming a member.
It’s the big ONE for Xiao Qi Ji ... and you’re invited to his birthday celebration! Join the giant panda party and get your paws on adorable commemorative merch bearing our “little miracle” cub’s likeness. Unlike the joy Xiao Qi Ji sparks, this limited-edition drop won't last forever. Shop (and save species) while supplies last!
Rock your panda pride and get a warm, fuzzy feeling knowing that proceeds from your purchase benefit animal care and conservation science at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. On behalf of Xiao Qi Ji and all the animals we care for and work to protect: thank you!
Adults 21 and older can toast Xiao Qi Ji's first birthday with a signature cocktail* from Vintage Views Bar, located in Panda Plaza near Sbarro. The "fluff daddy" is a coconut mojito topped with birthday cake cotton candy fluff. Younger guests can enjoy a "slice" of birthday cake cotton candy fluff, sold separately.
*Available Friday, Aug. 20, to Sunday, Aug. 22, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
How do you measure a year of giant panda cub squeals, snuggles, pounces and tumbles? On the eve of Xiao Qi Ji’s first birthday, celebrate with a look back at the moments that forever stole our hearts.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo’s giant pandas are beloved both for their adorable antics and for their ability to bring colleagues from the United States and China together to collaborate for a common goal: saving the species.
When it comes to husbandry training, Xiao Qi Ji is a quick learner (and a very good boy)! Go behind the scenes with keeper Mariel Lally as she teaches the Smithsonian's National Zoo's giant panda cub to voluntarily participate in his own healthcare.
Ever wonder how many people it takes to welcome a baby panda? In this special edition of UnZOOsual Careers, we celebrate Xiao Qi Ji's first birthday by meeting some of the faces behind the successful birth and care of giant pandas at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.
In honor of Xiao Qi Ji's birthday, please make a special tax-deductible gift to ensure the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute can continue its role as a leader in animal care, conservation, education and sustainability. Your personal support fuels our work to protect and restore wildlife populations around the world.