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Become a Member

Friends of the National Zoo Membership

A Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) membership is the best way to support the outstanding wildlife conservation work of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and ensure your family's experience at the Zoo is always special and enriching. Join today and contribute to the Zoo's commitment to providing leadership in animal care, science, education and sustainability.

As a valued FONZ member, you enjoy a full year of special benefits, such as free parking* at the Premier level and higher, priority registration to camps and classes, free rides on the Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel* and exclusive access to plenty of Zoo events and activities.

*Free parking, carousel, train and ZooTubes rides are only available during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo and not during special events.

Looking to give the gift of membership? Click here for gift membership options.

We have updated our membership levels for 2018. See below for the full list of new options and revised benefits at the General Membership level, including parking benefits, bigger discounts on food and purchases in Zoo stores, additional free rides and more!

For more information about FONZ memberships, please call 202-633-2922 or contact us.

FAVORITE FONZ MEMBERSHIP BENEFITS:

  • Free parking during your visits to the Zoo
  • Exclusive animal tours and previews
  • Priority access to Zoo camps, classes and events
  • Being a strong supporter of animal conservation

General Membership

Support your free Zoo and become a FONZ member. Enjoy member-only benefits such as free parking, discounts on your purchases made at the Zoo, a subscription to Smithsonian Zoogoer magazine, and invitations to exciting Zoo events.

Starting at $64

Learn more about General Membership

Circle Membership

Circle-level members take their conservation contribution to the next level. From access to special animal tours and a Zoo concierge line to invitations to special Zoo events, they make the most of their Zoo experience, while helping save animals.

Starting at $250

Learn more about Circle Membership

Council Membership

Council members play an integral role in supporting the work we do to save species. As our most elite group of donors, Council members get to experience exclusive Zoo, SCBI, and Smithsonian events, and have the biggest impact on animal conservation.

Starting at $2,500

Learn more about Council Membership

General Membership Options

Cost: $64.00

You appreciate that by being a FONZ member and a frequent Zoo visitor, you become one of the Zoo's best advocates. In return for your support as a Standard-level member, you get to enjoy a wide variety of exciting member benefits. Are you over 62? Senior discounts are available for this level.

Benefits

  • One named cardholder
  • 15% discount on food and in Zoo stores, and discounts on events
  • Punch card valid for eight carousel, train or ZooTubes rides
  • Members-only invitations to animal previews and exhibit openings
  • Discounts on popular Zoo event tickets, camps, classes and overnights
  • A subscription to the members-only quarterly magazine, Smithsonian Zoogoer
  • Weekly Zoo Friends e-newsletter
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Access to host birthday parties at the Zoo
  • Access to the Cyber Safari mobile scavenger hunt
  • Discounts on stroller rentals
  • Access to the FONZ Photo Club

FONZ Birthday Parties

Lion holding birthday present Celebrate your child's birthday with an unforgettable day at the Smithsonian's National Zoo! FONZ birthday parties are available to members with children turning 2 to 8 years old. Book a party today!
Cost: $84.00

As a FONZ member at the Premier level, you get to enjoy all the exciting benefits from our lower levels, and many more. Plus, you’ll know that your membership contribution is supporting the Zoo's critical work here and around the globe! Are you over 62? Senior discounts are available for this level.

Benefits

  • Up to two named cardholders
  • Free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • 15% discount on food and in Zoo stores, and discounts on events
  • Punch card valid for eight carousel, train or ZooTubes rides
  • Priority registration for camps, classes and Snore and Roar overnights
  • Members-only invitations to animal previews and exhibit openings
  • Discounts on popular Zoo event tickets, camps, classes and overnights
  • A subscription to the members-only quarterly magazine, Smithsonian Zoogoer
  • Weekly Zoo Friends e-newsletter
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Access to host birthday parties at the Zoo
  • Access to the Cyber Safari mobile scavenger hunt
  • Discounts on stroller rentals
  • Access to the FONZ Photo Club

FONZ Birthday Parties

Lion holding birthday present Celebrate your child's birthday with an unforgettable day at the Smithsonian's National Zoo! FONZ birthday parties are available to members with children turning 2 to 8 years old. Book a party today!
Cost: $114.00

Membership at the Premier Plus level is one of the most popular and there's definitely a good reason. As a Premier Plus member, you get to enjoy all the great benefits from the Premier level, plus some exclusive extras. On top of that, you share in our passion and dedication to support the Zoo in their mission to save species. Are you over 62? Senior discounts are available for this level.

Benefits

  • Up to three named cardholders
  • Free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • 15% discount on food and in Zoo stores, and discounts on events
  • Unlimited carousel, train and ZooTubes rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • Priority registration for camps, classes and Snore and Roar overnights
  • Members-only invitations to animal previews and exhibit openings
  • Discounts on popular Zoo event tickets, camps, classes and overnights
  • A subscription to the members-only quarterly magazine, Smithsonian Zoogoer
  • Weekly Zoo Friends e-newsletter
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Access to host birthday parties at the Zoo
  • Access to the Cyber Safari mobile scavenger hunt
  • Discounts on stroller rentals
  • Access to the FONZ Photo Club

FONZ Birthday Parties

Lion holding birthday present Celebrate your child's birthday with an unforgettable day at the Smithsonian's National Zoo! FONZ birthday parties are available to members with children turning 2 to 8 years old. Book a party today!

Circle Membership Options

Cost: $250.00

As a member at the Patron Circle level, you get to enjoy all the benefits from the Premier Plus level and many more. Highlights include:

Benefits

  • One Guided Specialty Tour of your choice
  • Opportunities to attend talks with animal experts
  • Up to three named cardholders
  • Free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • 15% discount on food and in Zoo stores, and discounts on events
  • Unlimited carousel, train and ZooTubes rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • Priority registration for camps, classes and Snore and Roar overnights
  • Members-only invitations to animal previews and exhibit openings
  • Discounts on popular Zoo event tickets, camps, classes and overnights
  • A subscription to the members-only quarterly magazine, Smithsonian Zoogoer
  • Weekly Zoo Friends e-newsletter
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Access to host birthday parties at the Zoo
  • Access to the Cyber Safari mobile scavenger hunt
  • Discounts on stroller rentals
  • Access to the FONZ Photo Club

Guided Specialty Tours

Patrons are invited to choose one Guided Specialty Tour: Endangered Species, Hidden Gems, Kiss and Tail, or Upper Zoo. Each tour provides fascinating glimpses into the cutting-edge science and conservation work that your support makes possible.

For more information on how to schedule your Guided Specialty Tour or Meet-A-Keeper Tour, please contact us.

Endangered Species Tour
Looking to learn more about the conservation efforts to save endangered species? This tour explores many of the species at the Smithsonian's National Zoo that are facing, or have faced, the danger of extinction. This tour gives you the opportunity to learn about the amazing ways these animals have adapted to their habitats, how they are being threatened in the wild, and what you can do to help.

Hidden Gems Tour
Do you think you know everything about the giant pandas, elephants, great cats, and the Zoo's other most famous animals? This tour takes you "off-the-beaten path" and introduces you to some of the Zoo's most interesting yet lesser-known animals, such as Andean bears, caracals, and elephant shrews. Who knows? You just may find your new favorite animal!

Kiss and Tail Tour
Looking for something a little more wild? Join this adults-only tour and learn about the fascinating world of animal dating and mating. This tour visits cheetahs, zebras, Przewalski's horses, giant pandas, Big Cats, Small Mammal House, Great Ape House, and Reptile Discovery Center.

Upper Zoo Tour
Want to spend more time learning about animals and less time walking? Join our Upper Zoo Tour. This two-hour tour allows you to really get to know the animals in the three exhibits at the upper part of the Zoo, including cheetahs, zebras, gazelles, Asian small-clawed otters, clouded leopards, sloth bears, and more.

Each tour group can have one to ten members. That size fosters the best possible learning environment for you and your guests.

Cost: $500.00

As a member at the Sponsor Circle level, you get to enjoy all the benefits from the Patron Circle level and many more. Highlights include:

Benefits

  • Two Guided Specialty Tours of your choice
  • Invitations to VIP exhibit openings
  • Members' Breakfast with the Curators
  • Opportunities to attend talks with animal experts
  • Up to three named cardholders
  • Free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • 15% discount on food and in Zoo stores, and discounts on events
  • Unlimited carousel, train and ZooTubes rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • Priority registration for camps, classes and Snore and Roar overnights
  • Members-only invitations to animal previews and exhibit openings
  • Discounts on popular Zoo event tickets, camps, classes and overnights
  • A subscription to the members-only quarterly magazine, Smithsonian Zoogoer
  • Weekly Zoo Friends e-newsletter
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Access to host birthday parties at the Zoo
  • Access to the Cyber Safari mobile scavenger hunt
  • Discounts on stroller rentals
  • Access to the FONZ Photo Club

Guided Specialty Tours

Sponsors are invited to choose two Guided Specialty Tours: Endangered Species, Hidden Gems, Kiss and Tail, or Upper Zoo. Each tour provides fascinating glimpses into the cutting-edge science and conservation work that your support makes possible.

For more information on how to schedule your Guided Specialty Tour or Meet-A-Keeper Tour, please contact us.

Endangered Species Tour
Looking to learn more about the conservation efforts to save endangered species? This tour explores many of the species at the Smithsonian's National Zoo that are facing, or have faced, the danger of extinction. This tour gives you the opportunity to learn about the amazing ways these animals have adapted to their habitats, how they are being threatened in the wild, and what you can do to help.

Hidden Gems Tour
Do you think you know everything about the giant pandas, elephants, great cats, and the Zoo's other most famous animals? This tour takes you "off-the-beaten path" and introduces you to some of the Zoo's most interesting yet lesser-known animals, such as Andean bears, caracals, and elephant shrews. Who knows? You just may find your new favorite animal!

Kiss and Tail Tour
Looking for something a little more wild? Join this adults-only tour and learn about the fascinating world of animal dating and mating. This tour visits cheetahs, zebras, Przewalski's horses, giant pandas, Big Cats, Small Mammal House, Great Ape House, and Reptile Discovery Center.

Upper Zoo Tour
Want to spend more time learning about animals and less time walking? Join our Upper Zoo Tour. This two-hour tour allows you to really get to know the animals in the three exhibits at the upper part of the Zoo, including cheetahs, zebras, gazelles, Asian small-clawed otters, clouded leopards, sloth bears, and more.

Each tour group can have one to ten members. That size fosters the best possible learning environment for you and your guests.

Cost: $1,000.00

As a member at the Benefactor Circle level, you get to enjoy all the benefits from the Sponsor Circle level and many more. Highlights include:

Benefits

  • One exclusive Meet-a-Keeper Tour
  • Invitation to an annual dinner honoring Council members
  • Invitations to VIP exhibit openings
  • Members' Breakfast with the Curators
  • One single-use, reserved parking pass (with advance registration)
  • Opportunities to attend talks with animal experts
  • Up to three named cardholders
  • Free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • 15% discount on food and in Zoo stores, and discounts on events
  • Unlimited carousel, train and ZooTubes rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • Priority registration for camps, classes and Snore and Roar overnights
  • Members-only invitations to animal previews and exhibit openings
  • Discounts on popular Zoo event tickets, camps, classes and overnights
  • A subscription to the members-only quarterly magazine, Smithsonian Zoogoer
  • Weekly Zoo Friends e-newsletter
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Access to host birthday parties at the Zoo
  • Access to the Cyber Safari mobile scavenger hunt
  • Discounts on stroller rentals
  • Access to the FONZ Photo Club

Exclusive Meet-a-Keeper Tour

This two-hour guided walking tour highlights some of the most exciting and interesting areas of the Smithsonian's National Zoo, and offers you the opportunity to find out more about an exhibit directly from an animal care expert.

For more information on how to schedule your Guided Specialty Tour or Meet-A-Keeper Tour, please contact us.

Council Membership Options

Cost: $2,500.00

As a member at the Director Council level, you get to enjoy all the benefits from the Benefactor Circle level and many more. Highlights include:

Benefits

  • Exclusive Director Tour
  • Two single-use, reserved parking passes (with advance registration)
  • Insider Group Van Tour at SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia
  • Invitations to private receptions, annual programs, select events and VIP exhibit openings
  • Invitation to an Annual Donor Dinner
  • Name recognition in Smithsonian Institution annual report and Zoo Visitor Center lobby
  • Quarterly Donor Impact email update
  • Up to three named cardholders
  • Free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • 20% discount in Zoo stores and a 15% discount on food
  • Unlimited carousel, train and ZooTubes rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • Priority registration for camps, classes and Snore and Roar overnights
  • Discounts on popular Zoo event tickets, camps, classes and overnights
  • A subscription to the members-only quarterly magazine, Smithsonian Zoogoer
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Access to the FONZ Photo Club
  • E-newsletters to keep you in the know

The Director Tour

Lions, tigers and bears…and lemurs, snakes and tenrecs, oh my!  The Director Tour brings you and your private group of up to four people behind the scenes at one of the animal exhibits at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. The Panda House is not available for the Director Tour. Tours are arranged based upon availability. 

For more information on Council Membership levels, please call 202-633-3290 or contact us.

Cost: $5,000.00

As a member at the Explorer Council level, you get to enjoy all the benefits from the Director’s Council level and many more. Highlights include:

Benefits

  • Exclusive Explorer Tour or two-hour driving tour of SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia
  • Invitation to special Members' Roundtable discussion with senior staff or curator
  • Insider Group Van Tour at SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia
  • Invitations to private receptions, annual programs, select events and VIP exhibit openings
  • Two single-use, reserved parking passes (with advance registration)
  • Up to three named cardholders
  • Free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • 20% discount in Zoo stores and a 15% discount on food
  • Unlimited carousel, train and ZooTubes rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • Priority registration for camps, classes and Snore and Roar overnights
  • Discounts on popular Zoo event tickets, camps, classes and overnights
  • A subscription to the members-only quarterly magazine, Smithsonian Zoogoer
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Access to the FONZ Photo Club
  • Invitation to an Annual Donor Dinner
  • Name recognition in Smithsonian Institution annual report and Zoo Visitor Center lobby
  • Quarterly Donor Impact email update
  • E-newsletters to keep you in the know

The Explorer Tour

Ever wonder how the Zoo’s animal families start their day?  Want to see for yourself?  The Explorer Tour brings you and your private group of up to six people behind the scenes at one of the animal exhibits at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. The Panda House is not available for the Explorer Tour. 

Or, would you prefer a tour at the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute instead? Choose a Highlights Tour of SCBI. The Highlights Tour is a 2-hour driving tour of the 3,200-acre facility that showcases the endangered species research and breeding center in Front Royal, Virginia. Tours are arranged based upon availability.

For more information, please call 202-633-3290 or contact us.

Cost: $10,000.00

As a member at the Ambassador Council level, you get to enjoy all the benefits from the Explorer Council level and many more. Highlights include:

Benefits

  • Exclusive Ambassador Tour
  • Private, in-depth tour of SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia
  • Adopt-an-Animal-Trail, a special name-recognition opportunity at select Zoo sites for one year
  • Invitation to special Members' Roundtable discussion with senior staff or curator
  • Insider Group Van Tour at SCBI in Front Royal, Virginia
  • Invitations to private receptions, annual programs, select events and VIP exhibit openings
  • Quarterly Donor Impact email update
  • Two single-use, reserved parking passes (with advance registration)
  • Up to three named cardholders
  • Free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • 20% discount in Zoo stores and a 15% discount on food
  • Unlimited carousel, train and ZooTubes rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo
  • Priority registration for camps, classes and Snore and Roar overnights
  • Discounts on popular Zoo event tickets, camps, classes and overnights
  • A subscription to the members-only quarterly magazine, Smithsonian Zoogoer
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Access to the FONZ Photo Club
  • Invitation to an Annual Donor Dinner
  • Name recognition in Smithsonian Institution annual report and Zoo Visitor Center lobby
  • E-newsletters to keep you in the know

The Ambassador Tour

Want to get up close to big cats, giant pandas, Asian elephants, cheetahs, or reptiles? The Ambassador Tour brings you and your private group of up to six people behind the scenes at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. Members may choose one tour destination from any of the animal exhibits, including the Giant Panda House. OR, choose the In-depth Tour of the Smithsonian's Conservation Biology Institute in Front Royal, Virginia. The In-depth Tour of the 3,200-acre SCBI campus showcases the endangered species research and breeding center in Front Royal, Virginia. On this tour you'll have the opportunity to meet expert staff. Tours are arranged based upon availability.

For more information, please call 202-633-3290 or contact us.