× The Zoo is closed. For more information, see the COVID-19 Update page.

Share this page:

Membership FAQs

Below you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) membership. Please take a look and see if your question is answered below. If you still have questions, please contact the Membership Office at 202-633-2922, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

If you do not wish to join online, contact the FONZ Membership Office directly at 202-633-2922 or join at the Zoo at any membership booth, information kiosk, or gift shop.

Please allow 10-15 business days for your membership card and welcome package to arrive in the mail. Still haven't received your card? Don't hesitate to call the FONZ Membership Office at 202-633-2922.

FONZ members now receive free Carousel, ZooTube and National Zoo Choo Choo rides at the Zoo during regular operating hours. The number of free rides depends on the level of membership. Standard and Premier level members receive a punch card valid for 8 one-time rides which will arrive 2-3 weeks after joining along with your membership card. Members at the Premier Plus levels and higher receive unlimited rides with their membership card which can be redeemed immediately with a valid receipt. Unlimited rides are granted for up to 4 people per membership, per visit. Members must exit the ride and return to the line for each turn.

Yes. Your membership is active the day you join FONZ. Please present your temporary card or confirmation email with photo ID to enjoy your benefits. 

If you join during a visit to the Zoo, you will be given a temporary card valid for up to three months. 

You will receive one membership card if you join at the Standard membership level. You will receive two membership cards if you join at the Premier level. Premier Plus level members and higher will receive a third membership card, which can be in the name of a nanny/caregiver or another adult family member. To redeem membership benefits, a valid ID with the name matching the name on the FONZ membership card must be presented.

Memberships may not be shared by more than one household. Member households include all named adults and their children. Membership cards must include named adult heads of household, or nanny or other caregiver whom the member has identified by listing them on the membership account and card. A valid ID with the name matching the name on the FONZ membership card must be presented to redeem benefits, including parking.

Memberships are non-refundable. If you are moving out of state, check the reciprocity list for zoos and aquariums in your area.

No, only one discount may be used when joining or renewing your membership.

Are you visiting the park and need proof of membership? The Membership office is open Monday-Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. to assist you. Please contact the Membership Office or call 202-633-2922.

If you misplace your membership card, you can request a new card online. There is a $5 charge for printing a replacement card. Please allow two to three weeks for delivery. Please contact the Membership Office or call 202-633-2922 to request proof of membership prior to your visit. 

You can renew your membership online, at the Zoo, or by mail. You will receive renewal notices by mail and by email, if you provide your email address.

If you have recently renewed your FONZ membership, please disregard any further renewal notices. Although we work to process renewals as quickly as possible, it is possible that your payment and the renewal notice may cross in the mail.

You can change your mailing and email address by contacting the Membership Office or call 202-633-2922 with your name, old and new addresses, and FONZ member number. 

Yes, By becoming a FONZ member at any level, you help FONZ support the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute's mission to save species.

Free parking is available to all levels of membership Premier and higher and is available on a first-come, first-served basis. This benefit applies while visiting the Zoo during regular hours, and not during Zoo events outside of regular hours of operation. Membership parking benefits do not apply to employees, vendors or contractors doing business with or operating near the Zoo.

Please note: A valid FONZ membership card with matching photo ID is required for free or discounted parking. Parking spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis during regular Zoo hours, so parking is not guaranteed. Plan to arrive early when weather is nice. The Zoo parking gates open at 8 a.m. and many animals are in their outdoor exhibits before 10 a.m. during the summer season. 

Yes. The amount you may deduct varies by membership level. Membership donations up to the Premier Plus level are 100-percent tax deductible. Please click here for current tax information.

One of the great benefits of being a FONZ member is free or discounted admission to other reciprocating zoos and aquariums, and in some cases, discounts in their shops. The reciprocal program list is updated throughout the year by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums—visit www.aza.org for the most up-to-date information. Participating organizations may be added or removed, so it is always a good idea to call ahead. Zoos and aquariums reserve the right to offer different admission discounts depending on the season or special activities taking place the date of the visit. 

FONZ does not sell membership information or trade phone and email information. FONZ occasionally shares membership addresses with organizations we believe might be of interest to our members. If you do not wish your mailing address to be shared with other mailers, please or call the Membership Office at 202-633-2922, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.