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The Zoo is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. Plan your visit.

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Membership FAQs

Below you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about Smithsonian National Zoo Membership.

Becoming a Member

It's easy! Join or renew here to help save species and help yourself to great members-only benefits!

Yes, all memberships are fully tax deductible. Find more tax information here.

Membership Parking Passes

Free parking is available for Premier level members and higher. The number of passes per year are based on the membership level. See more information about member benefits.

Free parking is not available to Standard level members.

Parking passes must be reserved ahead of your visit. Member parking is limited and “sells” out quickly.

Membership parking benefits do not apply to employees, vendors or contractors doing business with or operating near the Zoo.

Learn more about reserving a pass.

It can take up to 72 hours for a new or reactivated member ID to become live in the parking system. If you recently joined or renewed and your membership ID is not recognized in the parking system, we recommend that you try again the next day.

The number of parking passes that come with your membership is based on your membership level.

  • Standard: 0 parking passes
  • Premier: 2 parking passes
  • Premiere Plus: 3 parking passes
  • Patron Circle: 4 parking passes
  • Sponsor Circle: 4 parking passes
  • Benefactor Circle: Unlimited parking passes

Please only reserve a pass if you are sure you plan to visit. Changing your visit date is subject to availability.

Important, please read carefully:

  • Parking passes (paid and free) are available through Etix
  • To access one of your parking passes, please select the date of your visit and enter your member ID when prompted.
    Note: it can take up to a few days for a new or reactivated member ID to become live in the Etix system. If you recently joined or renewed and your membership ID is not recognized in the Etix system, we recommend that you try again the next day. This process can take up to 72 hours.
  • If you do not have a parking pass available, you will be directed to purchase parking for $30.
  • If you claim a parking pass, please do not also register for free entry passes. Parking passes cover everyone in a car.
  • Parking passes are not timed. You may enter the Zoo from 8 a.m. until an hour before closing.

If you still have questions about reserving parking passes, please contact Etix directly at 800-514-3849 or visit etix.com for FAQs or customer support.

Members can visit the Zoo without reserving a Walk-in Entry Pass! When you arrive at the pedestrian entrance, you’ll need to show proof of your active membership (printed or digital member card).

Please note:

  • Your membership allows for up to six people (regardless of age) to enter without reserving a pass.

  • Entry is based on park capacity, and you may need to wait for entry on busy days.

  • Certain blackout dates may apply and will be communicated to members in advance.

Membership Cards and Benefits

Visit the membership join and renew page to view a list of benefits.

Please note that membership benefits, including parking and rides, may be limited or canceled as a safety precaution due to COVID-19.

Yes! Your membership is active the day you join. Upon payment (online only), you will receive an email confirmation containing your membership ID (sometimes called your customer ID), which can be used as proof of membership until your membership cards arrive in the mail.

You can also find your membership ID by logging in to your account here.

Please allow several weeks for your membership cards to arrive in the mail.

Still haven't received your cards? Please contact us at ZooMembership@si.edu with "Membership Cards" in the subject line. Please include your member ID for faster processing.

Your email confirmation containing your membership ID can be used as proof of membership until your membership cards arrive in the mail.

Memberships may not be shared with people outside of your household. The primary card name for a membership should be an adult head of household. Additional named adult cardholders can include other adults living in the same household, or an additional caretaker for the children in the household. Individuals under the age of 18 should not be named on membership cards.

Please note: Including guest, nanny, or other titles instead of an individual’s name will prevent them from using the membership. A membership card may not be loaned to an individual that is not one of the named individuals on your account.

Renewing/Upgrading Your Membership

You can renew your membership any time online by logging in to your account here.

You may write ZooMembership@si.edu or call 202-633-2922 to connect with a staff person who will assist you. If you renew your membership early at a higher level, then your existing membership will automatically be upgraded with no time lost. The additional membership year will be added onto the end of your existing membership’s duration.

Gift Memberships

Yes! Gift memberships are offered at the Premier, Premier Plus and Patron Circle levels. To purchase a gift membership, please email us at ZooMembership@si.edu.

My Membership Account

You can update your membership information by logging in to your account here. If you need help, please email us at ZooMembership@si.edu.

By becoming a member at any level, you help support our mission to save species. If you are moving or living out of state, check the reciprocity list for zoos and aquariums in your area.

Participants in the AZA Reciprocal Membership Program reserve the right to cancel or deny benefits at any time according to their needs. Be sure to call the zoo or aquarium that you are visiting ahead of time to confirm whether they are offering reciprocal membership benefits. Visit AZA.org for the most up-to-date information.

Please note that membership benefits may be limited or canceled as a precaution due to COVID-19.

Additional Questions

If you have a question about a parking pass or entry pass reservation, please contact Etix directly at 800-514-3849 or visit etix.com for FAQs or customer support.

If your question was not answered here and we may be of further assistance, please write ZooMembership@si.edu or call 202-633-2922 to be connected to the appropriate person. The membership phone line and email account are monitored Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. We will respond to your message as soon as possible.

Thank you for patience, and for your support of the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.