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Below you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about Smithsonian National Zoo Membership.
Becoming a Member
How do I join the Smithsonian National Zoo Member program?
It's easy! Join or renew here to help save species and help yourself to great members-only benefits!
Is my membership payment tax deductible?
Membership Parking Passes
Is free parking included with my membership?
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.
How long after I join do I need to wait to have access to free parking passes?
Free Parking Passes are available for use immediately after becoming a new member or renewing membership. To access your free parking benefit, complete your membership transaction and then log in to use your parking passes.
How many parking passes come with my membership?
The number of parking passes that come with your membership is based on your membership level.
- Standard: 0 parking passes
- Premier: 3 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.
How do I access free member parking passes?
Your free member parking passes are available when you log into your account.
Note: Free Parking Passes are available for use immediately after becoming a new member or renewing membership. To access your free parking benefit, complete your membership transaction and then log in to use your parking passes.
What if I don't need a parking pass?
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).
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
What benefits do I receive with my membership?
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.
Is my membership active before my membership cards arrive?
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.
When will I receive my membership cards?
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.
Can I share my membership with people outside of my household?
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
How can I renew my membership?
How can I upgrade my membership on the website?
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.
Do you sell gift memberships?
My Membership Account
How can I change my contact information?
You can update your membership information by logging in to your account here. If you need help, please email us at ZooMembership@si.edu.
I'm moving away or living out of state, and I still want to support the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Is my membership good at other zoos?
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.
Still have questions?
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.