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× Entry passes are now required to visit the Zoo. Please review the new COVID-19 safety policies and exhibit closures before booking your trip.

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Membership FAQs

Below you'll find some of the most frequently asked questions about Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) membership.

If you have been unable to access your benefits due to the Zoo’s closure or other COVID-19 safety precautions, we can offer you an extension on your membership. If you would like to request an extension on your membership, please contact the Membership Office and type "Membership Extension Request" in the subject line. Please include your member ID for faster processing.

Free parking is available for Premier level members and higher. Free parking is not available to Standard level members. Membership parking benefits do not apply to employees, vendors, or contractors doing business with or operating near the Zoo.

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, parking passes will be required for every vehicle entering the Zoo. Members at the Premier level or higher who plan to park at the Zoo must reserve a Parking Pass ahead of their visit. There are limited numbers of free member passes and $30 paid passes available each day, and dates fill fast. All pass reservations – free and paid – are first come, first served.

Click here to reserve a pass or learn more.

Important, please read carefully:

  • Parking passes, paid and free, are available through Etix. To access free member parking within the Etix system, 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 rejoined 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 see a prompt to select a free parking pass on a selected day, this means that all of the free parking passes for members have already been taken for that day. Please click a future date on the calendar to see availability. The demand for parking passes is currently extremely high. Free member passes are usually claimed quickly, especially on weekends. When selecting a date for your visit, keep in mind that parking is available a month out on a rolling basis.
  • If free member parking passes are no longer available for the date you selected, there may still be parking passes for purchase. $30 paid passes sell out more slowly. Members who elect to pay for parking will not receive a reimbursement.
  • If you claim a parking pass, please do not also register for free timed entry pass. Parking passes cover everyone in a car. Parking passes are also not timed. Parking pass holders may enter from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the date of their reservation. The Zoo closes at 4 p.m.
  • To ensure that as many members as possible can access free member parking passes, members will be able to reserve one parking pass per week. Please only reserve a pass if you are sure you plan to visit. Reserving passes that you think you may not use will prevent other members from being able to access them. Reserved dates cannot be changed.
  • 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.

Yes! Timed entry passes are free to everyone on a first-come-first-served basis. If you plan to use public transportation or use a ride share service to the Zoo, you must have a timed entry pass for each individual in your group. Entry passes are available online only.

  • All guests, including infants, must have a timed entry pass. NOTE: If you choose a Parking Pass, do not also register for Free Timed Pass.
  • Entry times are every 15 minutes (please arrive at your designated time).
  • Limited to six passes per reservation. Reserve Timed Entry Passes.

Please note that membership benefits, including parking and rides, may be limited or canceled as a safety precaution due to COVID-19. For the latest updates, please visit the Member News & Information section.

Yes! Your membership is active the day you join FONZ. 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. Important note: If you are a Premier level member or higher and want to reserve a parking pass, it can take up to 72 hours for a new or reactivated member ID to become live in the Etix system. If you recently joined or rejoined and your membership ID is not recognized in the Etix system, we recommend that you try again the next day. This can sometimes take up to 72 hours. Parking is available for a month out on a rolling basis.

Please allow two to four weeks for your membership cards to arrive in the mail. Still haven't received your cards? Please contact the Membership Office and type "Membership Card" in the subject line. Please include your member ID for faster processing.

You will receive one membership card if you join at the Standard membership level, two cards at the Premier level, and three at the Premier Plus level and higher. All membership cards that you receive will list every adult member you name on your account. Cards must be presented with a valid photo ID or driver's license.

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 the 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.

No. All named cardholders must be adults over the age of 18.

No, only one discount may be used when joining or renewing your membership. This also applies to the senior discount.

If you lost your membership card, you can request a new card online. There is a $5 charge for printing a replacement card. Please allow two to four weeks for delivery. The automated receipt for your replacement card purchase will act as temporary proof of membership.

You can join instantly online by visiting our join page!

Yes! Gift memberships, offered at the Premier, Premier Plus, and Patron Circle levels, include a customizable certificate that can be shared with your gift recipient. Visit our gift membership page for more information.

You can instantly renew your membership online anytime. You will receive renewal notices by mail and by email.

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. If you have any doubts or concerns, or if you suspect that you may have multiple membership accounts open, please contact the Membership Office and type "Membership Renewal" in the subject line. Please include your member ID if possible.

You can change a name or your mailing and email addresses by logging into your account and updating your contact information in your account settings. If you require further assistance, contact the Membership Office and reference "Address Change" in the subject line. Please include your membership ID with your full address/name change information.

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

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. If you 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 so that you can 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.

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

If your question was not answered here and we may be of further assistance, please contact the Membership Office at 202-633-2922 or email us. The membership phone line and email account is monitored Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Due to reduced staff bandwidth and the high volume of calls and emails that we are receiving, our response times are longer than usual. We are working hard to make sure that our members receive responses to their questions as quickly as possible in the order they are received.

Thank you for patience, and for your support of Friends of the National Zoo.