National Zoo Will Unveil Its New Playground at a Pizza Party

The popular Pizza Playground at the Smithsonian's National Zoo has a new recipe thanks to a $110,000 donation from Ledo Pizza and donations from Friends of the National Zoo. The new playground, which has been closed for the past several weeks for renovation, will reopen to the public June 29 at noon. Zoo visitors are invited to a celebratory pizza party on Saturday from noon to 1 p.m. to try out the new playground, enjoy free pizza and meet animals from the Kids' Farm, sponsored by State Farm. An alpaca, goat and donkey will be guests of honor at the party.

The Pizza Playground, sponsored by Ledo Pizza, dishes up educational fun for children ages 2 to 6. The square 20 foot-by-20 foot Pizza Playground will replace the circular 18 foot-wide Pizza Playground installed at the Zoo in 2004.

The playground has been a popular attraction for families with young children, but after nearly a decade of playtime it needed a facelift. Many of its popular features will return, such as a larger-than-life-sized tomato and olive that kids can climb.

The Pizza Garden, which surrounds the playground, will also continue to give children and families a taste of conservation and sustainability. The garden and interactive exhibit features will still serve up fun facts about pizza ingredients, from sauce to box, and the animals that are important to making many pizza ingredients.