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Spring 2018 Events at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo

Listed below are events being held at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in May.

What:

Free event: “International Family Equality Day at the Zoo”

When:

Sunday, May 6

10 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Where:

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

Celebrate the beauty and importance of family diversity on May 6 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute. Enjoy family-friendly activities from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., including field games, special animal enrichment demonstrations, ice cream social and live music by 80s tribute band Reflex. This event will be held rain or shine. Learn more about this event.

What:

Free event: “World Migratory Bird Day.”

When:

Saturday, May 12

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

At this year’s World Migratory Bird Day, visitors can join the Smithsonian’s National Zoo in celebrating the phenomenon of migration and the animals that undertake this perilous journey. This event features activities and games that highlight migratory bird conservation, including ways for visitors to help protect birds year-round. Scientists and conservationists from the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center will be joined by local bird conservation organizations to discuss the vital role birds play in the ecosystem and provide new insight into some of the birds commonly seen in the DC region. This event will be held rain or shine. Learn more about this event.

What:

Ticketed event: “ZooFari: Dine for Wildlife.”

When:

Thursday, May 17

6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Where:

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo feeds 400 species regularly, but on May 17, Friends of the National Zoo will host the human species at ZooFari, from 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Guests are invited on a culinary safari to sample gourmet fare from more than 100 of the D.C. area’s finest restaurants and vinters. For those hungry to learn more about the Zoo’s animals, keepers will host talks and demonstrations throughout the event. Guests can also bid on exclusive items such as behind-the-scenes tours of the Zoo at the ZooFari silent auction from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. For those who can’t wait until the evening of the event, there is also a ZooFari online auction, which includes items such as artwork created by the Zoo’s animals and exclusive dining opportunities. Tickets go on sale to the public April 12 and are $160 for Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) members and $200 for non-members. Guests must be at least 21 years old and present a valid photo ID. This event will be held rain or shine. Learn more about this event.

Photo courtesy of San Diego Zoo Global.

What: 

Free event: "Giraffes: The Silent Extinction" lecture and panel discussion

When:

Monday, May 21

7 p.m.

Where:

Visitor Center Auditorium

Smithsonian's National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

Populations of giraffe, one of the most charismatic species on earth, have dwindled rapidly over the past few decades. Now considered ‘vulnerable’ to extinction, there are estimated to be <100,000 giraffe remaining. Join a panel of experts on May 21, 2018, at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute's Visitor Center Auditorium as they discuss the efforts to save this charismatic species. The event will kick off with an overview by Dr. Julian Fennessy, director of the Giraffe Conservation Foundation, on the plight of this iconic species. A dynamic panel discussion will follow, further exploring the causes of giraffe population decline and how the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, Giraffe Conservation Foundation, San Diego Zoo Global, and the Senckenberg Institute of Biodiversity are working together to study and help save the world’s tallest mammal. Panelists include Steve Monfort, acting director of the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Director of the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI); Jared Stabach, spatial ecologist, SCBI; Krista Jones, veterinarian and ecologist, SCBI; David O’Connor, socio-ecologist, San Diego Zoo Global; and Julian Fennessy. This event will be held rain or shine. Learn more about this event.


Past Events

What:

Free film screening: “Mind of a Giant”

Part of the 2018 Environmental Film Festival

When:            

Sunday, March 18

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where:          

Visitor Center Auditorium

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History invite visitors to a film screening as part of the 2018 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. “Mind of a Giant” explores what it is like to be a modern elephant surviving in a world of poachers, new human settlements and other dangers. The film screening will be followed by a Q&A discussion with senior curator at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and board of directors of the Elephant Managers Association, Bryan Amaral; collections mammologist at the National Museum of Natural History, Nicole Edmison; behavioral ecologist with Save the Elephants, Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute, and Colorado State University, Shifra Goldenberg; and featured expert in the film and founder of Think Elephants International, Josh Plotnik. This event will be held rain or shine. Tickets for Mind of a Giant can only be reserved through the National Museum of Natural History’s website. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.

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What:            

Free film screening: “Laws of the Lizard”

Part of the 2018 Environmental Film Festival

When:            

Saturday, March 24

3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Where:          

Visitor Center Auditorium

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History invite visitors to a film screening as part of the 2018 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s CapitalThe new Smithsonian Channel documentary, “Laws of the Lizard,” follows award-winning filmmakers Nate Dappen and Neil Losin as they partner with scientists, including the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History’s Kevin de Queiroz, to tell the surprising story of anole lizards—how they spread through Latin America and the Caribbean, conquered every possible habitat and diversified into hundreds of species—and what they tell us about other species and ecosystems around the world. The screening will be followed by a Q&A discussion with featured expert in the film Kevin de Queiroz, research zoologist at the National Museum of Natural History, and Matthew Evans, assistant curator at Smithsonian’s National Zoo. This event will be held rain or shine. Tickets for Laws of the Lizard can only be reserved through the National Museum of Natural History’s website. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.

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What:            

Free event: “Easter Monday: A Washington Family Tradition.”

When:            

Monday, April 2

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:          

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

This year’s Easter Monday celebration features traditional Easter activities for families, such as an egg hunt, themed games and a visit from the Easter Panda. Animal keepers will host talks, feedings and 35 demonstrations highlighting a variety of species, including cheetahs, great apes, electric fishes, snakes and sea lions. Fun activities will give visitors an opportunity to learn more about the important conservation science that takes place at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

To safely and securely handle the crowds during high visitation periods, the Zoo implements temporary “access controls.” Controlled access means the Zoo will conduct bag checks and other forms of visitor screening, as well as restrict the number of people entering the Zoo. These measures, which may vary by day and event, are similar to procedures employed by Smithsonian museums. This event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.

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What:            

Free event: “National Symphony Orchestra”

When:            

Sunday, April 15

1 p.m. and 3 p.m., Concert

2 p.m. and 4 p.m., Musical “Petting Zoo”

Where:          

Visitor Center Auditorium

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo will host the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO) for a free, engaging musical performance for all ages. The NSO will perform two concerts at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. in the Zoo’s Visitor Center auditorium, followed by a musical instrument “petting zoo” at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. Free passes will be available on-site April 15 starting at 11 a.m. for both concerts. Passes are not required to attend the musical instrument petting zoo. Featured musicians include Jae-Yeon Kim (violin), Ko Sugiyama (violin), Tiffany Richardson (viola) and Sean Neidlinger (cello). This event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.

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What:            

Free event: “Earth Optimism Day.”

When:            

Saturday, April 21

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:          

Smithsonian’s National Zoo

3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

Spend Earth Day celebrating conservation success stories at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. This year’s event features family-friendly activities and hands-on learning opportunities, as well as special animal demonstrations. Zoo experts will be on hand to talk with visitors about endangered species—including Asian elephants, coral and migratory birds—and how innovation is helping to solve some of the most pressing conservation issues in the world today. In addition, visitors will have an opportunity to learn how they can take action to help protect the planet. This event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.

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