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Spring Events at Smithsonian’s National Zoo

  • Andean Bear Beorn
  • Giant panda Bei Bei with a rainbow ice cake.
  • A tiger in front of a black background with the text "Zoofari: Bite Night. A benefit for wildlife sponsored by Geico"
  • delicious looking food on a white plate
  • An Asian small-clawed otter walking in the grass. It's a weasel-like animal with small ears, whiskers, short lets, sleek, coarse, wet fur, and a long, thick tail.
  • A small, bright orange clownfish with white stripes and black-lined fins nestled in a sea anemone

Listed below are events being held at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo from April through the beginning of June.

What:             Free Event: Animal Discovery Day “Bear Day”

When:            Thursday, April 4
                        10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where:           Asia Trail and the Andean Bear exhibit
                        Smithsonian’s National Zoo
                        3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

Celebrate Bear Day with three bear species that reside at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo: Andean bears, sloth bears and giant pandas. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 4, animal keepers will host special talks and demonstrations at the Asia Trail exhibit and Andean Bear exhibit that introduce visitors to the Zoo’s bears. Bear-themed activities for children — including a teddy bear “check-up” by Zoo veterinarians at the sloth bear exhibit — will highlight how Zoo staff provide quality husbandry and medical care for the Zoo’s bears every day. This event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.


What:             Free event: “Easter Monday & Earth Optimism Day”

When:             Monday, April 22
                         10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where:           Smithsonian’s National Zoo
                        
3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

This year’s Easter Monday and Earth Optimism Day celebrations at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo coincide for a day that is double the fun. From 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. April 22, visitors are invited to enjoy egg hunts, live music, food trucks and games while discovering how they can help save species. This free event includes hands-on learning opportunities featuring special animal demonstrations, keeper talks, and meet and greets with scientists and conservation partners. Through interactive demonstrations, guests can discover how Zoo scientists are working to save species and the habitats that they rely on around the world.

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.


What:             Free event: “International Family Equality Day”

When:             Sunday, May 5
                         10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

Where:           Smithsonian’s National Zoo
                         3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo celebrates community and diversity at its second annual International Family Equality Day celebration May 5. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., visitors can enjoy live entertainment, participate in field games and watch animals enjoy a variety of rainbow-themed treats and other enrichment items. This event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.


What:             Ticketed event: “ZooFari: Bite Night, a benefit for wildlife sponsored by GEICO

When:             Thursday, May 16
                         6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

Where:           Smithsonian’s National Zoo
                        3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

Embark on a culinary safari May 16 at ZooFari: Bite Night, a benefit for wildlife sponsored by GEICO, at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. From 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., patrons can sample gourmet fare from the Washington, D.C. area’s finest restaurants and vintners while supporting the Smithsonian’s work to save endangered species around the world. For those hungry to learn more about the Zoo’s animals, keepers will host talks and demonstrations throughout the event.

A silent auction offers bidders at the event — and around the world — a chance to bid on exclusive animal experiences, artwork created by the Zoo’s animals, travel packages and much more. Prospective bidders will be able to preview auction items. Pre-bidding begins at 10 a.m. May 9. The silent auction takes place at ZooFari — and continues online — from 6:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. May 16.

Tickets are $175 for Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) members and $225 for non-members.

VIP packages include multiple tickets, preferred parking opportunities and access to the VIP Lounge, hosted by Charles Schwab & Co. The VIP Lounge offers private bars, special tastings and VIP-only entertainment. All ZooFari: Bite Night guests must be at least 21 years old and present a valid photo ID upon entering the Zoo. This event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.


What:             Free event: Animal Discovery Day “World Otter Day”                     

When:             Wednesday, May 29
                        10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where:           Smithsonian’s National Zoo
                        
3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo is hosting a celebration like no otter May 29 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.: World Otter Day! This free, family-friendly events boasts special meet-a-keeper talks, otter feedings and other fun animal demonstrations throughout the day that highlight what makes otters unique and the important role they play in their native habitats. See otters play at the American Trail and Asia Trail exhibits. This event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website.


What:             Free event: Animal Discovery Day “World Oceans Day”                    

When:             Saturday, June 8
                         10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Where:           Smithsonian’s National Zoo
                         3001 Connecticut Ave. N.W.

Celebrate World Oceans Day June 8 with a visit to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and see some of the sea’s coolest creatures. Meet animals that call the ocean home — including California sea lions, gray seals and harbor seals — on American Trail, and explore Amazonia’s coral lab to learn how Zoo researchers are using science to save coral species from extinction. From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., animal keepers at both exhibits will host special talks, animal feedings and demonstrations that highlight what make ocean-dwelling animals unique. Through family-friendly activities, visitors can discover ways they can help ocean habitats. This free event will be held rain or shine. For more information, visit the Zoo’s website