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× As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, all Smithsonian museums are temporarily closed. We are not announcing a reopening date at this time and will provide updates on our websites and social media.
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Giving Societies

The Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is a leading conservation and science organization — engaging millions of visitors to the Zoo each year, supporting the work of 200-plus scientists who put conservation into action in more than 30 countries, and training hundreds of conservation professionals from around the globe who then take new knowledge back home to save species and the habitats they depend on.

By joining at the Council level, your membership helps support critical work at the Zoo and SCBI. Council memberships fund various programs, including enhancements at the Zoo, like the refreshed howler monkey exhibit; conservation projects, such as studying Asian elephant behavior in the wild; and urgent needs for the animals in our care, such as special medicines and enrichment toys.

Your support is crucial to our success. Join us as a Council member today!

Ambassador Council$10,000

For the health and safety of our living collections, animal care staff, volunteers, and visitors, membership benefits, including parking and rides, will be limited or canceled as a precaution due to COVID-19. We are immensely grateful for your understanding. We look forward to fulfilling these benefits as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, we will continue to offer behind-the-scenes virtual access and engagement for all Council members as opportunities arise.

  • All Explorer Council benefits
  • Participation in a special virtual Director’s Update
  • Invitations to VIP exhibit openings*
  • Members' Breakfast with the Curators*
  • Opportunities to attend talks with animal experts*
  • Up to three named adult cardholders
  • Access to free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo*
  • 15% discount on food and merchandise
  • Unlimited carousel, train and other seasonal attraction rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo for up to 4 riders per visit*
  • Priority registration and big discounts on Zoo education programs
  • Invitations to animal previews and exhibit openings*
  • Weekly Zoo Friends members-only e-newsletter
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Discounts on stroller rentals*
JoinRenew

Explorer Council$5,000

For the health and safety of our living collections, animal care staff, volunteers and visitors, membership benefits, including parking and rides, will be limited or canceled as a precaution due to COVID-19. We are immensely grateful for your understanding. We look forward to fulfilling these benefits as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, we will continue to offer behind-the-scenes virtual access and engagement for all Council members as opportunities arise.

  • All Director Council benefits
  • Invitation to a special Members' Roundtable Discussion with senior staff
  • Invitations to VIP exhibit openings*
  • Members' Breakfast with the Curators*
  • Opportunities to attend talks with animal experts*
  • Up to three named adult cardholders
  • Access to free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo*
  • 15% discount on food and merchandise
  • Unlimited carousel, train and other seasonal attraction rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo for up to 4 riders per visit*
  • Priority registration and big discounts on Zoo education programs
  • Invitations to animal previews and exhibit openings*
  • Weekly Zoo Friends members-only e-newsletter
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Discounts on stroller rentals*
JoinRenew

Director Council$2,500

For the health and safety of our living collections, animal care staff, volunteers and visitors, membership benefits, including parking and rides, will be limited or canceled as a precaution due to COVID-19. We are immensely grateful for your understanding. We look forward to fulfilling these benefits as soon as it is safe to do so.

In the meantime, we will continue to offer behind-the-scenes virtual access and engagement for all Council members as opportunities arise.

  • Invitations to Council level events, including private receptions, annual programs and exclusive events sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution, such as the Annual Smithsonian Weekend*
  • Invitation to the Annual Donor Dinner*
  • Name recognition in the Smithsonian Institution annual report and the donor wall at the Smithsonian's National Zoo
  • All Benefactor benefits
  • Invitations to VIP exhibit openings*
  • Members' Breakfast with the Curators*
  • Opportunities to attend talks with animal experts*
  • Up to three named adult cardholders
  • Access to free parking during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo*
  • 15% discount on food and merchandise
  • Unlimited carousel, train and other seasonal attraction rides with your member card during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo for up to 4 riders per visit*
  • Priority registration and big discounts on Zoo education programs
  • Invitations to animal previews and exhibit openings*
  • Weekly Zoo Friends members-only e-newsletter
  • Free or discounted admission to more than 100 other zoos and aquariums nationwide
  • Discounts on stroller rentals*
JoinRenew

*Membership benefits, including parking and rides, will be limited or canceled as a precaution due to COVID-19. Free parking, carousel, train and other seasonal attractions are only available during regular, daytime visits to the Zoo and not during special events. Unlimited free rides, when back in operation, are available for up to 4 riders per visit. All benefits are subject to change and based on availability.