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Host an Event at the Zoo

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Host an Event at the Zoo

The wildest events in town start here

Located in the heart of the nation’s capital, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo offers extraordinary opportunities to host an event in a fun and educational environment while surrounded by wildlife from around the world.

Have you heard the buzz? The Zoo now allows social events! Gather your herd and head to the Zoo for your wedding reception, birthday or other milestone party. Need a new spot for your office outing? We also book corporate events like company picnics and networking receptions.*

The easiest event you'll ever plan

Come by for a site visit to select the perfect spot for your event. Choose from our many catering, tenting and entertainment options. We’ll handle everything during the event, so you can enjoy a stress-free day.

Your event helps support the Zoo's important wildlife conservation, science and public education programs. Rental fees do not include any direct event costs, such as catering, tents or additional expenses, and they are dependent on event type, time of event and group size.

We look forward to helping you plan a wonderfully wild event!

Reserve your date now

Call Today: 202-633-3045

*Unfortunately, fundraising, ticketed events, product sales and political functions are not permitted. Facilities cannot be rented for events that are open to the public.

Planning a birthday party for a child from 2 to 8 years old? Learn about FONZ kids’ birthday party program!

Rental Spaces

Explore the Amazon while watching stingrays whirl around tree roots and huge Arapaima fish cruise through enormous, floor-to-ceiling fish tanks. Wander through a field station and feel the buzz at our Electric Fishes interactive exhibit. Stroll through the tropical rainforest, where your guests could see monkeys, a fun-to-spot sloth and indigenous Amazonian birds. 
Capacity: 50 - 100
Availability: Morning, Evening
Setting: Indoor
This elegant, airy gallery showcases the world of scientific research within Amazonia. Dinner is served among the beautiful exhibits highlighting Smithsonian success stories, including saving amphibians and preserving coral reefs. Combine the Amazonia Science Gallery with the Amazonia Habitat for a full rainforest experience!
Capacity: 100 - 200
Availability: Morning, Evening
Setting: Indoor
Travel through Asia at this magnificent covered, outdoor event site overlooking the giant panda yards and the outdoor elephant yard. Investigate the interactive stations located throughout the plaza and marvel at the regional photographs. Clint Fields Conservation Plaza is sure to leave a lasting impression! 
Capacity: 150 - 300
Availability: Morning, Evening
Setting: Outdoor
The brand-new Conservation Pavilion is an airy space with vaulted ceilings and large windows overlooking the lower end of the Zoo. Your guests will delight in this LEED-Certified space, which features an outdoor plaza that can accommodate a tent, full A/V capabilities and climate control. Equipment rental can be customized for your event.
Capacity: 120 - 200
Availability: Morning, Daytime, Evening
Setting: Indoor, Outdoor
This spacious, LEED-Certified hall overlooks a huge elephant space where our herd mixes and mingles, while your guests do the same! Expand your event area by tenting the plaza in front of the historic building, which is surrounded by a curved bench, field stone and native grasses.
Capacity: 75 - 300
Availability: Morning, Evening
Setting: Indoor, Outdoor
Explore lion and tiger habitats in this outdoor exhibit. Stroll around Great Cats Circle while sipping a drink and exploring three interactive alcoves showcasing information about great cats. For more fun, add the Conservation Carousel to your event, so your guests can take a spin on their favorite Zoo animal.
Capacity: 1000 - 2000
Availability: Morning, Evening
Setting: Outdoor
Located in the heart of the Zoo, the Great Meadow is a prime location for your next picnic. Surrounded by animal houses and crossed by the O-Line, your guests will be amazed by orangutans swinging freely overhead at midday. This open, green space includes a wide brick patio as well as a grassy area for games. 
Capacity: 180 - 360
Availability: Morning, Daytime, Evening
Setting: Outdoor
Located near the Zoo's Rock Creek Park entrance, this large green space is close to two popular animal exhibits: Great Cats and Kids' Farm. It has plenty of room for fun and games, and an existing band shell provides extra covered space. This is our largest picnic site and is perfect for big groups.
Capacity: 500 - 1000
Availability: Morning, Daytime, Evening
Setting: Outdoor
Exotic lizards, giant turtles and vibrant frogs are just a few of the creatures that will fascinate your guests as they explore this habitat. Learn all about reptile conservation with multimedia exhibits, or schedule a tortoise feeding to take place during your event!
Capacity: 75 - 200
Availability: Morning, Evening
Setting: Indoor
Home to a wide variety of species, the Small Mammal House always has a lot of activity happening! Where else in D.C. can you mingle with meerkats? Add a small mammal keeper talk and animal demonstration for an up-close encounter your guests will never forget.
Capacity: 100 - 200
Availability: Morning, Evening
Setting: Indoor
This historic house explores animal thinking, tool use and problem solving, with residents including orangutans, two species of monkeys, Norway rats and hermit crabs. Learn about the Zoo’s ongoing research study to monitor orangutan memory and decision making.
Capacity: 75 - 150
Availability: Morning, Evening
Setting: Indoor
The newly renovated Visitor Center Auditorium is the perfect spot for your next lecture series, presentation or business meeting. The Auditorium features cushioned seating, wonderful acoustics, a large viewing screen and adjustable lighting. Full audiovisual support is available.
Capacity: 280
Availability: Morning, Daytime, Evening
Setting: Indoor

Reserve your date now!

Call Today: 202-633-3045