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VISITORS: Please note that the Zoo will close early to pedestrians and vehicular traffic on Oct. 20, 21 and 22 in preparation for Boo at the Zoo. Please visit the hours page for full details.

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Visit the Zoo!

Visit the Zoo!

Always free of charge and open 364 days a year, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. Founded in 1889, the Zoo sits on 163 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park and is home to more than 1,500 animals across 300 different species.

Please be aware that certain attractions, including the Speedwell Conservation Carousel, along with animal demonstrations and outdoor animal viewing, are weather dependent.

EXHIBIT ADVISORIES:
  • On Oct. 20, 21 and 22, the Zoo will close at 4 p.m. in preparation for Boo at the Zoo. Great Ape House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, Great Cats and the Speedwell Conservation Carousel will close at 2 p.m. Additionally, Small Mammal House, Panda House, Elephant Community Center and Amazonia will close at 3 p.m. The Zoo’s Connecticut Ave. and Harvard St. entrances will be closed to vehicles from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Vehicles will still be able to exit the Zoo during this time.
  • On Oct. 27, the Zoo will close at 4 p.m. in preparation for Night of the Living Zoo. Great Ape House, Reptile Discovery Center, Think Tank, Great Cats and the Speedwell Conservation Carousel will close at 2 p.m. Additionally, Small Mammal House, Panda House, Elephant Community Center and Amazonia will close at 3 p.m.
  • The Bird House is closed in preparation for a new exhibit, Experience Migration.
  • Kids' Farm will remain open during lower Zoo construction, but please be advised that pathways may change and the route through Kids' Farm may require a longer walk than in the past.

Today's Hours

Grounds: 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Exhibit Buildings: 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Exhibits will close at various times in preparation for Boo at the Zoo

Today's Programs

Click Here to See Full Schedule

Zoo Map

zoo map

Looking for a panda, a cheetah, or perhaps a piranha? The Zoo map can help guide your Zoo adventure.

Parking & Directions

dama gazelle

The Smithsonian's National Zoo is located in the heart of northwest Washington, D.C. and spans 163 acres. There are several entrances to the Zoo and all are pedestrian and vehicle-friendly.

FAQs & Tips for Visiting the Zoo

zoo entrance

On this page you'll find answers to the most commonly asked questions about visiting the Zoo.