Visitors: The Zoo will close early Friday, Saturday and Sunday (Oct. 18-20) in preparation for Boo at the Zoo. See the hours page for details.


See What's Happening at the Zoo
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Have you heard the buzz? The Zoo now allows social events, including wedding receptions, birthday parties, corporate events, company picnics and networking receptions. Check out the Host an Event page to learn more.

Upcoming Events

Friday, October 18, 2019 to Sunday, October 20, 2019

Kids can go trick-or-treating at the wildest spot in town during Boo at the Zoo. Celebrate Halloween early with more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, a dance party and kids’ karaoke.

Oct. 20, Nov. 14 and Dec. 4

Animal Discovery Days include special demonstrations, activities and opportunities to learn about wildlife conservation. Celebrate Sloth Day at Small Mammal House Oct. 20.

Friday, October 25, 2019

A dark carnival is approaching … and will arrive for Friends of the National Zoo's annual adults-only Halloween party, Night of the Living Zoo. 

Saturday, November 9, 2019 to Sunday, November 17, 2019

Bid a fond farewell to giant panda Bei Bei before he begins the next chapter of his life in China.

Friday, November 29, 2019 to Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Join the thousands of visitors who make ZooLights a part of their annual holiday tradition. A free event, ZooLights includes live music performances and tasty winter treats.

Friday, December 6, 2019 to Sunday, December 8, 2019

GRUMP, the alternative art and crafts holiday show, is coming to ZooLights on Dec. 6, 7 and 8 from 5-9 p.m.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Friends of the National Zoo's hoppiest holiday event, BrewLights, a ticketed microbrew and craft beer event, will take place during ZooLights, powered by Pepco.


Coming soon. American Treasures: 2020 Gala hosted by the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute.

Zoo Sleepovers

Bring your troop for a wild night they won't soon forget! Where else can you fall asleep to the sounds of the wolves howling or awaken to the barks of the sea lions at play?

Come spend the night at the Zoo! Snore & Roar overnights are available from June to September. 

Spend a wild night at the Zoo this summer! Snore & Roar sleepovers are available from June to September.

Past Events

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Attend the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's annual festival — the one day a year that part of this unique research facility is open to the public!

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at ZooFiesta. This free, family event includes animal feedings, arts and crafts, and live music.

Sept. 7, 8 and 14, 15

Get an up-close look at exotic birds as they soar overhead and exhibit natural behaviors in this FREE, limited-run show.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Join us at Freedom Plaza on Saturday, Sept. 14, for Friends of the National Zoo’s second annual The Fast & the Fierce 5K, sponsored by Aegis Project Controls!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Get ready for the wildest wine tasting in town at Zoo Uncorked, sponsored by Total Wine & More, on Sept. 12 at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo. 

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Celebrate Wildlife Migration Day at the Zoo on Saturday, Sept. 7. This free event features games, education stations, live music, bird banding demos and more.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Join a curator of the Zoo’s Small Mammal House as he describes the process of building a new exhibit while the mole-rats were busy building their new colony.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

On July 23 from 1-2 p.m. attend a free, outdoor concert at the Zoo featuring student musicians from the National Symphony Orchestra’s Summer Music Institute.

Thursday, July 18, 2019

On July 18, enjoy great times and great brews with animal encounters, live music, fare from popular food trucks and unlimited beer tastings.

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Friends of the National Zoo members get exclusive access to American Trail and Research Hill during this free annual event.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Celebrate Solstice Saturday with a free dance party at the Zoo from 6-10 p.m. with music, kid-friendly activities and sweet treats. Don't miss a special screening of "Jurassic Park" for just $5!

Saturday, June 1, 2019 to Monday, September 2, 2019

Meet and interact with larger-than-life dinosaurs in Erth's Dinosaur Zoo Live theater production. Buy Tickets Now