Visitors: Please note that winter hours began on Oct. 1. Please see the hours page for updated opening and closing times.


See What's Happening at the Zoo
Share this page:

Special Events

visitors dressed up at night of the living zoo
Friday, October 28, 2016

Prepare to witness death defying acts and amazing oddities at Friends of the National Zoo's annual adults-only Halloween party, Night of the Living Zoo.

zoolights entrance
Friday, November 25, 2016 to Sunday, January 1, 2017

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.

BrewLights guests standing next to ZooLights light sculpture
Thursday, December 1, 2016

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.

lemur playing with a brown paper bag painted with a bunny
Monday, April 17, 2017

Celebrate Easter Monday at the Zoo with special animal demonstrations and the Easter Panda.

boy reaching to put his fingers in a cup of dirt
Saturday, April 22, 2017

Plan ahead and on Earth Day 2017, make the Zoo your go-to place to participate in green-themed activities.

common yellowthroat: a small migratory bird with a dark mask by Gregory Gough
Saturday, May 6, 2017

Spread your wings for bird conservation at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo!

delicious looking food on a white plate
Thursday, May 18, 2017

ZooFari is the premier culinary event featuring more than 100 of the top Washington, D.C., restaurants and vintners–all in the wild setting of the Smithsonian's National Zoo.

visitors at brew at the zoo
Thursday, July 13, 2017

Enjoy great times and great brews with unlimited beer tastings from more than 70 breweries, exotic animal encounters, live music, and fare from popular food trucks.

Past Events

little boy dressed as cowboy
Friday, October 21, 2016 to Sunday, October 23, 2016

With more than 40 treat stations, animal demonstrations, keeper chats, and decorated trails, this frightfully fun evening is a magical time for the whole family.

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute Campus
Saturday, October 1, 2016 to Sunday, October 2, 2016

The Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's annual festival —the only time of year this one-of-a-kind breeding and research facility is open to the public.

dancers at zoo fiesta
Sunday, September 18, 2016

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month at ZooFiesta. Family activities include animal feedings, arts and crafts, musical entertainment, and authentic gourmet cuisine at a Latin America-inspired food... more

lion tackling a giant ball
Saturday, September 10, 2016

Celebrate Enrichment Day at the National Zoo on Saturday, Sept. 10! Zoo patrons will have the opportunity to attend demonstrations, participate in training and enrichment activities, and talk to... more

Grapes with the Apes guest being served wine
Thursday, September 1, 2016

It's time to party with the primates! Raise a glass for conservation and enjoy tastings from local and national wineries and vineyards. 

alpacas at the kid's farm

Celebrate the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Kids' Farm every day in April with special activities and animal demonstrations. Stay turned for 2017 activities!

sculpture of a great white shark made from recycled plastic

The "Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea" exhibit has ended.

Giant panda Bao Bao climbing her birthday ice cake

Come celebrate the birthdays of giant pandas Bao Bao, Bei Bei, and Tian Tian. Visitors can watch as the giant pandas devour frozen birthday "cakes" and see animal demonstrations.

Zoo Sleepovers

two sleepy looking adult lions

Imagine falling asleep to the sounds of the howling wolves or being awakened by the bark of the sea lions at play. Come spend the night at the Smithsonian's National Zoo!

Lion and cub

Imagine falling asleep to the sounds of the howling wolves or being awakened by the bark of the sea lions at play. Come spend the night at the Smithsonian's National Zoo!