The Zoo is open 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants. Plan your visit.


See What's Happening at the Zoo
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The Zoo is free and open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants.

Please note: As a public health precaution due to COVID-19, some events have been modified or canceled.

Daily Animal Demos

Get a front row seat to animal keepers working with animals in these daily demonstrations! Throughout the day, you can meet elephants, watch sloth bears slurp ants, see sea lions catch fish and more. 

Please note: Animal demonstrations may be moved, canceled or postponed due to weather and keeper schedules. We appreciate your patience and understanding.

Animal Demo Schedule

Upcoming Events

A male bird handler reaches out his hand to a large black bird in flight
May 28- Sept. 5 | Every day except Tuesday, 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.

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

Giant pandas Xiao Qi Ji (foreground) and Mei Xiang (background) celebrate Xiao Qi Ji's birthday with a panda-friendly fuitsicle cake.
July 22, Aug. 21 & 27

Visit Asia Trail or tune into the Giant Panda Cam to see the Zoo's giant pandas receive special birthday treats!

A smiling woman wearing animal ears and holding a beer at the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Brew at the Zoo event
Thursday, September 8, 2022

Lions and tigers and brews, oh my! Washington, D.C.’s favorite beer festival is back at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo on Thursday, Sept. 8

little boy dressed as cowboy
Oct. 28, 29 & 30

The beloved children's trick-or-treating event is back for 2022.

Past Events

10 a.m. and 12 p.m. | July 29

In this free, drop-in program, join us for a read aloud of one of our favorite Zoo tails: "Mr. Tiger Goes Wild" by Peter Brown.

Golden-headed lion tamarin twins cling to father Coco's back.
10 a.m. and 12 p.m. | July 26

In this free, drop-in program, it’s time to monkey around and learn about everyone’s favorite pint-sized primates: the tamarins!

Close-up of Asian elephant Maharani's face.
10 a.m. and 12 p.m. | July 7, 12, 14

Enjoy a free read aloud of one of our favorite Zoo tails: "Ellie" by Mike Wu.

the front of a vintage police car sits parked at an angle
Friday, May 13, 2022

Honoring our expert Zoo Police team during National Police Week, the Vintage Police Car Show is in Washington, D.C., and will stop by the Smithsonian's National Zoo on the way to the Capitol.

A colorful background of animal silhouettes in squares. The words "International Family Equality Day at the Zoo" is in text. In the right bottom corner is a square with a panda outline and the words "50th Pandaversary Party"
Sunday, May 1, 2022

Celebrate the beauty and importance of family diversity with family-focused activities.

Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji climbs on logs in his outdoor habitat.
Thursday, April 21, 2022

Hear what it takes study, raise and care for giant pandas — directly from scientists, veterinarians and keepers who follow these amazing animals from the womb to the wild. This paid, ticketed program... more

A pink, blue and orange Easter egg sit in small twig nests. The middle egg has panda ears. The words "Easter Monday at the Smithsonian's National Zoo" are above/
Monday, April 18, 2022

Celebrate Easter Monday at the Smithsonian's National Zoo with family-focused activities, including special animal demonstrations, live entertainment, an egg hunt and a visit from the Panda Pal.

A graphic depiction of a giant panda peeking around a stalk of bamboo with the words "50th Pandaversary at the Smithsonian's National Zoo"
Saturday, April 16, 2022 to Sunday, April 17, 2022

On April 16 and 17, celebrate 50 years of giant pandas at the Zoo with paws-itively panda-themed weekend!

The text "Take the Shot, DC" and "coronavirus.dc.gov"
Thursday, December 9, 2021

The District of Columbia Department of Health (DC Health) will host a walk-up COVID-19 vaccination clinic at the Smithsonian's National Zoo. No appointment required.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Smithsonian Associates presents this lecture featuring representatives from the National Audubon Society and the Smithsonian’s National Zoo about new and upcoming projects that offer insights into... more

Giant pandas Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji eat mom's 23rd birthday cake together.
Monday, August 16, 2021 to Sunday, August 22, 2021

The Zoo's giant panda cub turns 1 year old on Saturday, Aug. 21, 2021! 

a graphic depiction of migratory birds with the words "World Migratory Bird Day 2021"
May 5, 7 and 8

Welcome the birds back and learn how you can lend them a helping hand with these virtual events.