Events

See What's Happening at the Zoo
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The Zoo is free, but 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

The entrance to the Smithsonian's National Zoo's Zoolights event with trees lit up in red, green, yellow and blue and a lit sign that says "Zoolights"
Friday, November 25, 2022 to Friday, December 30, 2022

The colorful glow of Washington, D.C.’s beloved Smithsonian’s National Zoo holiday tradition is back for 2022. 

A keeper wearing a blue apron and blue, latex gloves holds three black-footed ferret kits in their hands. You cannot see the keepers' face. The kits eyes are not fully open yet, one has one eye open.
Wednesday, December 14, 2022

By 1979, black-footed ferrets were considered extinct, but after decades of conservation efforts and collaboration by Smithsonian researchers and wildlife experts, they’re coming back from the brink... more

bei bei climbing a tree
Monday, January 30, 2023

Philanthropist David M. Rubenstein, a longtime supporter of the giant panda program at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute, joins Brandie Smith, the Zoo's director, to... more

Past Events

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.

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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.

A young giant panda cub with black-and-white fur, round ears and small claws stands on a table in the indoor panda habitat at the Smithsonian's National Zoo during a routine exam
Wednesday, February 24, 2021

Get an update on giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji and hear about his birth in this streaming program hosted by Smithsonian Associates, featuring staff scientist Pierre Comizzoli and assistant curator for... more

Giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji with an enrichment egg on Jan. 6, 2021.
Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Spend some quality time with Xiao Qi Ji in the first FREE panda cub livestream event broadcasting on Wednesday, Jan. 27, from 1-1:15 p.m. ET.

Text that reads "CDD, Conservation Discovery Day" surrounded by science and conservation-related digital illustrations, such as bats, beakers, light bulbes, cats, brains, molecules, computers, microscopes, etc.
Friday, October 2, 2020

SBCI's annual festival is going virtual this year. Watch videos about conservation, and join live Q&As with researchers and scientists Friday, Oct. 2.

dancers at zoo fiesta
Saturday, September 19, 2020

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

the words "Earth Optimism" "Conservation Commons" Smithsonian
Wednesday, April 1, 2020 to Friday, April 30, 2021

The Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is celebrating Earth Day all month long!