FAQs About Visiting the Zoo
We can’t wait to welcome you back to the Zoo. We've made several changes at the Zoo due to COVID-19. The number of visitors will be limited, and we’ve implemented new safety protocols, procedures and guidelines to provide a safe and great experience for our visitors, staff and animals. Explore the Welcome Back to the Zoo page to prepare for your upcoming visit, and read through these FAQs if you have additional questions.
Zoo Hours and Operations
The Zoo is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last admittance for timed entry passes and paid parking passes is 3 p.m. Learn more about entry passes below.
If you must leave the Zoo for any reason during your visit and plan to come back, you’ll need to have your hand stamped in the Visitor Center near the main Connecticut Avenue entrance or at the Lion-Tiger information kiosk at the bottom of the Zoo. If you intend to leave and return within the same day, you must reenter the Zoo before the gates close at 3 p.m.
Cleaning and Safety
Yes. Zoo staff and all visitors ages 6 and older are required to wear face coverings that cover the nose and mouth during their visit, including while outside (except while dining in designated areas). We strongly recommend that all visitors ages 2 and older wear face coverings as well.
Visitors without face coverings will not be permitted to enter the Zoo.
Animals and Exhibits
Food and Amenities
Yes. You can pay with cash or credit card at any of the vendors in the Zoo. However, for safety, we encourage you to pay with a credit card.
Several restaurants and food trucks are open. Only outdoor seating is available, and tables and benches are spaced according to social distancing best practices.
All guests are required to reserve a timed entry pass or a paid parking pass before visiting the Zoo. If you plan to walk, bike, taxi or take public transportation to the Zoo, you should reserve a free timed entry pass for every member of your group before your visit.
If you choose to drive a personal vehicle and park at the Zoo, you will need to purchase a paid parking pass for $30 before your visit (one pass per vehicle). Your parking pass is your entry pass to the Zoo and covers all passengers in your personal vehicle. You do not need to reserve additional free timed entry passes for each person in your vehicle. Please note that parking spaces are limited each day and may sell out.
If you can’t reserve enough entry passes at the same time for your entire group, request the remaining passes for the next available time slot. We will allow late entry for those guests who arrive after the time indicated on their entry pass. Last admittance to the Zoo is 3 p.m., and the Zoo closes at 4 p.m.
No. When you arrive at the Zoo in your personal vehicle, you will be directed to the Bus Lot. From there, a parking attendant will check your ticket, make sure each person in your vehicle has a face covering, and direct you to available parking.
If you can no longer visit the Zoo on the date of your entry pass, you should cancel your passes for that day and request new passes for a different day. We will allow same-day late arrivals. So, for example, if you have passes for 10 a.m. and can’t arrive until 1 p.m., you will still be granted entry to the park. Please try to arrive as close as possible to your designated time. Last admittance is 3 p.m.
If you have a paid parking pass you may arrive at the Zoo any time between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Zoo closes at 4 p.m. If you can no longer visit the Zoo on the day of your parking pass, you can request a refund from the ticket provider up until the day of your visit; same-day parking refunds are not available. To cancel an entry pass or request a parking pass refund, call 1-800-514-3849 ext. 1.
No. At this time, no tour bus groups may reserve passes. Six timed entry passes are allowed per email address.
Commercial vans and buses will not be allowed to park at the Zoo.
Guests will need one paid parking pass for each personal vehicle. All passengers in the personal vehicle will be granted admittance under the one paid parking pass. Commercial vans and buses will not be allowed to park.
You may print your entry pass or use your phone. To save paper, we encourage guests to show their passes on their cell phones.
Are you a FONZ member? See the Member News and Information page for important updates about member benefits, including rides, parking, refund and extension policies, and reciprocal memberships.
Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, parking passes will be required for every vehicle entering the Zoo upon reopen. Parking spaces are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis during regular Zoo hours. Due to the attendance cap in place to support social distancing following reopen, a very limited number of free parking passes will be available to members each day.
Membership parking benefits do not apply to employees, vendors or contractors doing business with or operating near the Zoo.
Please note that free parking is not available to Standard level members.
Yes. In order to support social distancing, tickets will be required and limited to a daily capacity. Tickets must be reserved in advance of your visit, and will be first come, first served. You will need to reserve a walk-up entry pass for everyone in your party.
Members must reserve a free parking pass ahead of their visit in order to park for free. All ticket reservations are first come, first served.
- Free parking passes are available for members but are extremely limited each day.
- To access free member parking, enter your member ID when reserving your parking pass.
- If free member parking passes are no longer available, there may still be parking passes for purchase.
- To ensure that as many members as possible can access free member parking passes, members will be able to reserve one parking pass per week. If you need an additional pass, please contact the Membership Office or call 202-633-2922.
Due to safety precautions against COVID-19, there are no rides running at the Zoo at this time. Please check back for updates.
Yes, you will still receive your membership discounts at outdoor dining locations and retail kiosks. Please be prepared to present your proof of active membership and matching photo ID when redeeming your discount benefit.