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The Zoo is open! Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants, and visitors must follow safety measures.

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FAQs About Visiting the Zoo

Admission to the Zoo is free. Entry passes are required for all guests, including infants, and visitors must follow safety measures.

Zoo Hours and Operations

The Zoo is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Last admittance is 3 p.m.

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 Harvard Street pedestrian entry tent 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

We’re working hard to create the safest possible environment for everyone at the Zoo, including our visitors, staff, volunteers and the animals in our care. We ask that everyone follow social distancing protocols, face covering policies, and other posted guidelines throughout the Zoo, and wash/sanitize their hands often. If you feel sick, please do not visit the Zoo.

Face coverings are required for visitors 2 and older who are not fully vaccinated for COVID- 19. Fully vaccinated individuals do not need to wear face coverings during their visit.

Face coverings should fit properly, covering the nose, mouth, and chin with no large gaps on the outside of the face, and they should have at least two layers. Face shields are not permitted as a substitute for a face covering but may be worn over a face covering or mask. Face coverings or masks with an exhalation valve are not permitted.

No. Zoo staff will not be taking guests’ temperatures at this time. If you feel unwell, please stay home!
Yes. We’ve made some changes inside the park to allow Zoo staff, volunteers and guests to appropriately social distance. You'll see signs throughout the Zoo to help you follow these guidelines. Additionally, we have indicated recommended paths, with a few select one way-only areas, to help control traffic flow.
Animal care staff wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) during their shifts to keep themselves and the animals safe, including any time they are working directly with animals, their food, or anything else an animal may come in contact with. We have also installed barriers throughout the Zoo to prevent visitors from coming within 6 feet of animals susceptible to the virus.
The Zoo’s bathrooms are cleaned frequently throughout each day. Every other urinal, sink and hand-dryer are blocked off to promote social distancing. High-touch areas of the Zoo, such as doors, are also cleaned frequently.
Bathrooms are open throughout the park for you to wash your hands. Sanitizing stations are strategically placed throughout the park at frequently touched areas. We also encourage guests to bring their own hand sanitizer for personal use throughout the park.

Animals and Exhibits

For the safety of guests, staff and animals, some areas of the Zoo may be closed during your visit. See the exhibits page for details.

To prevent large groups of people from crowding together, daily animal demonstrations are canceled until further notice.

Yes. Asia Trail, including the giant panda exhibit, is open to Zoo guests. Smithsonian National Zoo Members have exclusive access to the lower panda yard viewing area and the indoor panda house from 8-9 a.m. every day throughout the summer.

Panda fans can always see Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and Xiao Qi Ji on the Panda Cam and subscribe to the Giant Panda Bulletin e-newsletter for regular updates.

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. Tables and benches are spaced according to social distancing best practices.

Water fountains and water bottle refill stations can be found throughout the Zoo.
Yes, some gift shops and several outdoor gift kiosks are open throughout the park. 
Some exhibit buildings and the Visitor Center are open to a limited number of guests at a time. Please dress appropriately for the weather and continue to practice social distancing when indoors.
No. For safety reasons and to ensure social distancing, the guest shuttle, which usually runs between the bottom of the Zoo and the Bus Lot, will not be operating.

Wheelchairs (free), strollers (rental fee) and electronic convenience vehicles (rental fee) are available to rent on a first-come, first-served basis at the Visitor Center. Zoo staff follow strict cleaning and disinfecting protocols between each rental use.

For details about wheelchair and electronic vehicle rentals, see the accessibility page.

Entry Passes

Yes, the Zoo is free for walk-in entry. All guests must reserve entry passes online before visiting. If you plan to drive and park at the Zoo, you will need to reserve a paid parking pass. Learn more about entry passes.

If you plan to walk, bike, taxi or take public transportation to the Zoo, you should reserve a free daily 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 covers entry to the Zoo for all passengers in your personal vehicle. You do not need to reserve daily entry passes for each person in your car.

Please note that parking spaces are limited each day and may sell out.

Daily entry passes and paid parking passes can be reserved online. To reserve a pass, visit the Etix website or call 1-800-514-3849 ext. 1.

Your passes will be delivered via email. If you did not receive your passes when you placed your order, please check your spam email folder, or call Etix at 1-800-514-3849 ext. 1 to have your passes reissued.

No. Daily entry passes and paid parking passes are only available online and should be reserved in advance. To reserve a pass, visit the Etix website or call 1-800-514-3849 ext. 1. 

Your daily entry pass or paid parking pass will be delivered via email. If you did not receive your passes when you placed your order, please check your spam email folder, or call Etix at 1-800-514-3849 ext. 1 to have your passes reissued.

You can reserve up to six timed entry passes or one paid parking pass per email address.

All children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. At least one adult chaperone is required to accompany up to five children.

Yes. Guests of all ages must have their own daily entry pass.

If you choose to drive and park at the Zoo, you should reserve a paid parking pass. A parking pass covers entry to the Zoo for all passengers in your personal vehicle. You do not need daily entry passes for each person in your car.

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.

Yes, passes are not timed. You may enter the Zoo anytime between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. The Zoo closes at 4 p.m.

You are welcome to stay until the Zoo closes at 4 p.m.

If you leave the park and want to return, you will need a hand stamp from the Visitor Center near the Connecticut Avenue entrance or from the Harvard Street pedestrian entry tent at the bottom of the Zoo.

If you intend to leave the Zoo and return within the same day, you must reenter the Zoo before the gates close at 3 p.m.

If you have passes that you can no longer use, we encourage you to call Etix and request a cancellation to free up tickets for other guests. Refunds for paid parking passes are available until the day of your reservation; same-day parking refunds are not available. To cancel an entry pass or request a parking pass refund, call Etix at 1-800-514-3849 ext. 1.

If you can no longer visit the Zoo on the date of your entry pass, you can cancel your passes for that day and request new passes for a different day.

If you have a 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 Etix at 1-800-514-3849 ext. 1.

No. At this time, no tour bus groups may reserve passes. Six daily entry passes are allowed per email address. Commercial vans and buses will not be allowed to park at the Zoo.

All children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. At least one adult chaperone is required to accompany up to five children.

A paid parking pass covers admission for all the passengers in one personal vehicle (car), up to eight people​. A parking pass is required for each personal vehicle parking at the Zoo. Commercial vans and buses will not be allowed to park at the Zoo.

All children (under the age of 18) must be accompanied by an adult chaperone. At least one adult chaperone is required to accompany up to five children.

No. Commercial vans and buses will not be allowed to park at the Zoo.

Your daily entry pass or paid parking pass will be delivered via email. If you did not receive your passes when you placed your order, please check your spam email folder, or call Etix at 1-800-514-3849 ext. 1 to have your passes reissued.

Your passes will be delivered via email. If you did not receive your passes when you placed your order, please check your spam email folder, or call Etix at 1-800-514-3849 ext. 1 to have your passes reissued.

You may print your entry pass or use your phone. To save paper, we encourage guests to show their passes on their cell phones.

When processing your parking pass, you will be directed to a secure checkout page. Please check the "ADA Accommodations" check box before processing your order.

On the day of your visit, please inform the attendant who processes your ticket that you have requested ADA accommodations. Your disabled parking tag or placard must be properly displayed upon arrival to parking check-in and will be verified.

Members

Yes! If you would like to request an extension on your membership, please contact us at ZooMembership@si.edu or call 202-633-2922.

Due to COVID-19 safety precautions, parking passes are required for every vehicle entering the Zoo. A very limited number of free parking passes will be available to members each day. Parking spaces are available on a first-come, first-served basis during regular Zoo hours.

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. All guests, including members, must reserve free daily entry passes or a paid parking pass online before their visit. Passes are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

If you plan to walk, bike, taxi or take public transportation to the Zoo, you should reserve a free daily entry pass for every member of your group.

If you plan to drive and park at the Zoo, a parking pass covers admission for each passenger in your personal vehicle. A very limited number of free parking passes will be available to members each day.

In order to park for free, members must reserve a free parking pass online before their visit. All 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 us at ZooMembership@si.edu.

Yes. Due to safety precautions against COVID-19, some rides may not be operating at this time. Check the attractions page for updates.

Yes, members still get 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 discounts.