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Self-guided Digital Tour

Access the digital Zoo Highlights Tour from your mobile device to start your self-guided tour through the Zoo.

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Guided Tour

A free two-hour guided walking tour is a great way to get the best out of the Smithsonian's National Zoo in a limited amount of time.

Tours depart daily at 9:45 a.m. from the Visitor Center lobby. They are offered year-round on a walk-up basis and do not require scheduling except for groups of more than 10 people.

On the tour you'll...

  • See some of the Zoo's most interesting animals, including cheetahs, Asian elephants, golden lion tamarins, Aldabra tortoises, lions and Andean bears, to name just a few
  • Have a trained guide answer your questions
  • Learn how the Zoo takes care of its animals
  • Hear firsthand how the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute is working to save species

Highlights tours are best suited for general Zoo audiences and are not designed for school groups. Learn more about the available options for school field trips.

Guests wishing to take a tour should meet at the front desk in the Visitor Center lobby shortly before 9:45 a.m. To schedule a group tour for more than 10 people, please call 202-633-3061.

All tours are wheelchair accessible and accommodate up to 10 people per group on weekdays and more on weekends. Access services for guided tours, including sign language interpretation, hearing assistance devices and tactile tours with verbal description, are available by request. Please call 202-633-3061 at least two weeks prior to your visit to request any additional accessibility services.

Please Note: Tours do not go behind the scenes. Tours are dependent on volunteer availability and are subject to change or cancellation at any time. Occasionally they are canceled ahead of time. Please see the daily calendar for details.

Snore & Roar Sleepovers

Available May through September

Fall asleep to the sounds of howling wolves or wake up to barking sea lions when you spend the night at the Zoo! It's the best way to see the animals after hours and have the park all to yourself. Snore & Roar Sleepovers include games, activities, a walk through the Zoo and more. Separate family and adult-only options are available.

Book An Overnight Adventure

Please click on the date you intend to visit to double check that a tour is available on that day.

Click Here to See Full Schedule