Share this page:


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

Tours are offered year-round on a walk-up basis and do not require scheduling except for groups larger than 10 people. To schedule a tour for more than 10 people, please call 202-633-3056.

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 plan to meet at the front desk in the Visitor Center lobby. 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 202-633-3056 at least two weeks prior to your visit to request any additional accessibility services.

*Tours are dependent on volunteer availability and are subject to change or cancellation at any time. Occasionally tours are canceled ahead of time. Please see the daily calendar for details.

Family-friendly Kid Tours

Tours specifically for families with young children (ages 4 to 7) are also available on a walk-up basis on the second Sunday and the fourth Saturday of every month at 9:45 a.m. Children can learn about animals in a fun classroom session followed by a one-hour tour of the upper Zoo.

Snore & Roar Sleepovers

Fall asleep to the sounds of howling wolves or wake up to barking sea lions at play when you spend the night at the Smithsonian's National Zoo! It's the best way to see the Zoo's 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 adults-only options are available. Find out more and book your overnight adventure today!

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