Smithsonian National Zoo Washington D.C.
The National Zoo has two installations. The first is a beautiful 163-acre urban park located in Northwest Washington, D.C., 20 minutes from the National Mall by subway. It offers family fun, excitement, and stimulating education programs, as well as a peaceful setting to enjoy nature. The other is the non-public, 3,200-acre Conservation and Research Center in Front Royal, Virginia, which is devoted to training wildlife professionals in conservation biology and to propagating rare species through natural means and assisted reproduction.
The National Zoo has been the home to giant pandas for more than 30 years. First Hsing Hsing and Ling Ling in 1972, and, since 2000, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, have symbolized the Zoo’s efforts to celebrate, study, and protect endangered species and their habitats.
Plans for the future include modernizing the Zoo’s aging facilities and expanding its education, research, and conservation efforts both in Washington and in the wild. A Kids’ Farm exhibit opened in 2004, and a new, ten-year renewal program will see the creation of an Asia Trail that will include sloth bears, giant and red pandas, fishing cats, giant salamanders, and a breeding Asian elephant herd.
As the National Zoo celebrates the 116th anniversary of its establishment in 1889, its mission to study, celebrate, and protect animals and their habitats is as vital as ever if humankind is to save what remains of the Earth’s biological diversity.
Admission is always Free
You can visit the Zoo 364 days a year to see 2,000 individual animals of 400 different species.
Exhibit Buildings 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (4:30 p.m. closing in winter*)
Grounds 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. (6 p.m. closing in winter*)
Shops 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (10 a.m. opening in winter*)
Visitor Center and Concessions 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Last Admittance 7 p.m. (summer only)
Winter hours in effect from November to March.
Visit the National Zoo website here Nationalzoo.si.edu