5 Reasons to Visit the National Zoo in Washington, D.C

Batul Nafisa Baxamusa Jun 12, 2019
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Spending a day at the zoo is always filled with excitement for young and adults alike. A zoo helps children learn about the animals and say a ‘Hello’ to their furry and scaly friends. If you happen to be in Washington DC, then visiting the National Zoo is a must.
The Smithsonian’s National Zoo, Washington DC, also called as the National Zoological Park is one of the oldest zoos of America. This 163-acre zoo is a part of the Smithsonian Institution.

Top Reasons to Visit the National Zoo:

There is so much to see in the indoor as well as outdoor attractions. There are 2,700 animals which call the park home. Of the 390 different species at the zoo, 25% belong to the endangered species list. This large park has 18 distinct areas to explore. The park is wheelchair and stroller accessible.

Top Attractions at the Zoo

1. Instagram Friendly Giant and Red Pandas

You no longer need to travel all the way to China to see a Giant Panda. Tian Tian and Mei Xiang, as well as Bei Bei, are cute pandas who call the National Zoo their home. You cannot possibly walk away without clicking a million pictures of these cuteness overloaded pandas.
There are two feisty red pandas who will delight the children by their playfulness. As they maneuver around the trees, Asa and Jakie will keep you at the edge of your seat. Ask your kids to spot the differences between Asa and Jakie to keep their excitement levels up.

2. Stripy Tiger and Boisterous Lions

Yes, stripy baby from the Kung Fu Panda movie is a part of the Zoo. The Sumatran tigress from the San Diego Safari Park is a part of the Species Survival Plan. She lives at the Zoo along with an Amur male tiger named Pavel.
In the nearby yard of the Great Cats Circle, visit the 6 African Lions, the pride of the zoo. There are 3 males named Luke, Shaka and Jumbe and 3 females called Shera, Amahle, and Naba.

3. A Foxy Affair

Visit the Small Mammal House to see two Fennec foxes. They have extraordinary big ears to help these small foxes. Visit the zoo to meet 8-year-old Daisy and 3-year-old Barkley.

4. ‘See’ Lions and ‘Seal’ed with Love

You can visit the Seal or Sea Lion demonstration and watch the zookeepers train these pinnipeds. They will also share some interesting facts about these animals and help children learn more about the conservation and protection of the amazing animals.

5. Planet of the Apes

Open your imagination to the world of apes once you visit the Great Ape House. The animal keepers here will gladly introduce you to the fascinating world of gorillas and their behavior.

Daily Programs Worth Visiting:

Apart from these top 5 attractions at the National Zoo, you could take part in daily programs such as feeding demonstrations, keeper talks, animal training sessions, etc.

* The daily program schedules are subjected to change due to weather or needs of the animals. Please consult the Zoo schedule on the day of your visit.
  • Farm Fish Feeding at Kids Farm and learn about the catfish and koi.
  • Meet-a-Small Mammal at the Small Mammal House and get introduced to an armadillo or naked mole-rat.
  • Elephant Keeper Talk to learn about Asian elephants and their tons of care.
  • Meet-a-Reptile at the Reptile Discovery Center.
There are many other activities planned at the zoo as per schedule.

How to Reach The Zoo?

The National Zoo is located centrally in northwest Washington, D.C.
  1. There are many entrances to the Zoo which are pedestrian as well as vehicle-friendly.
  2. You could take the Metro Bus and Metro Rail to reach the zoos. Both have stops at walking distance from the zoo.
  3. You could drive your own car and reach the zoo.

Admission Fees:

Admission to the National Zoological Park is completely free. All you need to do is walk right through the gates without paying for an entry ticket. You can even bring your own lunch to the zoo, however, barbeque is prohibited.

National Zoo Hours:

Grounds:
8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Last admittance 6 p.m

Exhibit Buildings:
9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Amazonia opens at 10 a.m.

Dining & Shopping:
10 a.m. to 5 p.m
Catch a glimpse of a baby gorilla, or get some great looks of the sloth bears. Enjoy the cute otter antics and the royal gaze of the lion at the National Zoo, Washington, D.C. Your family will love the Speedwell Conservation Carousel or Me and Bee Playground and other attractions. Go wild at this most popular zoological park in the United States.
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