National Zoo

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3001 Connecticut Ave., NW
Washington, DC

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March 15–September:
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily
(Grounds 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.)
October–March 14:
9 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily
(Grounds 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.)

Open daily, weather permitting, except December 25

Admission is free


Always free of charge and open 364 days a year, the Smithsonian’s National Zoo sits on 163 acres in the heart of Washington, D.C.’s Rock Creek Park. Founded in 1889, the Zoo is currently home to more than 1,500 animals across 300 different species.


Giant pandas; Asian elephants; Sumatran tigers; Aldabra tortoises; Panamanian golden frogs; North Island brown kiwi; sea lions; orangutans; meet-a-small-mammal demonstrations and sloth bear feedings daily; Asian elephant training.

  • The Smithsonian's National Zoo offers a wide variety of dining options located throughout the park. Kid-friendly, vegetarian, dairy-free and gluten-free options are often available, and as a commitment to conservation, the Zoo serves only Bird Friendly Coffee—the only 100% organic and shade-grown coffee certification available.

    Group meals can be pre-ordered for 10 or more guests.

    Mane Grill 
    (near Tiger/Lion Hill)
    Angus burgers, chemical- and hormone-free grilled chicken, kids' meals and to-go items.
    10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Fall/Winter
    10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Spring/Summer

    Heirloom Grille
    (Outside Mane Grill, Lion & Tiger Hill)
    Angus burgers, grilled salmon, bratwurst, salads.
    10 a.m. to 4 p.m. April–Aug.
    11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends only, Sept.–Oct.
    Closed: Nov.–March

    Seal Rock Cafe
    (American Trail)
    Hot-pressed panini sandwiches, salads, all-natural hot dogs, Dippin' Dots Ice Cream.
    11 a.m. to 4 p.m. April–Aug.
    11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Fridays and weekends, Sept.–Oct.
    Closed: Nov.–March

    Panda Overlook Cafe
    (overlooking Giant Panda Habitat)
    Hot-pressed panini sandwiches, made-to-order salads, all-natural hot dogs, funnel cakes, espresso drinks.
    10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April–Aug.
    11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and weekends, Sept.–Oct.
    Closed: Nov.–March

    Panda Grill 
    (across from entrance to Asia Trail)
    Pizza, po' boy sandwiches and all-natural chicken tenders.
    10 a.m. to 5 p.m. April–Aug.
    11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays and weekends, Sept.–Oct.
    Closed: Nov.–Feb.

    Hot Dog Diner
    (near Reptile Discovery Center)
    All-natural beef hot dogs with assorted gourmet toppings.
    11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fall/Winter
    11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Spring/Summer

    Snack Stand & Kiosks
    (located throughout the Zoo)
    Lemonade cart, Dippin' Dots ice cream, kettle corn, fresh market cart and more!
    11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Late March–August
    Various hours: Friday & weekends, Sept.–Oct.
    Closed: Nov.–late March

Metro Stations: Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan or Cleveland Park


Parking at the Zoo is a flat fee of $25. Parking is free for FONZ members at Premier Level and above. See map and get driving directions.

Reserved parking near the museum can be purchased in advance through ParkWhiz.

Note: ParkWhiz is a third-party vendor (ParkWhiz Privacy Policy).