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Washington, DC National Zoo

National Zoo

Category: Activities
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The National Zoo in DC

Part of the Smithsonian Institution, the National Zoo is the nation's zoo. Hosting 163-acres set amid Rock Creek National Park in the heart of Washington, D.C. You can visit the Zoo 364 days a year to see 2,000 individual animals of 400 different species. Is one of the oldest zoos in the United States, and as part of the Smithsonian Institution, does not charge admission.


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  • Boo at the Zoo
  • Rock n Roar
  • Brew at the Zoo
  • FONZ activities
  • Zoo Lights


  • Walking tours
  • Dining
  • Family Friendly Events
  • Shopping


Altogether, the two facilities contain 2,000 animals of 400 different species. About one-fifth of them are endangered or threatened. Most species are on exhibit at the Zoo's Rock Creek Park campus. The best known residents are the giant pandas, but the Zoo is also home to birds, great apes, big cats, Asian elephants, insects, amphibians, reptiles, aquatic animals, small mammals and many more.


The National Zoo was created by an Act of Congress in 1889 for "the advancement of science and the instruction and recreation of the people." In 1890 it became a part of the Smithsonian Institution. The zoological park was designed to exhibit animals for the public and to serve as a refuge for wildlife, such as bison and beaver, which were rapidly vanishing from North America


  • What exhibits are at the zoo?

    The National Zoo hosts a long list active exhibits including: Giant Panda Habitat, Asia Trail, Elephant Trails, Lemur Island, The Small Mammal House, The Great Ape, House, The Think Tank, Gibbon Ridge, The Cheetah Conservation Station, The American Trail, The Invertebrate Exhibit, Amazonia, Great Cats, The Reptile Discovery Center, The Bird House, The Kid's Farm, Bison Exhibit

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