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Zoo Attraction in Washington, D.C. - Smithsonian National Zoo

Updated on January 4, 2012

Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.

Giant panda at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Giant panda at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Red panda at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Red panda at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Lions and Tiger Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Lions and Tiger Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Lions and Tigers Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Lions and Tigers Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Lions and Tigers Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Lions and Tigers Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Baby elephant at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Baby elephant at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Orangutans and Apes Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Orangutans and Apes Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Orangutans and Apes Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Orangutans and Apes Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Lemur Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Lemur Exhibit at Smithsonian National Zoo - Washington, D.C.
Lion and Tiger poop
Lion and Tiger poop
Kid's meal souvenir cooler tote
Kid's meal souvenir cooler tote
Kid's meal souvenir cooler tote (back with Smithsonian National Zoological Park label)
Kid's meal souvenir cooler tote (back with Smithsonian National Zoological Park label)

If you have a love for animals, you don't want to pass up a visit to Washington, D.C.'s national zoo, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park. It's complete with wild animals and those that are at risk of extinction. Find giant pandas, lions, tigers, elephants, apes, lemurs, farm animals, and many others at this zoo.

The zoo takes up 163 acres of land, a pretty decent size. You can find yourself spending half the day to nearly the entire day at the zoo with the fascinating animals. Staff are also standing by at certain exhibits to offer visitors additional learning experiences. For instance, the lion and tiger exhibit had a staff member holding the fur of a lion and tiger so that everyone had a chance to feel it. The exhibit also had interesting displays, such as a glass bottle indicating how much milk lions and tigers are fed each feeding, to how their poop looked.

Considering many other zoos are charging an arm and a leg for admission, the Smithsonian National Zoological Park's free admission is a huge plus, on top of the amazing animals found there. You do have to pay for parking, where the first three hours run at $16 and it goes up to $22 after three hours. Still, a fair deal when you are packing in the family for a good couple of hours of wonderful sights of animals. During the busier times of year, such as in April and May, the parking lots can fill up quickly, so you want to get there early.

Bring your own lunch and treats if you want to maintain a budget because food can get costly, just like any other zoo attraction. A kid's meal is available for just under $10, but you get a great cooler tote featuring an animal with it. The cooler tote is also labeled with the zoo's name so it serves as a souvenir - a good deal overall.

A markerSmithsonian National Zookigical Park - Washington, D.C. -
3001 Connecticut Ave NW, Washington, DC 20008, USA
get directions

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    • WritingItUp profile image
      Author

      Writing It Up 5 years ago from New York City

      oceansnsunsets - It's really one of the best zoo's I've been to in terms of size and animals you get to see. Also, thank you for the warm welcome to HubPages and I really appreciate the comment and vote :)

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 5 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I would love to go to the Smithsonian National Zoo one day! Thanks for sharing your great photos with us. Its nice to know there are free zoos out there like this one. Thanks for the tips on how to keep costs down. I agree, even with the longer hours parking price, its worth it for a family, or even just one person to get to view so many amazing animals.

      Great hub, with map and all, and loved the pictures. Voted up, and more.

      Also, welcome to Hubpages!