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