The National Zoo

★★★★★

About The National Zoo

Categories
  • Attractions
  • Aquariums
  • Zoos
4.6 35
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We love the National Zoo..especially in Spring or Fall, when it is not so hot and humid out. We love that it is free, and is in a park-type setting. Beware, it will involve a lot of walking. The subway is a few blocks away. It can be a bit of a walk for little ones, especially in heat, but there are restaurants and shops nearby to stop for the bathrooms, drinks, etc. The food and vendor prices inside the park are a bit pricey, but the animal exhibits are great. Well maintained, and in an easily maneuverable setup, meandering from one exhibit into the other. A visit is suggested with plenty of time, as one can easily get lost in the park setting. Parking is available sometimes on the street outside. I have been to this zoo at least 5 times over the past 30 years, and it just keeps getting more enjoyable each time, especially with my own kids.

4
★★★★☆

We love the National Zoo..especially in Spring or Fall, when it is not so hot and humid out. We love that it is free, and is in a park-type setting. Beware, it will involve a lot of walking. The subway is a few blocks away. It can be a bit of a walk for little ones, especially in heat, but there are restaurants and shops nearby to stop for the bathrooms, drinks, etc. The food and vendor prices inside the park are a bit pricey, but the animal exhibits are great. Well maintained, and in an easily maneuverable setup, meandering from one exhibit into the other. A visit is suggested with plenty of time, as one can easily get lost in the park setting. Parking is available sometimes on the street outside. I have been to this zoo at least 5 times over the past 30 years, and it just keeps getting more enjoyable each time, especially with my own kids.

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We have went to the zoo several times over the last several years. The zoo has a huge variety of animals and the areas where they are kept are clean and spacious. They always seem to be building new exhibits and making things better! The food is very costly but the admission is free. Wear some good shoes because there is alot of walking. We also did Boo at the Zoo this year and the kids loved trick or treating throughout the zoo while seeing the animals and exhibits. The zoo was decorated for Halloween. We totally enjoyed all our visits to the zoo.

4
★★★★☆

We have went to the zoo several times over the last several years. The zoo has a huge variety of animals and the areas where they are kept are clean and spacious. They always seem to be building new exhibits and making things better! The food is very costly but the admission is free. Wear some good shoes because there is alot of walking. We also did Boo at the Zoo this year and the kids loved trick or treating throughout the zoo while seeing the animals and exhibits. The zoo was decorated for Halloween. We totally enjoyed all our visits to the zoo.

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An all-time family favorite. We particularly enjoy the new Asian trail. There's barely enough time to see it all in one day. Informative and enthusiastic volunteer staff often available to answer questions about the animals.

5
★★★★★

An all-time family favorite. We particularly enjoy the new Asian trail. There's barely enough time to see it all in one day. Informative and enthusiastic volunteer staff often available to answer questions about the animals.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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We have visited the National Zoo multiple times. It's is a top notch zoo especially considering it is free (except for parking) it is also easily accessible by metro.It has every kind of animal you could image and the people are so nice. The food is decent but expensive.The zoo is a great place to stop if visiting DC.

5
★★★★★

We have visited the National Zoo multiple times. It's is a top notch zoo especially considering it is free (except for parking) it is also easily accessible by metro.It has every kind of animal you could image and the people are so nice. The food is decent but expensive.The zoo is a great place to stop if visiting DC.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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I'm a little skeptical of all zoos. But I went anyway. And I was extremly impressed.
First of all, it's free. However, I can guarantee that you will get hungry and the food is expensive (3$ for a small fries, 2.50$ for Coke).
The panda's were funny. But I was impressed with all the exhibits. I loved the small mammal house!

All of the animals had plenty of room. In fact, when I went they were building elephant trails throughout the zoo. I really like that the animals could be seen, but they also had plenty of areas that were hidden from us.

There is a lot of walking, but DC is a walking city.
There are a lot of families there as well, but that's too be expected at any zoo.

I would suggest- going on a weekday to avoid crowds and going during the fall or spring to avoid extreme weather. Oh, and take the metro. The zoo has it's own stop.

Great attraction.

5
★★★★★

I'm a little skeptical of all zoos. But I went anyway. And I was extremly impressed.
First of all, it's free. However, I can guarantee that you will get hungry and the food is expensive (3$ for a small fries, 2.50$ for Coke).
The panda's were funny. But I was impressed with all the exhibits. I loved the small mammal house!

All of the animals had plenty of room. In fact, when I went they were building elephant trails throughout the zoo. I really like that the animals could be seen, but they also had plenty of areas that were hidden from us.

There is a lot of walking, but DC is a walking city.
There are a lot of families there as well, but that's too be expected at any zoo.

I would suggest- going on a weekday to avoid crowds and going during the fall or spring to avoid extreme weather. Oh, and take the metro. The zoo has it's own stop.

Great attraction.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Although this zoo has what zoos traditionally have: primates, large cats, aquatic species, birds, and everything in between, the National Zoo goes above and beyond in creative exhibits. As a psychology major, I loved their display on animal cognition & thinking patterns, and learned that the weight and size of the cerebral cortex determines each animal's placement on the intelligence spectrum.

The Reptile Discovery Center had kimono dragons, something I'd never seen at my local zoo before. That was impressive to me. I think in general, the National Zoo has a bigger variety of species than what you'd expect.

Even if you've been to your local zoo, come here for a whole new experience in the animal kingdom!

5
★★★★★

Although this zoo has what zoos traditionally have: primates, large cats, aquatic species, birds, and everything in between, the National Zoo goes above and beyond in creative exhibits. As a psychology major, I loved their display on animal cognition & thinking patterns, and learned that the weight and size of the cerebral cortex determines each animal's placement on the intelligence spectrum.

The Reptile Discovery Center had kimono dragons, something I'd never seen at my local zoo before. That was impressive to me. I think in general, the National Zoo has a bigger variety of species than what you'd expect.

Even if you've been to your local zoo, come here for a whole new experience in the animal kingdom!

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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Currently in a state of renovations, the National Zoo is a wonderful place for a visit, a jog, or a short trip. Recently the zoo has become more high profile in the country due to the birth of a giant panda cub. There are a number of new exhibits being created and those that are still open are very nice. The aviary and the bird house as well as the invertebrate house are always favorites. Be prepared for a walk. The icing on the cake: like other Smithsonian Institutions, it's free.

4
★★★★☆

Currently in a state of renovations, the National Zoo is a wonderful place for a visit, a jog, or a short trip. Recently the zoo has become more high profile in the country due to the birth of a giant panda cub. There are a number of new exhibits being created and those that are still open are very nice. The aviary and the bird house as well as the invertebrate house are always favorites. Be prepared for a walk. The icing on the cake: like other Smithsonian Institutions, it's free.

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1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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This zoo is so large that it will take several days to see it all. The parking was about fifteen dollars a day last time I went. There exhibits are extraordinary. The amount of information at this zoo is totally overwhelming. It definitely takes several days and lots of walking. You can bring food and drinks in with you last time I went. My favorite display was the elephants. The area they are in is huge and you can see them bathing each other. Last time I was there they had giraffes and even some baby ones all together. They have every animal you can ever imagine and more. Well worth the visit one day to go see this zoo.

PROS: Free Zoo
CONS: Pay for parking & food prices high

5
★★★★★

This zoo is so large that it will take several days to see it all. The parking was about fifteen dollars a day last time I went. There exhibits are extraordinary. The amount of information at this zoo is totally overwhelming. It definitely takes several days and lots of walking. You can bring food and drinks in with you last time I went. My favorite display was the elephants. The area they are in is huge and you can see them bathing each other. Last time I was there they had giraffes and even some baby ones all together. They have every animal you can ever imagine and more. Well worth the visit one day to go see this zoo.

PROS: Free Zoo
CONS: Pay for parking & food prices high

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One of the best zoos i have ever seen. And the best thing is that it is free.

Pack good lunch as u will be very hungry as you have to walk a lot.

they have a great collection of animals almost from all parts of world

5
★★★★★

One of the best zoos i have ever seen. And the best thing is that it is free.

Pack good lunch as u will be very hungry as you have to walk a lot.

they have a great collection of animals almost from all parts of world

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Park has all different types of beautiful and amazing animals. Large park and lots of exhibits. Great place to take the family on a nice day. Some keepers put on shows with certain animals in their exhibits.

5
★★★★★

Park has all different types of beautiful and amazing animals. Large park and lots of exhibits. Great place to take the family on a nice day. Some keepers put on shows with certain animals in their exhibits.

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The National Zoo is easy to get to if you take the metro (which is well marked, easy to use and stops right at the zoo) but parking is difficult if you drive. The zoo itself is really easy to walk around because there are maps available that label the different areas. The zoo is clean and the employees are really knowledgeable and helpful. (Starting in a month the zoo will allow people to see the new panda so keep that in mind)!

5
★★★★★

The National Zoo is easy to get to if you take the metro (which is well marked, easy to use and stops right at the zoo) but parking is difficult if you drive. The zoo itself is really easy to walk around because there are maps available that label the different areas. The zoo is clean and the employees are really knowledgeable and helpful. (Starting in a month the zoo will allow people to see the new panda so keep that in mind)!

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A great place for kids and friendly staff! It is definitely a workout though, it is on a large hill so while you are going downhill one way or are going uphill the whole way back. Great place and the kids love it!

5
★★★★★

A great place for kids and friendly staff! It is definitely a workout though, it is on a large hill so while you are going downhill one way or are going uphill the whole way back. Great place and the kids love it!

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Walking to this zoo from my hotel was really tough. The place is quite far from a lot of things, and when you get there there aren't too many open spaces to sit. It is crowded, so I still think the Philadelphia Zoo was a bit nicer. But it's free! You can't complain about that. That saved me like $120 for my family. (compared to other zoos) I liked the pandas; they were a sight to behold. The other animals were nice too. It was cool how you could see animals from all over the world. (from the Amazon all the way to Australia)
When I came here, the gift shop was having a clearance sale. So to help them out, (I can only guess how much it costs to maintain this place) I bought some mugs and cups, which were all nice and very affordable at $3 each. Regularly, they'd cost a lot more.
This whole zoo is located in a sylvan setting. The scenery around it is beautiful, and it is nicely kept. You have to like it here. But then again, it is crowded. There are a lot of people during certain times and that makes it less fun. Try to get here during off-peak times.
Its hilly, and I came during a warm day, so it was kind of smelly in some parts. I wish I had more time; there was so much to see.

5
★★★★★

Walking to this zoo from my hotel was really tough. The place is quite far from a lot of things, and when you get there there aren't too many open spaces to sit. It is crowded, so I still think the Philadelphia Zoo was a bit nicer. But it's free! You can't complain about that. That saved me like $120 for my family. (compared to other zoos) I liked the pandas; they were a sight to behold. The other animals were nice too. It was cool how you could see animals from all over the world. (from the Amazon all the way to Australia)
When I came here, the gift shop was having a clearance sale. So to help them out, (I can only guess how much it costs to maintain this place) I bought some mugs and cups, which were all nice and very affordable at $3 each. Regularly, they'd cost a lot more.
This whole zoo is located in a sylvan setting. The scenery around it is beautiful, and it is nicely kept. You have to like it here. But then again, it is crowded. There are a lot of people during certain times and that makes it less fun. Try to get here during off-peak times.
Its hilly, and I came during a warm day, so it was kind of smelly in some parts. I wish I had more time; there was so much to see.

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The Smithsonian National Zoo is day out for children and adults and there is no charge to get in! It is a very large zoo and there are many hills so be sure to wear good shoes. The best thing there is the panda's but there is often long lines to see them so go early for a good look. You can bring your own lunch or buy it there. Its close to 2 metro stops if you don't want to drive too. You may want to make this a 2 day adventure since its so vast!

4
★★★★☆

The Smithsonian National Zoo is day out for children and adults and there is no charge to get in! It is a very large zoo and there are many hills so be sure to wear good shoes. The best thing there is the panda's but there is often long lines to see them so go early for a good look. You can bring your own lunch or buy it there. Its close to 2 metro stops if you don't want to drive too. You may want to make this a 2 day adventure since its so vast!

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This is one of the great places in the DC area to visit that is FREE! The zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institute, but is not located downtown near the museums. Because it is a National Zoo, admission is free. You can spend an afternoon walking around the grounds. Don't miss the Panda exhibit with little Tai Shan!

5
★★★★★

This is one of the great places in the DC area to visit that is FREE! The zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institute, but is not located downtown near the museums. Because it is a National Zoo, admission is free. You can spend an afternoon walking around the grounds. Don't miss the Panda exhibit with little Tai Shan!

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My family decided to do a day trip to DC over the weekend and with a small child this was a must see. There is no admittance fee and the zoo was well kept. My toddler loved the butterfly exhibit together with seeing all the normal exhibits such has giraffes and elelphants. The prices for food and drink inside was better than what I expected and there are vendors outside the zoo as well with better prices for water and soda.

5
★★★★★

My family decided to do a day trip to DC over the weekend and with a small child this was a must see. There is no admittance fee and the zoo was well kept. My toddler loved the butterfly exhibit together with seeing all the normal exhibits such has giraffes and elelphants. The prices for food and drink inside was better than what I expected and there are vendors outside the zoo as well with better prices for water and soda.

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Wow, what a wonderful day. Visit Asia, the Amazon, the Outback, and even North America all in a day's work at the National Zoo. Located right on the metro lines, making it very easy to park and ride (and see other parts of the city if you have time), the zoo is one of the best places in DC. They are open every day of the year except for Dec. 25 and offer views of pretty much every type of animal that you can think of. Unfortunately you still can't see the baby panda and her mom walking around (although the zoo has set up an amazing video cam to see her over the web!) , but the other attractions surely make up for this. We spent hours there, and definitely could have stayed longer. The best part about this is that it's free! What a wonderful way to teach the children about the animals they have learned about and seen on television.

5
★★★★★

Wow, what a wonderful day. Visit Asia, the Amazon, the Outback, and even North America all in a day's work at the National Zoo. Located right on the metro lines, making it very easy to park and ride (and see other parts of the city if you have time), the zoo is one of the best places in DC. They are open every day of the year except for Dec. 25 and offer views of pretty much every type of animal that you can think of. Unfortunately you still can't see the baby panda and her mom walking around (although the zoo has set up an amazing video cam to see her over the web!) , but the other attractions surely make up for this. We spent hours there, and definitely could have stayed longer. The best part about this is that it's free! What a wonderful way to teach the children about the animals they have learned about and seen on television.

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This is a great place to take the family on a nice day, as you will be in for a long day of walking. There aren't too many indoor exhibits, but they have a large variety of animals. With the new Panda cubs, as well as the Cheetah Cubs, there is a lot going on at the National Zoo. The best thing about the National Zoo is the fact that is is free and open to the public. I will admit the shape of the zoo itself is not very convenient, It is not a full circle route that you could take around and finish where you started. So you are forced to double back to the entrance/exit, or to the parking lot where you parked your car.

4
★★★★☆

This is a great place to take the family on a nice day, as you will be in for a long day of walking. There aren't too many indoor exhibits, but they have a large variety of animals. With the new Panda cubs, as well as the Cheetah Cubs, there is a lot going on at the National Zoo. The best thing about the National Zoo is the fact that is is free and open to the public. I will admit the shape of the zoo itself is not very convenient, It is not a full circle route that you could take around and finish where you started. So you are forced to double back to the entrance/exit, or to the parking lot where you parked your car.

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Whether you are local or from out of town, don't try and see it all in one day. There are many exhibits and you could see everything in a day, but it's exhausting (with little hills). Since the zoo entrance is Free and parking only $5.00 it's very affordable to come again and again. I believe the best time is mid morning. Most of the animals have eaten and are out. If you plan ahead and let children know you'll be coming back, you can truly take it easy and learn much more.

4
★★★★☆

Whether you are local or from out of town, don't try and see it all in one day. There are many exhibits and you could see everything in a day, but it's exhausting (with little hills). Since the zoo entrance is Free and parking only $5.00 it's very affordable to come again and again. I believe the best time is mid morning. Most of the animals have eaten and are out. If you plan ahead and let children know you'll be coming back, you can truly take it easy and learn much more.

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This popular zoo is always a crowd pleaser for the kids. Lots of animals and a fantastic setup. The animals have lots of room and there is always something new to see. The place is so big, though, that it is exhausting for the parents who have to push strollers and hard for little kids to walk because of the hills. It is a great zoo, though.

3
★★★☆☆

This popular zoo is always a crowd pleaser for the kids. Lots of animals and a fantastic setup. The animals have lots of room and there is always something new to see. The place is so big, though, that it is exhausting for the parents who have to push strollers and hard for little kids to walk because of the hills. It is a great zoo, though.

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This zoo is awesome. It's really big, with tons of animals, and lots of "hands-on" exhibits. You can take the metro, so you don't have to pay for parking, and you can bring a lunch, so you don't have to pay for food. Great place to take a day trip!

5
★★★★★

This zoo is awesome. It's really big, with tons of animals, and lots of "hands-on" exhibits. You can take the metro, so you don't have to pay for parking, and you can bring a lunch, so you don't have to pay for food. Great place to take a day trip!

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There is so much to do and see! Pack a lunch and plan to do a lot of walking but you will really enjoy all there is to offer. Definitely take Metro, parking is very limited and costly!

5
★★★★★

There is so much to do and see! Pack a lunch and plan to do a lot of walking but you will really enjoy all there is to offer. Definitely take Metro, parking is very limited and costly!

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I love the DC zoo, it is filled with exotic animals from lions, zebras, and bears to a whole exhibit dedicated to snakes and amazon rainforest. The parking is $5 but the zoo is free. You are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks. The metro goes out all the way as well. A cheap, educational fun trip with or without kids

PROS: Free!
CONS: Animals are sometimes inside

5
★★★★★

I love the DC zoo, it is filled with exotic animals from lions, zebras, and bears to a whole exhibit dedicated to snakes and amazon rainforest. The parking is $5 but the zoo is free. You are allowed to bring in your own food and drinks. The metro goes out all the way as well. A cheap, educational fun trip with or without kids

PROS: Free!
CONS: Animals are sometimes inside

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Our family really likes this zoo. We prefer to take the Metro to avoid traffic and parking hassles. It is indeed free, which amazed us the first time we went there (but then again, all Smithsonian's are free). It has a nice layout and the animals are kept in appropriate areas. Even on crowded days, because it's so large, it doesn't feel packed. Highly recommended!

5
★★★★★

Our family really likes this zoo. We prefer to take the Metro to avoid traffic and parking hassles. It is indeed free, which amazed us the first time we went there (but then again, all Smithsonian's are free). It has a nice layout and the animals are kept in appropriate areas. Even on crowded days, because it's so large, it doesn't feel packed. Highly recommended!

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This is a class act zoo. And, the best part is that it is free and convenient to the Metro system!

Of course see the world famous Pandas, especially since there is a baby panda there now. The orangutans have a tower to climb, and can swing across the zoo in an instant. Fun to watch. Best to go in early spring - it's less busy and not so hot and humid.

Enjoy!

5
★★★★★

This is a class act zoo. And, the best part is that it is free and convenient to the Metro system!

Of course see the world famous Pandas, especially since there is a baby panda there now. The orangutans have a tower to climb, and can swing across the zoo in an instant. Fun to watch. Best to go in early spring - it's less busy and not so hot and humid.

Enjoy!

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Everyone is talking about it being free! Yeah , it is only if you are using public transport. There is a parking fee for parking in one of there A/B/C/D parking areas- 14$. Of course the Zoo is fun- quite a few animals - the heat of the summer sometimes keeps a lot of them hidden in foliage or there covered resting areas.
It is a good idea to be a member of the FONZ club if you are an animal lover! some great discounts and additional benefits- check out the website!
Also do not forget the petting zoo for the little budding animal lovers in the family!
Make sure to wear very comfortable footwearas there is a lot of walking.

PROS: lots of open space , clean outdoor fun
CONS: Could have more animals

4
★★★★☆

Everyone is talking about it being free! Yeah , it is only if you are using public transport. There is a parking fee for parking in one of there A/B/C/D parking areas- 14$. Of course the Zoo is fun- quite a few animals - the heat of the summer sometimes keeps a lot of them hidden in foliage or there covered resting areas.
It is a good idea to be a member of the FONZ club if you are an animal lover! some great discounts and additional benefits- check out the website!
Also do not forget the petting zoo for the little budding animal lovers in the family!
Make sure to wear very comfortable footwearas there is a lot of walking.

PROS: lots of open space , clean outdoor fun
CONS: Could have more animals

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I would expect more from the zoo in our nation's capitol. It definitely could us a little better work on the upkeep. Also some of the animals look miserable, (the gorilla and the pandas) btu I guess they would probably be miserable in any zoo.

3
★★★☆☆

I would expect more from the zoo in our nation's capitol. It definitely could us a little better work on the upkeep. Also some of the animals look miserable, (the gorilla and the pandas) btu I guess they would probably be miserable in any zoo.

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One of the best things about the National Zoo in DC is it is FREE. Yes, free. This place is huge. The exhibits are are open type and are awesome. Most people come to see the pandas, but everything is awesome. This is a difficult walk if you visit the entire zoo in one day, especially with kids. It is laid out throughout a hilly area of town, so going up hill can be difficult if you are not in shape or have a disability.

There is parking at the zoo, but you are also close enough to the metro to walk there. Lots of other great things in the area to enjoy as well. Well worth a trip if you are in the area. When we lived close by we would go there a few times a year!

5
★★★★★

One of the best things about the National Zoo in DC is it is FREE. Yes, free. This place is huge. The exhibits are are open type and are awesome. Most people come to see the pandas, but everything is awesome. This is a difficult walk if you visit the entire zoo in one day, especially with kids. It is laid out throughout a hilly area of town, so going up hill can be difficult if you are not in shape or have a disability.

There is parking at the zoo, but you are also close enough to the metro to walk there. Lots of other great things in the area to enjoy as well. Well worth a trip if you are in the area. When we lived close by we would go there a few times a year!

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I have been to a lot of zoos, but none of them compare to the National Zoo. They have the widest variety of animals that a zoo could have. AND IT'S FREE!!! Great place for kids and adults alike.
Beautiful waterfall, lots of bathrooms, great gift shops!

5
★★★★★

I have been to a lot of zoos, but none of them compare to the National Zoo. They have the widest variety of animals that a zoo could have. AND IT'S FREE!!! Great place for kids and adults alike.
Beautiful waterfall, lots of bathrooms, great gift shops!

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While the Smithsonian's National Zoo is a bit outside of the heart of Washington, DC, it is totally worth the visit-- especially if you are with children. You can get to it quite easily, as it has its very own Metro stop.

The zoo itself is very small, but has a wide variety of animals. There is even a panda exhibit with two giant pandas. This is definitely worth seeing, as an exhibit such as this is quite rare.

Admission is free, which is good because the restaurants and vendors are pretty pricey. Souvenirs are a bit more reasonable than the food, but you can't eat a keychain. Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to bring food into the zoo.

Be sure that you wear comfortable shoes, because there is a lot of walking to be done. If you take your time and stroll, you can spend the entire day here. It is certainly worth the visit.

PROS: Lots to see, reasonable souvenirs, very clean, Panda Exhibit
CONS: out of the way, expensive restaurants

4
★★★★☆

While the Smithsonian's National Zoo is a bit outside of the heart of Washington, DC, it is totally worth the visit-- especially if you are with children. You can get to it quite easily, as it has its very own Metro stop.

The zoo itself is very small, but has a wide variety of animals. There is even a panda exhibit with two giant pandas. This is definitely worth seeing, as an exhibit such as this is quite rare.

Admission is free, which is good because the restaurants and vendors are pretty pricey. Souvenirs are a bit more reasonable than the food, but you can't eat a keychain. Unfortunately, you aren't allowed to bring food into the zoo.

Be sure that you wear comfortable shoes, because there is a lot of walking to be done. If you take your time and stroll, you can spend the entire day here. It is certainly worth the visit.

PROS: Lots to see, reasonable souvenirs, very clean, Panda Exhibit
CONS: out of the way, expensive restaurants

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During a recent - very short - visit to D.C., I pegged the National Zoo as my number one must-visit attraction. Unfortunately, we didn't make it there until Sunday - after having walked the city all day on Saturday. We were tired and sore, but I wasn't about to miss out on the zoo. The zoo is quite a walk from the nearest Metro station, Woodley Park/Zoo - 1/4 to 1/2 mile, I'd say. The drudgery of the walk flew from our minds as soon as we saw the zoo's entrance, though, and we were off.

I was immediately impressed at the variety of animals housed in the National Zoo (a part of the Smithsonian), despite it's size - relatively small compared to many other zoos. Many African animals were represented - elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, tigers - as well as the usual wolves, kangaroos, monkeys, reptiles and birds. What made this zoo especially amazing to me was the presence of the two Giant Pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. I had never seen a panda in person, and these creatures were beautiful - worth the sore feet, to be sure.

There are many trails and lots of walking in the zoo, but with surprisingly few hills and rough surfaces. Although we're quite out of shape, we had no trouble navigating the entirety of the zoo, even with a stroller. All of the exhibits are easily accessible, although not all will permit stroller entry. We missed at least two indoor exhibits because we weren't willing to wake our daughter up to remove her from the stroller.

Several small restaurants, ice cream stands and gift shops and kiosks are located throughout the zoo; food and restrooms are never far away. As in most parks, food is pricey ($8 for a cheeseburger, fries and drink), although souvenirs are more reasonable ($3.50 for a photo keychain and $5 for a small stuffed panda.)

Next time we visit D.C., the National Zoo will be one of my first stops - before the tired feet - so that we can enjoy it more thoroughly. The grounds are clean and gorgeous, the exhibits are amazing and my whol

PROS: Beautiful grounds; great exhibits; lots of animals; free admission.
CONS: Lots of walking.

5
★★★★★

During a recent - very short - visit to D.C., I pegged the National Zoo as my number one must-visit attraction. Unfortunately, we didn't make it there until Sunday - after having walked the city all day on Saturday. We were tired and sore, but I wasn't about to miss out on the zoo. The zoo is quite a walk from the nearest Metro station, Woodley Park/Zoo - 1/4 to 1/2 mile, I'd say. The drudgery of the walk flew from our minds as soon as we saw the zoo's entrance, though, and we were off.

I was immediately impressed at the variety of animals housed in the National Zoo (a part of the Smithsonian), despite it's size - relatively small compared to many other zoos. Many African animals were represented - elephants, giraffes, zebras, lions, tigers - as well as the usual wolves, kangaroos, monkeys, reptiles and birds. What made this zoo especially amazing to me was the presence of the two Giant Pandas, Mei Xiang and Tian Tian. I had never seen a panda in person, and these creatures were beautiful - worth the sore feet, to be sure.

There are many trails and lots of walking in the zoo, but with surprisingly few hills and rough surfaces. Although we're quite out of shape, we had no trouble navigating the entirety of the zoo, even with a stroller. All of the exhibits are easily accessible, although not all will permit stroller entry. We missed at least two indoor exhibits because we weren't willing to wake our daughter up to remove her from the stroller.

Several small restaurants, ice cream stands and gift shops and kiosks are located throughout the zoo; food and restrooms are never far away. As in most parks, food is pricey ($8 for a cheeseburger, fries and drink), although souvenirs are more reasonable ($3.50 for a photo keychain and $5 for a small stuffed panda.)

Next time we visit D.C., the National Zoo will be one of my first stops - before the tired feet - so that we can enjoy it more thoroughly. The grounds are clean and gorgeous, the exhibits are amazing and my whol

PROS: Beautiful grounds; great exhibits; lots of animals; free admission.
CONS: Lots of walking.

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Usually we go with family members who are Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) so parking is free, or you can take Metro but that's inconvenient if you have stuff to carry and can also be kind of expensive. The zoo is pretty nice, though, but not the greatest, but it probably is the best free zoo.

PROS: Free
CONS: Expensive to park

4
★★★★☆

Usually we go with family members who are Friends of the National Zoo (FONZ) so parking is free, or you can take Metro but that's inconvenient if you have stuff to carry and can also be kind of expensive. The zoo is pretty nice, though, but not the greatest, but it probably is the best free zoo.

PROS: Free
CONS: Expensive to park

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Free. As in no money. None. gratis. How can you beat that price? You simply can't. The National Zoo is the best deal in town, for sure. It's run by the Smithsonian, so in addition to scads of animals, they have the nestest display buildings ever.

You can go into several learning centers here, but my absolute favorite is the one which has on display various real brains from different species, including man. It's very cool to compare sizes, and each has accompanying trivia. There's lots of hands-on interactive stuff in these buildings too, such as computers with littlegames and quizzes wehich even I, as a 48 yr old adult, had a blast with... although they are certainly not too hard for kids either.

They do not have the largest collection of animals in existance, but it's fairly decent. They have the usual elephants, lions, apes, and whatnot. In fact, one of the primate buildings has a bit of a jungle you can walk through... just be careful not to tease those monkeys that are hanging out with no fence.

The path is an oval, and from the Connecticut ave entrance it's all downhill going in, but that means uphill coming back, so do be sure to take advantage of the free loaner wheelchairs if you have a hard time with hills (like me.)

There is food available at each end only, and souvenir shops can be found adjacent to those. Not a huge selection, but the prices are very reasonable.

So, if you find yourself on a budget but in need of some fresh air with a bonus, hit the National Zoo. It's a wonderful place to wander around.. and it's Free!

PROS: Free!
CONS: Uphill in parts.

4
★★★★☆

Free. As in no money. None. gratis. How can you beat that price? You simply can't. The National Zoo is the best deal in town, for sure. It's run by the Smithsonian, so in addition to scads of animals, they have the nestest display buildings ever.

You can go into several learning centers here, but my absolute favorite is the one which has on display various real brains from different species, including man. It's very cool to compare sizes, and each has accompanying trivia. There's lots of hands-on interactive stuff in these buildings too, such as computers with littlegames and quizzes wehich even I, as a 48 yr old adult, had a blast with... although they are certainly not too hard for kids either.

They do not have the largest collection of animals in existance, but it's fairly decent. They have the usual elephants, lions, apes, and whatnot. In fact, one of the primate buildings has a bit of a jungle you can walk through... just be careful not to tease those monkeys that are hanging out with no fence.

The path is an oval, and from the Connecticut ave entrance it's all downhill going in, but that means uphill coming back, so do be sure to take advantage of the free loaner wheelchairs if you have a hard time with hills (like me.)

There is food available at each end only, and souvenir shops can be found adjacent to those. Not a huge selection, but the prices are very reasonable.

So, if you find yourself on a budget but in need of some fresh air with a bonus, hit the National Zoo. It's a wonderful place to wander around.. and it's Free!

PROS: Free!
CONS: Uphill in parts.

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To quote Simon and Garfunkle its all happening at the zoo. The National Zoo is awesome and there was an elephant named Maggie who was born on my birthday. Its worth checking out.

5
★★★★★

To quote Simon and Garfunkle its all happening at the zoo. The National Zoo is awesome and there was an elephant named Maggie who was born on my birthday. Its worth checking out.

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I am an animal lover, and this is one of the best zoos I have ever visited. It has a large selection and variety of animals from all across the globe, and the best part, is that since it is a part of the Smithsonian, it's FREE! The panda exhibit is my favorite, for very few zoos actually have pandas and they are such amazing animals. This zoo is close to the metro, and is great for everyone.

5
★★★★★

I am an animal lover, and this is one of the best zoos I have ever visited. It has a large selection and variety of animals from all across the globe, and the best part, is that since it is a part of the Smithsonian, it's FREE! The panda exhibit is my favorite, for very few zoos actually have pandas and they are such amazing animals. This zoo is close to the metro, and is great for everyone.

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