Help—Frequently Asked Questions

What are the National Zoo's admission fees and hours?

Admission to the National Zoo and all Smithsonian museums in Washington, D.C., is FREE. The National Zoo is open every day of the year except December 25, weather permitting.

April 1 to October 31:
Grounds are open: 6 a.m.–8 p.m.
Buildings are open: 10 a.m.–6 p.m.

November 1 to March 31:
Grounds are open: 6 a.m.–6 p.m.
Buildings are open: 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.

How do I plan a visit to the National Zoo?

You can plan your trip online! On our Vistors page you will find directions, maps, tourist information, and tips for making the most of your time here. If you can't find the information you need, please call between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST.

For Visitors

Call 202.633.4888 (voice)

What information is available for visitors with disabilities?

Information on services for visitors with disabilities—including parking, building access, and accessibility services—is available online and by telephone.

link toAccessibility Information

Call 202.633.4888 (voice)

What's going on at the National Zoo?

The National Zoo and FONZ have a wide variety of activities and events. Use our online resources to see our ongoing programs and what's happening today or whenever you plan to visit.

link toDaily Programs

link toCalendar

Special Events and Celebrations

Where do I find information about animals?

This website offers extensive information about the animals in the National Zoo collection, and some others as well. Use the following online resources to find out animals we have, where to find them, and what's new at our exhibits. You can also watch our animals on web cams.

link toNational Zoo Animals

link toZooGoer magazine

link toSearch the Smithsonian

link toSearch Google
This link to an external search engine does not constitute an endorsement by the National Zoo or FONZ.

Can students shadow or interview a Zoo staff member for a School Project?
Where can I find out about careers with animals?
Do you offer internships? How can I volunteer?

Students may not shadow National Zoo staff, and opportunities for interviews are very limited. There are many online resources as alternatives. You can read staff interviews and use our online resources to find out about careers, internships, and volunteer opportunities.

link toStaff Interviews

link toFor Students

link toFor Job Seekers

link toFor Volunteers

Can I donate a pet animal or an animal I have rescued from the wild to the National Zoo?

The National Zoo does not, as a matter of policy, accept donations of pet animals or rescued wild animals. Animals are added to our collections according to a careful plan that meets our education, research, and conservation objectives.

Where can I buy National Zoo products?

The National Zoo Stores, managed by Friends of the National Zoo, offer a complete selection of gifts, books, souvenirs, apparel, and more. You can also get fun Zoo things when you adopt a species.
Note: FONZ members are reminded to bring their membership card to receive their ten-percent discount on purchases. You can also shop online. Other Smithsonian museums also have stores.

link toNational Zoo Store Online

link toStores at Smithsonian Museums

link toAdopt a Species

How do I change my address for FONZ membership and ZooGoer magazine?

Send us an email with your name, old and new addresses, and FONZ member number.


How do I become a FONZ member or adopt a species?

You can use our online forms to join Friends of the National Zoo and adopt a species to support the Zoo's work. There are many other ways to support the Zoo.

link toJoin FONZ

link toAdopt a Species

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