The National Zoo is open every day of the year except December 25. ADMISSION IS FREE!

  Grounds Buildings**
Apr Open from
6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Open from
10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Nov Open from
6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Open from
10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

*Early Closings and Late Opening
Please note: Occasionally, the Zoo closes early for very special events. Once a year, the Zoo opens late. Details will be posted below. We apologize for any inconvenience.

January 19-20, 2009: The Zoo will close early. Buildings will close at 4 p.m., and the grounds will close at 5 p.m. See details about inauguration weekend.

March 14, 2009: The Zoo will open late for Cockadoodle Zoo, our annual member-appreciation event.

May 14 and June 12, 2009: The Zoo will close early for ZooFari and Guppy Gala.

October 22-25, 2009: The Zoo will close early for Boo at the Zoo.

December 2008 (dates TBD): The Zoo will close early for ZooLights.

** The last admission to buildings is 15 minutes before closing time.

We hope you see every animal at the Zoo each time you visit, however, animals are not on view every minute. Especially during the summer, animals may be resting in shady spots outside or staying cool inside their shelters. Animals at the Zoo and in the wild—and most of us—do what they can to be comfortable when the weather gets hot.

Please note: If you are interested in visiting a specific animal exhibit, please check the animal program (menu at left) for exhibit-specific information. We are renovating some exhibits, which may be closed temporarily when you visit. Details, when available, are posted on exhibit-specific pages. We apologize for any inconvenience.

NOTE: In the spring, many school buses full of children arrive at the Zoo between 10 a.m. and noon. For a more enjoyable, quieter experience, we recommend that you visit later in the afternoon, after 2 p.m. The animals are generally less active in the middle of the day. For tour bus groups, we offer special programs early and late in the day. See Group Packages.

Page Controls