Smithsonian National Zoological Park: Preserving Nature

Are you looking for a fun and educational day in Washington, DC? If so, you should visit the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, one of the world’s oldest and most prestigious zoos. In this blog post, we will tell you everything you need to know about this fantastic place, from its history to its attractions, and give you some tips on making the most of your visit.

The History of Smithsonian National Zoological Park

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park was founded in 1889 by William Temple Hornaday, a conservationist and taxidermist who wanted to create a refuge for endangered animals. He started with 15 animals, including a black bear, a bison, and a lynx. Over the years, the zoo expanded and became part of the Smithsonian Institution, the world’s largest museum and research complex. Today, the zoo covers 163 acres and houses more than 2,700 animals of 390 species, many rare or endangered.

What can you find at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park?

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is divided into several areas, each with its theme and exhibits. Some of the most popular ones are:

  • The Giant Panda Habitat is where you can see Mei Xiang and Tian Tian, the famous pair of giant pandas that have been living at the zoo since 2000. You can also watch their cub Xiao Qi Ji, born in 2020, and the first panda cub born at the zoo in five years.
  • The Elephant Trails is where you can meet Kandula, Shanthi, Ambika, Bozie, Kamala, Maharani, and Spike, the seven Asian elephants that call the zoo home. You can learn about their natural history, behavior, and conservation efforts and watch them play and interact with their keepers.
  • The Great Ape House, where you can observe gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, and siamangs in their naturalistic habitats. You can also see some of the zoo’s newest arrivals, such as Moke, a male western lowland gorilla born in 2018, and Redd, a male Bornean orangutan born in 2016.
  • The Cheetah Conservation Station is where you can admire the speed and grace of cheetahs, the fastest land animals on Earth. You can also see other African animals that share their habitat, such as gazelles, zebras, ostriches, and vultures.
  • The Amazonia Exhibit is where you can explore the rich biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest. You can see colorful birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, insects, and plants that live in this unique ecosystem.

Advice for Visitors

If you are planning to visit the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, here are some valuable tips to help you enjoy your day:

When is it open?

The zoo is open every day of the year except December 25th. The hours vary depending on the season. You can check the current schedule on the zoo’s website.

What to wear?

The zoo is mostly outdoors, so dress according to the weather. Wear comfortable shoes and bring sunscreen and water. You can also rent strollers and wheelchairs at the visitor center.

Is it family-friendly?

Yes! The zoo is an excellent place for kids of all ages. There are many interactive exhibits and activities for children to learn and have fun. There is also a Kids’ Farm where they can pet and feed farm animals such as cows, pigs, goats, and chickens.

When is it best to visit?

The zoo is usually less crowded on weekdays than on weekends and holidays. The best time to see the animals is early morning or late afternoon when they are more active. You can also avoid long lines by buying your tickets online in advance.

A Piece of District of Columbia At Your Reach

The Smithsonian National Zoological Park is a must-see attraction for anyone who loves animals and nature. It is not only a place to see amazing creatures from around the world but also a place to learn about their conservation and care. Whether you are a local or a visitor to Washington DC, epoxy flooring experts Castle Floor Coatings recommends that you take advantage of this opportunity to experience one of the best zoos in the world.

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A Trip Through Washington’s D.C. Landmarks to Reach Castle Floor Coatings

Route Overview: The White House to 42575 Sunset Ridge Square, Ashburn, VA 20148, USA

Stop 1: The White House

  •  Head east on H St NW toward Madison Pl NW: 0.2 mi
  •  Turn right onto 15th St NW: 0.6 mi
  •  Turn right onto Constitution Ave. NW: 0.8 mi
  •  Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Henry Bacon Dr NW: 0.2 mi
  •  Henry Bacon Dr NW turns slightly right and becomes Lincoln Memorial Cir NW: 108 ft

 Arrival: Lincoln Memorial, 2 Lincoln Memorial Cir NW, Washington, DC 20002, United States

Stop 2: Lincoln Memorial

  •  Head east on Lincoln Memorial Cir NW toward Henry Bacon Dr NW: 108 ft
  •  Lincoln Memorial Cir NW turns slightly left and becomes Henry Bacon Dr NW: 0.2 mi
  •  Use any lane to turn right onto Constitution Ave. NW: 1.4 mi
  •  Turn right onto 7th St NW: 0.4 mi
  •  Turn left onto Maryland Ave SW, destination will be on the right: 135 ft

 Arrival: 600 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20024, USA

Stop 3: 600 Maryland Ave SW

  •  Head east on Maryland Ave SW toward 6th St SW: 469 ft
  •  Turn left onto 6th St SW: 253 ft
  •  Turn right onto Independence Ave SW: 0.6 mi
  •  Continue straight onto Independence Ave SE: 0.1 mi
  •  Turn left onto First St SE: 0.2 mi

 Arrival: United States Capitol, Washington, DC 20004, United States

Stop 4: United States Capitol

  •  Head north on First St NE toward Constitution Ave NE: 315 ft
  •  Turn left onto Constitution Ave NE: 0.6 mi
  •  Continue onto Pennsylvania Avenue NW: 331 ft

 Arrival: National Gallery of Art, Constitution Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20565, United States

Stop 5: National Gallery of Art

  •  Head northwest on Pennsylvania Avenue NW toward Pennsylvania Avenue NW: 322 ft
  •  Turn left onto Constitution Ave. NW: 1.1 mi
  •  Turn right onto 17th St NW: 0.7 mi
  •  Continue onto Connecticut Ave NW, pass by the pharmacy on the right in 1.6 mi: 2.2 mi
  •  Turn right onto North Rd: 0.8 mi
  •  Turn left onto National Zoo Dr NW, closed Sun–Fri 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM, this road may be seasonally closed: 223 ft

 Arrival: National Zoo Dr NW, Washington, DC, USA

Stop 6: National Zoo Dr NW

  •  Head east on National Zoo Dr NW toward Rock Crk Trl, parts of this road are closed Sun–Fri 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM, this road may be seasonally closed: 16 sec (240 ft)
  •  Take Rock Creek and Potomac Pkwy NW to Independence Ave SW: 12 min (4.8 mi)

 Arrival: 1964 Independence Ave SW, Washington, DC 20227, USA

Stop 7: 1964 Independence Ave SW

  •  Head west on Independence Ave SW toward West Basin Dr SW: 0.3 mi
  •  Make a Uturn at 23rd St SW: 1.2 mi
  •  Turn left onto 12th St SW: 0.1 mi
  •  Slight right onto 12th St Expy: 0.2 mi
  •  Continue straight onto 12th St NW: 0.4 mi
  •  Turn right onto F St NW: 0.1 mi
  •  Turn right at the 2nd cross street onto 10th St NW, destination will be on the left: 112 ft

 Arrival: Ford’s Theatre, 511 10th St NW, Washington, DC 20004, United States

Stop 8: Ford’s Theatre

  •  Get on I66 W: 9 min (2.0 mi)
  •  Head south on 10th St NW toward E St NW: 0.3 mi
  •  Use the right 2 lanes to turn right onto Constitution Ave. NW: 1.3 mi
  •  Use the middle 2 lanes to take the ramp onto I66 W: 0.4 mi
  •  Follow I66 W and VA267 W to VA659 S in Ashburn. Take exit 4 from VA267 W: 31 min (31.1 mi)

 Arrival: 42575 Sunset Ridge Square, Ashburn, VA 20148, USA