Our family visited Washington, DC last week for a few days with my in-laws and one of the places we spent a day was at the Smithsonian National Zoo. I have been to the National Zoo once before with the kids, but this trip was much more enjoyable, since it wasn’t so hot! Even the animals seemed to be enjoying themselves more than the last time we visited. If you do visit in the summer, don’t forget to bring lots of water ($3/bottle to buy) a hat and sunscreen! They also have a lovely carousel in the middle of the park, which is lots of fun for younger kids.
We really took our time and got to see most of the zoo. This time we drove in, but the only reason we got parking was because we got there as the park was opening at 10 am. The last time I visited, we took the train. Driving is definitely more convenient, since the train station is about a half mile walk from the zoo, but parking is very limited.
They have tons of snack bars, but it’s pretty expensive to eat there. We are now in the habit of packing a lunch and drinks, so fortunately, we didn’t have to spend the money on food. Admission to the zoo is free, but the parking was about $25 (we were there about 5 hours).
My favorite part is the primates. They have gorillas, orangutans, gibbons, tamarins, and all other kinds of apes and monkeys big and small. When we arrived, the orangutans were swinging across the sky bridge from the Think Tank to the Ape House. They also have both Asian pandas and red pandas, lots of reptiles, birds, elephants and big cats.
It is truly one of the best zoos I have ever visited, and if you’re going to be visiting the area with kids, plan to spend the whole day!