Saturday, October 28, 2017

A Mom's Guide To The Smithsonian's National Zoo #DCZoo

My children really loved the National Zoo in Washington D.C I am going to share with you some of the must see attractions and give you some tips to help you plan your visit. The #1 biggest concern that I had when planning our day at the zoo was the parking! I know that parking in DC can be crazy so I was really happy to discover that you can prepay online and purchase a parking spot at the National Zoo! Here are directions and a guide to parking. We drove and parked by the Panda entrance at the zoo. We selected the "VIP" parking which costs $31. I used Parking Panda to find a parking spot. It was very easy and we just followed the directions on the website. TIP: Purchase parking in advance, I would recommend purchasing at least a week or two prior if you are going to be visiting in the summer or during spring break.

My children's favorite animal at the zoo was the adorable panda!


There is a wonderful elephant sanctuary both indoors and outdoors that is beautiful

My son posing with the meerkats


Inside the Rain Forest exhibit building with a gorgeous exotic bird



The National Zoo is free to visit so I did not mind paying to park. We packed the kids a lunch in the cooler and brought them plenty of juice boxes, bottled water and snacks too. The zoo is open from 8 am until 5 pm (in the summer it is open until 7 pm). The exhibit buildings are open from 9 am until 4 pm.

There are so many great dining options at the National Zoo. Be sure to check out the food and dining options on the website. We dined at the Mane Grill located near the lion's. They offer kid's meals and my kids loved the chicken nuggets kids meal. This came with a souvenir lunch box. Here is a photo of the kids meal options ($10.25 for a kids meal is the average price at the zoo regardless of the restaurant you choose).


                                                         Tips for visiting the National Zoo

  • Pack a cooler with drinks and snacks
  • Bring an umbrella just in case
  • Wear good walking shoes, the zoo is huge and there are a lot of hills
  • Bring some pennies for the pressed penny machines
  • Bring a stroller if your child is not used to walking 2+ miles
  • Don't forget a camera!
  • Show your children the Zoo's webcam to get them excited about the upcoming visit


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