The National Zoo is just a short Metro ride from your Hyattsville apartment, and it’s the perfect place to spend a Saturday this fall. The weather is pleasant, and the animals are enjoying it every bit as much as the people.
Here are five reasons to visit the National Zoo in Washington this weekend:
The National Zoo is part of the Smithsonian Institution, which means it’s completely free to enjoy. Most zoos charge for admission, but this top-rated zoo is close to home, and you can walk right through the gates without a ticket. Taking the Metro is much cheaper than parking at the Zoo (parking is $15 for 3 hours and $20 for more than 3 hours), and you can even pack a picnic lunch for a cheap meal. The Zoo allows visitors to bring their own food, as long as you don’t try to barbecue.
Although it fits snugly into the Woodley Park neighborhood of Washington, the National Zoo is packed with fantastic exhibits of a wide variety of animals. You’re sure to find your favorite animals here, but plan to budget several hours to walk through the park; there’s so much to see! Whether you like colorful Amazonian fish, big cats from Africa, or exotic birds from around the world, the Zoo offers something for all ages.
The National Zoo includes a Kids’ Farm that’s actually quite fun for adults, too! Donkeys, alpacas, cows, goats, and other friendly animals live on the Farm, and visitors even have the opportunity to groom and pet some of them. These animals are a bit gentler than, say – lions, and tigers, and bears – so you can get up close to really enjoy their cuteness.
This exhibit is a gorgeous area of landscaped trails where you can watch California sea lions play, and view eagles, wolves and other American wildlife. The Trail is a favorite among Zoo visitors because most of the species have rebounded after facing severe threats. The exhibit celebrates conservation and inspires us to continue helping wildlife populations to recover and thrive.
Finally, you can’t visit the National Zoo without stopping by the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat to meet Washington, D.C.’s most famous furry celebrity, Bao Bao the baby panda. The local media has been covering Bao Bao’s antics since her highly anticipated birth in 2013, and you can meet her “in the fur” – along with fellow pandas Mei Xiang and Tian Tian – at the Zoo.
To learn more about the National Zoo, and to plan your visit, please see their website here.
Image courtesy of NBC