Smithsonian National Park is a national zoological park located in Washington, D.C. and belongs to the Smithsonian Institution. This park, which is commonly known as the national zoo, was founded in 1989 with the mission to provide engaging experiences with animals and create and share knowledge to save wildlife and habitats. This zoo is one of the Washington D.C.’s and the Smithsonian’s most popular tourist destinations, with more than 2 million visitors from all over the world each year. This zoo is also well-known for its annual free lights festival during which thousands of environmentally friendly LED lights will illuminate the Zoo’s trees, walkways and buildings.
The zoo’s habitats feature animals from 300 different species and about 25 percent of the zoo’s residents are endangered. All of the animals at the National Zoo – which is also a global research center and conservation center – are cared for by world-class zoologists and veterinarians.
To visit this park, be prepared to do lots of walking! The National Zoo, which is handicapped and stroller accessible, is a large park with 18 distinct areas to explore. The national zoo is open every day except for Christmas Day and does not charge admission.