We go to the Smithsonian National Zoo on every trip to Washington DC. It’s Free, kids of all ages love it, and PANDAS!! If taking the Metro, do NOT take the stop marked “zoo.” Take the Cleveland Park stop. The walk is flat from there, but uphill from the Woodley Park/Zoo stop. Take that stop on your way back (if desired). If you want to park your car, get there EARLY to secure a spot.
They were FINALLY done working on the Elephant exhibit. YAY! I think they’ve been working on it our last 2-3 visits! A long time! The kids loved the elephants though, and we learned that Elephants do NOT like the sound of helicopters! They made really loud noises and crowded together in a huddle while wailing. It was actually interesting to watch!
Of course, we had to see the pandas. One was inside and another was outside climbing a tree. Komodo Dragon and the Orangutans are another popular stop for our kids. Last time we were here, there was a baby gorilla and a baby panda (which brought lots of tv cameras), and it was fun to see them. We didn’t see any babies this trip – bummer!
The biggest problem with the zoo is hiking out or back to your car when you are TIRED from walking around for a few hours. So be prepared to be exhausted and not wanting to walk up those hills on your way out!