Places to Go - The National Zoo (Washington D.C)


On days when we can't quite decide what to do, we often end up at the National Zoo (that was not meant to rhyme, but I sort of like that it did); probably because the National Zoo has a little bit of everything - nature walks, wild animals, farm animals, statutes to climb, playgrounds (at the bottom of the hill the zoo has the hamster tunnels and a soft-play pizza), various concession stands, etc. We especially enjoy the zoo in the fall, without the crowds of summer. And, the zoo is FREE (parking is also free if you're a member, a family membership is only $60 a year).

As we live reasonably close to the zoo, we'll often drop in for just a few hours. The tricky part when visiting is deciding which parking lot to use. As you may already know, the zoo is located on a rather steep hill, so if you park at the bottom of the hill, returning to the car is quite easy; whereas parking at the top has the opposite effect. When we visited a few weeks ago, we decided to park at the top because the girls really wanted to see the pandas and the Asia Trail (which meant a long, whiny walk back to the car at the visit's end). Next to the Asia Trail, they've completed construction on stage one of the new elephant trails exhibit and we all really enjoyed checking it out.

We also managed to stop by the zoo's invertebrate house, where we saw an octopus (F's current favorite animal), jellyfish, various insects and lots of other creatures. Plus, the invertebrate house ends with a walk through the zoo's indoor butterfly garden (always fun). We ended the day with a trip to the gorilla yard, where we witnessed the whole family playing together (wow is the baby cute). T especially loved this part of the trip, as he waved hello to the whole family (over and over again). I'd like to say this amused the gorillas, but, truthfully, they seemed rather ambivalent. So goes their life in the spotlight.

If you're looking for something to do this week, THE NATIONAL ZOO IS OPEN ON THANKSGIVING!! What a lovely way to spend some of the day (yes, I rhyme again, it's becoming a curse).


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