Ever wonder what it would be like to have a place like the Smithsonian National Zoo all to yourself? It is possible and pretty simple to do. All you have to do is go to the zoo first thing in the morning, in February, when the wind chill makes it feel like it’s 14 degrees out!
Although most animals are smart enough to stay inside on frigid days, there are still a few that are willing to brave the cold. And, the zoo has several indoor animal habitats where you can get a break from the elements and see some of the smaller zoo residents.
One of the nicest thing about being the only visitors there is that the volunteers are delighted to see you and are more than happy to share information and answer any questions you might have. Did you know that If you happen to live in the area and are getting rid of sheets, towels, blankets, etc., you can donate them to the zoo? The orangutans love to cozy up for naps in them!! And, when visiting the Amazon house, watch out for the pink bird named Mike. He just might swoop down from his perch and follow you around the exhibit if he feels the need for a little company.
Getting there – There are a few entrances to the zoo, one of which is off of Connecticut Avenue. If you’re in Woodley Park, it’s a short walk. Otherwise, use one of DC’s many transportation options. If you visit during the winter, note that while you don’t have to fight the crowds, many animals will not be out and food service places will not be open. Dress warm and enjoy!!