The National Zoo reopened its doors to the public on Friday, May 21, giving its guests the chance to see the youngest member of the facility’s panda family for the first time.
The Zoo has been closed since November 23, 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It started releasing free timed-entry passes on Friday, May 14, ahead of its reopening.
You can visit the Zoo from 8 am to 4 pm. Admission is free, but it is required to reserve either a free timed-entry pass for each person in your party if you are planning to come on foot or a paid parking pass if you arrive by a personal vehicle and need to park at the Zoo.
Parking passes cost $30 per car and they serve as admission for each visitor who arrives in the same vehicle.
Visitors must follow a number of coronavirus safety guidelines, including wearing masks and maintaining a social distance of six feet between groups, even if they have been vaccinated against COVID-19. Those who don’t comply with the rules may be asked to leave.
🐼🐾 Like a playful panda cub in a crate, we hope your weekend is pawsitively delightful!
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Enrichment toys like this milk crate encourage giant panda Mei Xiang and her cub Xiao Qi Ji to keep physically active and mentally sharp through play and exploration. #PandaStory pic.twitter.com/fX4tV4F22S
— National Zoo (@NationalZoo) May 21, 2021
To view the Zoo’s giant panda family, Tian Tian, Mei Xiang and their nine-month-old cub Xiao Qi Ji, a free timed Asia Trail/Panda Pass is required for each visitor.
Xiao Qi Ji, whose name means “little miracle” in Mandarin Chinese, was born on August 21, 2020 at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat, after his mother Mei Xiang was artificially inseminated in March 2020.
Panda Passes can be obtained at the Visitor Center when you are at the site. These passes are limited to 620 people per day, and the giant panda viewing is limited to 15 minutes.
Animals can be viewed at the Zoo include giant panda cub Xiao Qi Ji, Amur tiger Metis, Przewalski’s horse mother-son duo, Barbie and Cooper, Komodo dragon juvenile Onyx, Andean bear Brienne, American bison Lucy and Gally, California sea lion Charger and North American beaver Poplar, a new wallaby joey and a kudu calf.
The Reptile Discovery Center will be open on Saturdays and Sundays.
Some areas of the Zoo, including select animal exhibits, will remain closed for safety reasons.
Click here for further details on entry and parking passes.