Smithsonian National Zoo
The National Zoo may not be the largest in the nation, but it is certainly one of the best.
This 163-acre zoo is located in Rock Creek Park and was founded in 1889, making it one of the oldest in theUnited States. Explore the collection of over 2,700 animals representing 390 species, from the Abyssinian Ground Hornbill to the Yellow-Spotted Amazon River Turtle.
Take a spin on the Speedwell Foundation Conservation Carousel, cool off in the Tide Pool, or take a ride aboard the National Zoo Choo Choo. There are various animal demos throughout the day, as well as school tours with specific learning goals (Ecology of Urban Songbirds Grades 6-8, Animalism Grades 2-5, World Safari K-5, plus many more). You can even just take a free 2-hour guided tour and see the popular exhibits such as Amazonia, Asia Trail Expedition Migration, Great Cats, Kids Farm, and Small Mammal House.
If/when you work up an appetite head to any of the 6 different sit-down eateries, some favorites being the Mane Grill, Panda Grill, and Hot Dog Diner, or any of the many food carts and kiosks along the way.