Moms, Go Visit the National Zoo!
The National Zoo is a great day trip for out of town goers as well as those who live in the metro area. Being from CA, and being someone that held an annual pass to the San Diego Zoo, it is hard for me to not have a high standard and high expectations of what a zoo should be or have. It is great that the National Zoo is free! Of course parking is at least $10 but you can always take the metro and not have to worry about it. It is a great place for moms to take their little one and burn off a few calories while walking around, the zoo has a lot of hills! There is a lot for everyone to see at the zoo. There is a wide range of animals and a petting zoo, "The Children's Farm." This is a great spot for children to be interactive with the animals and feed them, learn about them or watch them in a natural habitat. The zoo does a good job with trying to keep the animals habitat as natural as possible, which may be why you might find the animals inside more often then the outside display. It is hard to find the animals when you are first looking because most of them have the inside natural habitat that they can go into so you have to go inside to look through the glass. Most animals have the glass rooms where you can still see them. There was only a select few of the animals that could not be seen.
One of the most exciting things about the zoo is the giant panda bears on loan from China. Mei Xiang and Tian Tian (the giant pandas) are part of the China Wildlife Conservation Association and have been extended to stay in the National Zoo until 2015. The two pandas have produced one cub in 2005. They are very intriguing to watch. Most of the time people see them inside and it is truly amazing how huge they are! They will be sitting their enjoying bamboo and leaves or climbing around and enjoying their surrounding. The zoo is also going under renovations. There is a new elephant habitat that will soon be open as well as the new seal and sea otter habitat. The zoo, through the donations they receive continues to try and live up to the name of being at the Nation's capitol and in the Smithsonian family. The zoo does a good job with everything they have to offer. Most people appreciate that there is a lot of opportunity to be inside looking at the animals with all of the extreme weather the metro area gets and yet that is a critacism for others. If you are planning on going to the zoo for a full day or just a couple hours, there is a lot to experience and see and you won't be disappointed!
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