Dear Zoo Neighborhood Council Members:
I hope this finds you well and healthy. Today, the Smithsonian announced that the Smithsonian’s National Zoo and the National Air and Space Museum’s Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Chantilly, Virginia, will reopen to the public on Friday, July 24. All other Smithsonian museums will remain temporarily closed to the public.
The Zoo will reopen with new health and safety measures in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes limiting the total number of visitors and requiring free timed-entry passes and/or a paid parking pass. That means that our neighbors, accustomed to walking through the park, will require a timed entry pass. I ask for your help to defuse any complaints that may arise from this new requirement. For the safety of everyone, we must limit and be able to account for everyone in the Zoo at all times. Our hours will be 8:00 a.m. with last admittance at 3:00 p.m. (closing at 4:00 p.m.).
We’ve created a new ‘Visit’ page on the Zoo’s website with detailed information on the reopening and new safety measures including an FAQ. The press release issued today by the Smithsonian is also posted to our online newsroom.
Our team is working tirelessly to create a safe environment and welcome back visitors. It’s been an incredibly challenging time and ideally, visitors will find the Zoo a restorative and inspiring place once again.
As always, we appreciate your support and will continue to keep you updated. Please feel free to reach out with questions to NZP-CommunityOutreach@si.edu.