We took the metra train to the zoo on the red line. We exited at Cleveland park walking downhill sort of to the zoo. Directly across the street from the zoo entrance is a 7/11 for that coffee fix.
Our plan was to head to the pandas first thing. Which seemed like a good idea but they were not aware of our plan and were sleeping instead. We poked around for a few and spent some time by the elephants and the bird house area. Came back and the pandas were still not stirring.
This young male elephant entertained us for a while while we kept checking back with the pandas. We were all grossed out by the naked mole rats for a while. And the zoo was being set up for Boo at the zoo which looked cute enough but we didn’t want to pay $30 each for it. We thought it would be cool and went looking for ticket information, $15 maybe but not $30 each….
This is my negative for the zoo, and maybe I have been really spoiled in the past, when the buildings open have then clean and the animals ready to go. We went to see the apes at well after 11 and they were cleaning the habitat. Maybe with Zoo Boo that night the schedules were different but I want to see animals, not zoo keepers in an ape habitat.
The lions were impressive. That is the largest pride I have seen at a zoo!
We bypassed the kids petting barn, it looked like they had a bunch of animals there but we had a bit of a time constraint. Amazonia was very interesting and seemed to be a newer part of the zoo.
There is a ton of hilly walking at this zoo. We encountered many runners on our visit, they seemed to be all going downhill, LOL!
We ended back by the pandas and this time they were very active!
We watched the pandas for a long time, they were very entertaining!
For the zoo overall I think we have been spoiled. My sister lives close enough to Detroit Zoo to have a membership, she thinks Detroit is better. Aside from the pandas the “National Zoo” didn’t wow like a national zoo should.
Admission is free but parking is high if you chose to drive. We used Uber when we left and had a very short wait for pickup if you want to go that way. We had previously planned to walk downhill to the next metra stop to go home.
More information can be found here: http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Visit/hours.cfm