Tips for a good zoo experience. If arriving by metro, get off at Cleveland Park (NOT Woodley park), the zoo is about equidistant between the 2 stops, however uphill from Woodley Park Metro. so arrive via Cleveland Park and walk downhill to Woodley park metro on leaving. Mornings are always better for crowds AND for the animals. we arrived at 10:30 and beat the crowds on everything including the pandas. The apes/chimpanzees do a good rings show at 11am. The zoo is NOT designed as a circuit, so once you get to the end, you need to turn around and go back the way you came, UPHILL. so depending on your group you might want to save some exhibits for the way back. or if you have toddlers you might want to rent a "stroller". The elephants have a large area to roam, so you can see them from multiple viewing sites. there are nice "misting" pitstops for people to cooldown in along the way. the zoomap isn't that detailed and there are multiple signs, but buy for $2 if you must.
we enjoyed it and were able to see a lot of the large animals (lion, tiger, elephant, great ape, baboon, chimps eating, pandas, zebra) and be out by 1:30pm.
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