Washington, DC: National Zoo and National Museum of Natural History

National Zoo:

I feel like the theme of the day at the zoo was bad pictures:



Abe has never been to the zoo in Atlanta, because he’s mostly been too young to care and because it costs a bunch of money. So we drove 11 hours north instead to where the zoo is FREE!

Sometime we’ll take him to the zoo here, too. It’s a nice zoo. We ALSO have pandas.

I read online that the parking lots at the National Zoo often fill up by 10 AM on busy days, so we opted to take the Metro here. It’s a decent hike from the subway stop to the zoo, and then the zoo itself is on a giant mountain, so this made for a kind of tiring excursion. It wasn’t really a mountain. But hilly. We had planned for Monday to be our zoo day because it was the coolest day we had left in the trip, but it was still pretty warm and humid compared to how the weekend had been. Also, of course, crowded. Overall, the zoo was not my favorite destination of the week. Also, the wolves weren’t out? We really wanted to see wolves.

I already posted some pictures from this way awhile back when I did the tie dye post, because this was Matching Tie-Dye T-shirt Day:

cousinstiedye3 cousinstiedye8

I didn’t get any pictures of the pandas, because there were so many people around we could barely see them.

Insider tip: they sell the biggest gluten free pizzas ever at the zoo. It says it’s going to be 10 inches or something, but then it’s huge! Only by then you’ve already ordered way too much, based on this misinformation about the pizzas being 10 inches


There was a funny squirrel. I want one for a pet:


After the small mammal house, everyone except us left:


This was probably very wise of them, because the rest of the day was hot and tiring and wolf-less.

But we did see lions and hear them roar:


(mostly that’s Ari. But there’s a lion behind him)

And Milo compared his foot to a tiger’s:



And there were prairie dogs. They were pretty cool:


Hi, there, prairie dog! You may be the only decent picture I got all day!

And as for Abe and his big first ever trip to a zoo?


He, uhh, loved it?

National Museum of Natural History:


This was our pick for Tuesday, because Amy had read that Tuesdays were one of the least crowded days to go there. And yet….it was still really crowded.

I’m sorry. This is the very last time I’m going to complain about crowds, because it’s the very last crowded place we went.

Milo and Gus were really excited about seeing the giant squid here, so we went there straight away:

leg313s leg312s

It’s really hard to keep a giant party all together here, so eventually we split up into smaller groups.

Ari wanted to see the cat mummy:


He’s taking its picture for his Instagram account, “Ifoundthiscat,” where he posts pictures of….well, cats. Real cats, stuffed cats, toys cats, mummified cats, etc. He likes cats.

Milo held giant bugs:


Abe pointed at a skeleton:


Giant piece of copper! So on trend!


And then we left! Here we all are (except me. taking picture) outside:


I feel like writing this installment has been kind of like reliving the two hottest and most crowded days of our trip. I.e. tiring and too long. But in my next installment I will share with you Washington, DC’s Best Kept Secret! And also another place we went that wasn’t too crowded.

Read about the rest of our trip:

Jamestown and Yorktown with kids

Jamestown and Yorktown


Colonial Williamsburg with Kids trip report

Colonial Williamsburg


Washington, DC, part 1


Washington, DC: National Zoo and National Museum of Natural History — 9 Comments

  1. Abe is usually the scene stealer, but omg… that elephant butt. Was just for me 🙂 ok Abe is totally stealing the scene… and the group photo with the tie dyed shirts : awesome. And finally: squirrelllll!!!!!

  2. Basically DC in the Spring/Summer is always tiring and crowded! We live here and we hardly ever go. The zoo setup is beyond crazy because when you finish walking through all the exhibits you are at the bottom of a huge hill (mountain) and you have to drag your tired, hot kids all the way back up. Once we challenged our kids to race each other to every trash can along the way just so they would keep going!

    My son loves the Nat History museum – we have been there SO many times. But we never see all the exhibits because it is so much ground to cover and of course, busy.

    • It’s so discouraging/sadistic how the zoo is set up! Our zoo is hilly, too, but it’s kind of up and down all over–not wait until you’re exhausted then make you walk up a giant hill to get out of there. Maybe next time we’ll walk straight to the end first and not let anyone look at any animals until we’re walking back uphill, to make it more entertaining.

  3. Tuesday at Natural History was probably crowded because it was a beautiful day. Not too hot, not humid at all. I was at the dentist on 14th and K, NW, and never wanted to head home to Arlington. But then, after $20 for parking…maybe I should’ve stayed longer!

    Like Sarah above, I live in the area, too, and we hardly ever go to any of the museums and other great places in the city. It’s almost like my kids were born at Sibley Memorial and then never returned to DC! I’m sure it’s like that for you in Atlanta, too.

    Enjoy the area while you’re here. You have a beautiful family and I’m so happy for you and your blessings!!

    • Thanks, Erika!! I realized I was totally unclear in the post, but I’m behind in getting the pictures up, so it was actually in late June that we were there. And, yeah, isn’t it funny how it’s sometimes easier to get to all the big fun places in other cities than in your own part of the country?!

  4. Well if nothing else your kids are adorable!!! The second part really looked like a hit for your big kids! Ha and that first shot of the elephant and Abe snoozing are priceless!! Nicole xo

  5. i love the national zoo!!! and i love the prairie dogs- when i was a kid my favorite cards to get in the memory match the mama with the baby was the prairie dogs…. i thought they were the cutest. random fact about me. 😉
    and the natural history is just so interesting! i love looking back and seeing not how far we have come, but just how similar we are to early life.

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