Here's what you need to know to plan your visit:
- Starting sometime this week (it was supposed to be Tuesday, but the zoo was closed due to the winter storm), the panda house at the David M. Rubenstein Family Giant Panda Habitat will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
- Zoo patrons are asked to arrive early. Long lines require earlier cut-off times to ensure those waiting can enter the panda house before it closes.
- Additional FONZ member-only viewing opportunities will be available beginning Tuesday. A reservation will be required for these special morning-only viewings. Viewing hours will be from 8 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. (Check back for information on how to make a reservation.
- Flash photography and video are welcomed, but please refrain from setting up tripods, or other stationary equipment.
- Tips on getting to the zoo, by http://nationalzoo.si.edu/Visit/gettingtozoo.cfm
Visitors will be allowed into the panda house on a first-come, first-served basis.
Due to the expected number of visitors to see Bao Bao, Asia Trail will be open to one-way traffic only. Visitors will enter Asia Trail at the sloth bear exhibit, near the Connecticut Avenue pedestrian entrance. Those visiting Bao Bao will be asked to line up outside the giant panda house in front of the panda yards. For the safety of our guests, animals, and staff, visitors will be allowed into the panda house in small groups to avoid overcrowding.
Visitors will enter the panda house from the west entrance, by the red panda exhibit, and exit the east entrance. After leaving the panda house, visitors will exit Asia Trail near Panda Plaza.
Although the panda house will be open from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Mei Xiang and Bao Bao may not always be visible during that time. They will have access to the den where Bao Bao has spent much of the past few months and may choose to spend time in there instead of on exhibit.