I'm a published wedding and portrait photographer located in a small town outside of Charlottesville. In addition to capturing beautiful images, I love spending time with my family, am freakishly good at word games (Hey Wheelmobile!), love an ice cold can of Coke or Dr. Pepper, know every line to Hocus Pocus and can never pass up a Chick-fil-A waffle fry or a trip to HomeGoods.
This unusually warm, sunny late February early March weather has me dreaming of spring and one of my favorite spring activities–visiting the National Zoo in Washington, D.C. I love this zoo, which is owned by the Smithsonian Institution. It’s free for visitors and all the animals look super happy and very well cared for unlike those sketchy, rusty zoos where you just know all the animals are planning a Madagascar-style escape.
My favorites are the pandas, of course, and the otters. There’s something about otters that draw me in. They’re adorable and always look fairly sleepy, yet mischievous. I also enjoy the giant cats and I’d love to see a giraffe exhibit added at some point although I’m not sure if enough space exists for that kind of expansion. The zebras are also pretty great and I like the bird section with the flamingos.
A favorite for children is the kid’s farm where they can meet and pet the animals. I think they also have some kind of pizza garden in that area, but to be honest, I typically skip it. The zoo is fairly long and a little bit of a hike and the kid’s farm is outside of my usual route.
As the weather gets warmer, definitely plan a trip to the National Zoo. Don’t wait too long because once it gets hot, the animals tend to not be as active with some hiding in the cool shade. I can’t say I blame them.