|The male panda|
My husband and I went to “Breakfast at the Zoo” which is only open to FONZ (Friends of the National Zoo) and Smithsonian Associates members. I happen to be members of both. The zoo is opened at 8:00 AM for this event for those who purchased tickets to the event, and they also offer special programs and children’s activities along with a very large and nice hot breakfast buffet.
This year I got VIP access tickets which gave us seating in the pavilion (general admission has seating on the lawn and the few tables set up) and access to the VIP buffet and if we had a child with us they would have gotten a gift bag. (I honestly think adults should get gift bags too or at least the person who purchased the tickets.) The buffet this year had pastries, fresh fruit (I learned I don’t like star fruit), scrambled eggs, French toast, bacon, sausage and a hash browns. It also included your standard breakfast beverages including mimosas for the adults. Plus, since this was the VIP buffet they had an omelet station, so you could have fresh omelets. Overall the breakfast was very good.
They had variety of special keeper talks, animal feeding and animal enrichment events. My husband didn't want to go see the sea lion release. Instead we went to see the small-clawed otter enrichment (which was feeding them by hiding food in their yard). The little otters are all named after food except poor Kevin. The otters ran out into the yard and started looking for their food and doing fun otter antics. Since the zoo was only open to zoo members at that time we got to enjoy many of the exhibits including the pandas without huge crowds. We also finally found were the zoo was hiding the caracal which is a cute cat.
This was a good way to start off our day. We actually drove to the zoo instead of taking the metro, since they were doing major track work. The drive to the zoo wasn't too bad and we found parking easily enough, and it was free since we are FONZ members. I like breakfast at the zoo it is a fun time, maybe one year we’ll take our niece and nephew they would probably have fun.