National Zoo vs. Maryland Zoo: Which One is the Best?

A trip to the zoo is amazing and anyone who lives in or has visited the DC-Baltimore area knows that we are incredibly blessed to have two major zoos to choose from.

Whether a feature or detail is a pro or con for you will depend on the age of your kids, the temperament of your kids, where you live, and which animals are on your ‘must-see’ list.

It’s the National Zoo vs. Maryland Zoo. Which zoo is best for kids? Which zoo has the animals and amenities you are looking for? Let's find out!

Admission Fees and Other Costs

The National Zoo in DC has free admission as it is part of the Smithsonian Institute. The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore typically costs $24 for adults and $20 for children.

Parking at the National Zoo is a big pain. Conversely, parking at the Maryland Zoo is a breeze. All of the zoo parking lots are a very short walk from the zoo entrance.

Getting there and Parking

Walkability and Accessibility

The National Zoo is larger than the Maryland Zoo. It is also situated on a big hill. The Maryland Zoo is much more walkable, both for little legs and for strollers.

The impact of tours and tourism

Another consideration– The National Zoo is considered a major tourist attraction in a major tourist town. When school is out this zoo will be packed.