Night of the Living Zoo in Washington D.C.

An Adult Halloween Party with the Animals at the National Zoo

Night of the Living Zoo

The Night of the Living Zoo is an adult-only event at the National Zoo in Washington D.C. This very popular annual Halloween party has bone-chilling and mind-boggling performances including palm readers, fire eaters, talking bats, and illusionists. Participants dress in costume while enjoying the little monsters that live at the Small Mummy House, Ghastly Ape House, Reptile Disgusting Center, Trick Tank and more.

Ghouls and goblins can enjoy craft beer, fare from popular food trucks from the District, a spooktacular costume contest, and performance artists, all while dancing to music at the DJ dance party. It's a wicked night of fun that would be scary to miss!

Typically held the last Friday of October, this event takes place at 3001 Connecticut Avenue N.W. in Washington, D.C. The best way to get to the zoo is to take the Metro to the Woodley Park-Zoo/Adams Morgan stop or the Cleveland Park stop. The entrance lies halfway between these stops, and both are a short walk. If you are driving, only the Connecticut Avenue entrance will be open for vehicles, and parking fees will apply.

The Night of the Living Zoo takes place in the middle portion of the zoo between the Small Mammal House and the Carousel. There are two registration locations; one will be by the Small Mammal House, the other will be at the bottom of the zoo by the clock tower across from the Harvard Street Bridge.

Date and Time: October 25, 2019, 7-10:30 p.m.


Tickets must be purchased in advance and usually sell out well before the event date. They are available for sale through the zoo's website, and members of the National Zoo have access to special pricing and early ticket access beginning in September each year. You must be at least 21 years old to attend this event. A valid ID is required for admission. All ticket sales are final and are not refundable. 

It's important to note that smoking is not permitted on the zoo grounds, and Night of the Living Zoo is held rain or shine. 

If you want to skip the lines and enjoy a few extra perks, you may want to purchase a VIP ticket, which in addition to the general attractions, includes:

  • VIP express check-in
  • One additional drink ticket
  • Private access to the VIP bar and lounge in Think Tank 
  • Private dance party
  • Complimentary food tastings from DC restaurants
  • Exclusive, VIP-only animal experiences and viewings

Food Information

Food is available to purchase at food trucks and at the Zoo's restaurants throughout the event. Credit cards are accepted at most food trucks, but not all. For this reason, ATMs are located inside the Zoo's Visitor Center and Mane Restaurant. Food trucks that have been in attendance in Night of Living Zoo's past include:

  • Baked by Yael
  • Ben & Jerry's
  • Chix N Stix
  • DC Crab Cake n Co
  • DC Empanadas
  • DC Slices
  • Rito Loco
  • ROCKLANDS Barbeque and Grilling Company
  • Tapas Truck
  • The Big Cheese
Was this page helpful?