Plan Your Visit

Escape the chilly weather to enjoy holiday lights, daily activities and other special holiday events!

Make lasting memories with friends and family at the National Aviary! Visit birds in lush habitats daily as you take in festive décor. Plus, check out special events such as Holiday Lights and Late Nights, Photos with Santa and a Penguin and Santa Brunch. Seasonal offerings from Atria's, the soft glow of twinkling lights, and cheerful live entertainment make a wonderful winter experience at the National Aviary. 

Special Holiday Events at the National Aviary

  • Holiday Lights and Late Nights - December 11 & 18 | Open late until 9 pm
    Included with admission.
    Escape the chilly weather and spend a very merry evening exploring our lush, tropical habitats, with free-flying birds. Meet Santa and make a penguin ornament to take home. Live music, a cash bar with festive cocktails, and seasonal café offerings for purchase from Atria’s make for a cozy evening as you take in the sights and sounds of the National Aviary at night.

  • Photos with Santa and a Penguin - December 14, 21 | 11 am - 1 pm
    Included with admission.
    Get your wish list and camera ready, Santa and a penguin will be here to greet you! Learn from experts about these special birds and the National Aviary's work to save this endangered species.

  • Holiday Camps - Friday, December 27 | 9 am - 2 pm, Ages 6-8 &
    Monday, December 30 | 9 am - 2 pm, Ages 9-12
    Price: $85 for members; $95 for nonmembers
    Spend the holidays with the African Penguins! Help prepare breakfast for the National Aviary’s colony of penguins, attend a private feeding, and learn what makes these endangered birds so special. Camp includes a close-up encounter with one of our penguins. Gift certificates are available, and they make a great holiday gift! Click here to register today.

Daily Activities Included with Admission

  • See Festive Decor - 10 am - 5 pm at the National Aviary
    See holiday light displays including twinkling lights and lush garlands and explore our tropical habitats to meet unique birds! Plus, we're open late Thanksgiving Weekend and Wednesdays before Christmas for Holiday Lights and Late Nights!

  • Meet a Bird of Prey – 12 pm at Penguin Point
    In addition to our seasonal cheer, be sure to stop by Penguin Point to see a bird of prey up close! Learn all about the unique adaptations of owls, hawks, and other birds of prey from an expert!

  • Interactive Story Time – 11:30 am 
    Help guide a young Screech Owl home in this Interactive Puppet Show!

Holiday Gift Giving

Admission not required to shop!


Bette the Penguin: An Amazing Story

Fly like a pterosaur on Birdly®

LAST CHANCE to fly like a pterosaur! You’re in control as you fly through Jurassic Times on Birdly®, our full body flight simulator! Flap your arms to pick up speed and feel the wind in your hair as you soar past dinosaurs! Book at a Visitor’s Service desk when visiting the National Aviary. Jurassic Flight ending on January 5, 2020.

PLEASE NOTE: The National Aviary is NOT an allergen-free facility, as many of our birds’ diets include nuts, seeds, and other potential human allergens.