Animal Encounters

Animal Encounters

You can get nose-to-beak (or snout) with animals at the National Aviary when you book an Animal Encounter! Get one-on-one time with a flock of flamingos, hang out with a sloth, or spend time with a penguin. Encounters are limited in size, so you’ll have a one-of-a-kind, personal experience as a National Aviary expert shares fascinating facts and details about the animal ambassador you are meeting. Gain a deeper understanding of a unique bird or mammal and learn about the important role they play in nature as you get closer than ever! 

All National Aviary Animal Encounters now include general admission!

  • Sloth Encounter

    If life in the slow lane is more your speed, spend time with a Linnaeus’s Two-toed Sloth. Learn about these adorable creatures and what it’s like to spend life upside-down

    Sloth Encounter
  • Flamingo Trek

    Get a bird’s-eye view from the beach of the Wetlands, where a friendly flock of flamingos will greet you. What makes flamingos pink? Why do they have such long necks? You’ll learn this, and more, from an expert as you feed the flock!

    Flamingo Trek
  • Armadillo Encounter

    Meet an adorable Southern Three-banded Armadillo, native to South America. Learn about the adaptations—like natural armor and well-developed sense of hearing and smell—that help this species survive.

    Armadillo Encounter
  • Penguin Encounter

    Meet an African Penguin up close! Learn how penguins make themselves waterproof for life lived partially underwater. Get to know the National Aviary penguins’ favorite foods, and find out how you can help protect this endangered species.

    Penguin Encounter
  • Jr. Penguin Encounter

    In this family encounter, penguin lovers of all ages can get nose-to-beak with one of the National Aviary’s African Penguins. Watch them waddle by as an expert helps you learn how their adaptations help them survive life on land and in the water.

    Jr. Penguin Encounter
  • Private Penguin Feeding

    Hand-feed the entire colony of African Penguins! Suit up and join an expert in Penguin Point. Penguins will come right up to be fed their favorite foods during this one-of-a-kind immersive experience.

    Private Penguin Feeding
  • Owl Encounter

    With enormous eyes and feathers designed for silent flight, owls are masters of the night skies! Hold an owl on your gloved hand and learn how their hearing and eyesight help them navigate in the dark.

    Owl Encounter
  • Jr. Owl Encounter

    Owls are known for being amazing hunters! Children of all ages, accompanied by an adult, can learn more about this fascinating species with interactive games and a story, and then meet an owl one face-to-face

    Jr. Owl Encounter
  • Falcon Encounter

    Falcons are fast and fearsome flyers, among the fastest animals in the world. Meet a falcon up close and learn how their special adaptations make these birds of prey the masters of the skies.

    Falcon Encounter
  • Hawk Encounter

    Hawks are precision hunters with amazing adaptations that enable them to see the tiniest prey from high up in the sky. Get close to a hawk and learn more about these impressive birds of prey.

    Hawk Encounter

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