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 bird of prey, 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!
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
Participants get the unique opportunity to watch our resident artist and sloth ambassador, Valentino, engage his senses by creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece for you to take home!Learn More!
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
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
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
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
In The News
Owl-O-Ween at the National Aviary: Who-o-o’s looking for fun? This owl-themed Halloween party offers a full day of activities.Read More »
Visit the National Aviary for events like Owl-O-Ween, International African Penguin Awareness Day, and more.Read More »
At an Oktoberfest Brunch at the National Aviary, German cuisine will be prepared by Chef Josef Karst of Atria’s Specialty Catering.Read More »
It was a big day for the National Aviary's Andean Condor chick. The aviary revealed her name, and she fledged the nest for the first time.Read More »
The chick, one of only three Andean Condors to hatch in North American zoos in the last year, was named by generous friends of the National Aviary. Today, she fledged the nest for the first time.Read More »