Giant Panda Mei Xiang may be having a Baby Panda!

Panda Mei Xiang at the National Zoo

Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute (SCBI) scientists have confirmed a secondary rise in giant panda Mei Xiang’s (may-SHONG) urinary progesterone levels. The slow rise started July 20 and indicates that she will either have a cub or experience the end of a pseudopregnancy within 30 to 50 days. Scientists have been carefully tracking Mei Xiang’s hormone levels since she was artificially inseminated April 26 and 27. The inseminations used frozen sperm collected from Hui Hui, a panda living in China, and fresh sperm collected from the National Zoo’s Tian Tian (tee-YEN tee-YEN).

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What you need to see while in DC








1.) Smithsonian Museums on the National Mall

This should most definitely be your first stop when you get into town. There are tons of Smithsonian Institutes with history just waiting for you to see. The best part about them is that they are free. Head to any and you’re sure to have a great time. Some of the more popular ones are the Air and Space Museum, American Art Museum, American History Museum, National History Museum and the Smithsonian Gardens. They are all great choices and you are sure to learn a lot!

2.) Tour the National Monuments and Memorials

Make a “history day” of it! After you are done touring the museums you want to see, head to the monuments to get a look at something really spectacular. Honor our past Presidents, past veterans and more by visiting the different sites. Tourist favorites include the Arlington National Cemetery, Iwo Jima Memorial, Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument. These massive structures are  sure to wow you!

3.) Tour our Nations Houses of Government

Visitors from around the world come to DC in hopes of making it inside the most famous house in the world. To arrange a tour make sure you plan ahead and request a tour through one of your members of Congress.

4.) Georgetown

Shopping lovers UNITE! Go back in time to cobblestone roads and take a walk through Georgetown, one of the most sought after properties in the DC area. Georgetown offers gourmet restaurants and swanky shops giving you the experience of a lifetime.

5.) Head to the C & O Canal

Be outdoorsy on your vacation… the DC region is lucky enough to have plenty of parks throughout the area but C & O Canal is truly astounding. They offer tons of exercise options along with fun water sports such as kayaking through the canal. Bring a picnic and make a day out of it with your family.

6.) Mount Vernon

This is another one of our favorites. Mount Vernon is located right outside of DC in nearby Northern Virginia… home to the first President of the United States, George Washington. Mount Vernon tries hard to keep things exactly like they were back in the 1740’s as you can walk through the house to see how he really lived. It’s on a beautiful river, has plenty of gardens to tour and is one of our favorite stops… even as locals!


Upcoming Fall Zoo Events

It’s time to plan your fall getaway to our nation’s capital and check out the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, as our property is just minutes away. The National Zoo is a nationwide attraction for family’s everywhere, as well as a mecca for entertaining and fun events. Beginning in September, and continuing through the holiday season, the National Zoo is offering multiple events that you and your family don’t want to miss.


Bao Bao’s Birthday

  • Come and celebrate Bao Bao the Panda’s first birthday with an array of special activities, entertainment and giveaways for all to enjoy on August 23rd, 2014. The event opens to the public at 11AM and goes until 2PM. The celebration will be held at Clint Fields Plaza and around the panda yards, both in the upper and lower viewing areas. Be sure to get there early so you can receive fun treats and samples all day long including the Chinese Embassy that will be giving away noodle samples. (It’s a great way to learn about another culture!)


Rock-N- Roar

  • Starting August 8th, tickets for Rock-N-Roar go on sale to the public. Popular band The Fray comes to rock the National Zoo’s annual outdoor concert! It’s a wonderful, entertaining event that your family is sure to love. The event also includes animal demonstrations and wine and beer vendors all while in the intimate setting of the National Zoo. The proceeds of the event go to benefit animal care and conservation, which makes it even better! Make sure to bring a blanket and get cozy. The event is Friday, September 12th from 6-9PM.