I like to camp. But I’m living in DC, without a car to get me out to the Shenandoah on the weekends. And I’ve always wanted to go on a safari. But my pocket isn’t so deep. So I figured I’d try the next best thing—urban camping in the mock wild, at the Smithsonian National Zoo. Does that sound a bit desperate? A city slicker’s 14-hour Walden.
Maybe a bit creepy? My thoughts went all "Blair Witch Project" on me that night as I anticipated waking to odd snorts and warbles. Or just plain adventurous? You be the judge.
Snore and Roar invites families, adults and scouts to stay the night on the zoo’s lion and tiger hill. There's an evening tour through an animal house or one of the exhibit areas—from Amazonia to the Asia Trail, Sumatran tigers and African lions to octopus and lobsters. Note to the squeamish: zookeepers feed dead rats to the Komodo dragon and American alligator. It culminates with an eery flashlight tour of the grounds, before lights out at 10 p.m.
Video by Megan Gambino and Ryan Reese