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Special events, inspired by nature

With a season of special events to suit all ages and abilities we’re sure you’ll feel alive at Chester Zoo this spring.

Everyone is welcome to join in and many of the events are FREE with your zoo admission ticket. There are some events that you’ll need book in advance - just follow the links for full details.

Half Term Events & Activities

The Great Chester Zoo Spring Watch

Half term activities

Our Zoo Ranger team will be hosting a series of FREE drop-in sessions every day this February half term from Saturday 18 - Sunday 26 February.

10.30-11.30am - The Great Chester Zoo Bird Watch

Join a FREE drop-in session with our Zoo Ranger team as we find out which of our feathered friends are visiting the zoo at this time of year.

Practice your identification skills with us and why not tell us what birds have been visiting your own backyard.

12-1pm - Make your own bird feeder

Providing food for British birds is becoming more and more important, and you can help out too. Come and join in, help us make a bird feeder, and you can even take your finished feeder home with you, and see who comes for dinner!

1-2pm - Make your own seed bombs

Come along to our FREE drop-in session to join our Zoo Ranger team and make your own seed bomb full of native flower seeds for an explosion of colourful flowers in your garden.

2-3pm - Make your own paper book bird

Come along to our FREE drop-in session to join our Zoo Ranger team and make your own paper book bird to take home.

3-4pm - Wildlife Spotters

Come along to our FREE drop-in session to join our Zoo Ranger team as we find out what wildlife is visiting the zoo at this time of year.

Willow Weaving

Willow weaving
18-20 February
Join our expert weaver in the Dragon's Garden and help us create stunning bird sculptures from willow this half term.
Find out more

FREE - drop-in session

Pyka Sound Workshop

Pika_sound app

24-25 February
Loop it, twist it, groove it! Join us on a secret sound hunt to discover the sounds of birds in the zoo.

Using an innovative iPad app, pyka_loop, you’ll record sounds from the zoo environment then learn how to remix them into your very own piece of sound art. We'll have iPads with the app pre-installed to use.
Find out more

FREE - though attendance is on a first come, first served basis.

Behind the scenes tours

Award Winning Orchids

Saturday 18 February, 2-3pm
Join our Botany and Horticulture team for a tour of our glass houses and discover how we look after our large collection of rare orchids.
Find out more

Sorry, this event is now fully booked on both dates.

National and rare collections

National Plant Collection
Sunday 19 March & Wednesday 12 April
Our expert gardeners take you on a 1 hour behind the scenes tour to show you how we cultivate and care for our plant collection.
Find out more

FREE - places are strictly limited, pre-booking is essential. Call now on 01244 650209 (9-5pm).

Guided tours

Early bird walking tours

Sundays - 12 / 19 / 26 February
Sundays - 5 / 12 / 19 / 26 March

An exclusive Sunday morning guided walk around the zoo before we open to the public. You'll have the zoo to yourself and will be guided by one of our Zoo rangers who’ll help you spot the local and exotic wildlife. The price includes a hot drink and pastry served in our coffee shop at the end of the walk.

£10 per person - places are strictly limited, book online now

Monsoon Forest Tour

Wednesday 29 March
Join our Botany and Horticulture team for a tour of Monsoon Forest in Islands, learn more about our tropical plants and flowers, and maybe even experience a Monsoon rain deluge (waterproof clothing recommended!).
Find out more

FREE - places are strictly limited, pre-booking is essential. Call now on 01244 650209 (9-5pm).

Bee Garden Tour

Wednesday 19 April & Wednesday 3 May
Join our Botany and Horticulture team for a tour of our Bee Garden, discover which plants are beneficial for bees and some tips to encourage bees into your garden.
Find out more

FREE - places are strictly limited, pre-booking is essential. Call now on 01244 650209 (9-5pm).

Garden & Plants Tour

Saturday 22 April & Wednesday 26 April
Join our knowledgeable Botany and Horticulture team for a special guided tour of our gardens and plants.
Find out more

FREE - places are strictly limited, pre-booking is essential. Call now on 01244 650209 (9-5pm).

Trails & Displays

Glorious Gardens & Trees Trail

Glorious Gardens & Tree trail

It’s not just the animal species we look to protect, it’s their habitats too. We have a team of horticulturists and botanists whose passion and expertise is reflected in both our extensive collections and animal enclosures. Take a fresh look and uncover amazing species from common juniper reintroduced to the Great Orme, North Wales to our monkey puzzle trees found in South America.

Download the trail (pdf)

Workshops & Courses

Watercolour Wildlife Workshop

25 March, 10-4pm
This amazing art workshop will be run by professional wildlife artist Kerry Newell and will focus on local flora and fauna (flowers and birds in particular).  

Kerry introduces us to the creative adventure of learning to paint native species in watercolour (the easy way). This workshop day will cater for all abilities even complete beginners. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what can be achieved even if you've never drawn or painted before, plus you'll have a unique piece of art to take home with you at the end of the day.  

£150 per person - Book online here

Garden Photography Course

22 April, 10-4pm
Join Clive Nichols for a photography masterclass where you’ll given an illustrated talk about garden photography, followed by a practical workshop where you can take photos of your own in our award winning gardens.

Clive Nichols has established a reputation as one of the world's finest flower and garden photographers, having photographed many of the world’s best gardens. His passion for the subject comes across in every image that he makes.

Suitable for all abilities. The price of this course includes zoo admission and lunch. Please bring your own camera. 

£160 per person - Book online here

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