We’re doing everything we can to ensure you can visit safely!
Our teams have worked hard to ensure that we can uphold social distancing, minimise all hard surface contact points and further increase hygiene facilities – making it a safe and enjoyable space for everyone.
|GENERAL FAQ’s||MEMBERS FAQ’s||FOOD & DRINK FAQ’s||BOOKING FAQ’s|
Is the zoo open?
From 12 April, the outdoor areas of the zoo are open.
We ask that ALL visitors book their visit online in advance. This includes our members and those with pre-paid tickets. Check our online shop for availability.
What are your opening times?
We open our gates every morning at 10am.
You don’t have to arrive at the exact time stated on your booking confirmation but please don’t arrive before this time as we won’t be able to let you in.
You can find the closing times for the date of your visit here.
How will you ensure that we can visit the zoo safely?
You can see all of the latest safety information here.
Thank you for supporting us in keeping everyone safe.
Are you participating in the NHS Test and Trace programme?
Yes, you’ll be asked to provide contact details for the NHS Test and Trace service when you book your tickets and if you book a table at The Oakfield.
We will also be providing QR codes at the main entrance of the zoo and in some of our restaurants and cafes. We ask that you download the NHS Test and Trace app and use the QR codes to ‘check in’ when you arrive. We will need to have the contact details of all visitors over the age of 16 to allow you to visit the zoo.
How do I book tickets for the zoo?
We ask everyone to book online in advance of your visit.
This includes members and those with pre-paid tickets.
This way we can safely limit the number of visitors at the zoo each day.
For our latest availability go to the shop section of our website.
We’re looking forward to seeing you soon.
I have a gift ticket / adopter ticket / complimentary ticket, which has expired while you’ve been closed. What do I do?
You can visit using that ticket but please remember to let us know that you are coming in advance by booking on our website. You’ll need to bring this booking confirmation and your pre-paid ticket to gain access in to the zoo.
You will need to book a date for your visit using the 8 digit code included on your booking confirmation here. If you have a ticket for Chester Zoo, your ticket number will be on the back of the ticket, underneath the barcode. It will be 8 digits long and begin with a ‘1’. If you have a booking from an online order, your booking will have a QR code on it and your reference will be 8 digits long and begin with a ‘2’.
I have a gift voucher but can’t use this online. Can I still book a ticket?
Yes. Please email email@example.com with the following information:
1. Your preferred date of visit
2. Voucher numbers
3. Number of adults and/or children in your party
4. Name, address and contact number of booker
We’ll then be able to get in touch to book your ticket over the phone and you’ll be able to collect your ticket from the admissions window when you arrive. We’ll need you to bring the gift voucher with you to redeem against the ticket value.
Can I buy items in your shop?
Our shops at the zoo will be open from 12 April (during normal zoo opening times).
You can also buy a selection of zoo products from our online shop here: https://gifts.chesterzoo.org
All the purchases you make from our shop support our zoo and our vital conservation work to prevent extinction.
Can I still come and see the elephants even though I don’t have a ticket?
At the moment, unfortunately not. If you are visiting the zoo you must have a pre-booked ticket. Our staff will be managing the number of visitors in all our open spaces to ensure everyone has a safe, enjoyable day with us.
Will the nature reserve be open?
Yes, our nature reserve will be open, but we must insist that those visiting are mindful of others in this space, and to observe social distancing and safety measures when visiting.
Please follow the direction of the car park team, and park with other zoo visitors when accessing this area.
Will I be able to book a buggy, wheel chair or mobility scooter?
Wheelchairs and mobility scooters can be booked with our team, once you’ve booked your tickets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Please put ‘Mobility’ as the title of your email. Please note these are subject to availability and booking is essential. We currently have a limited number available due to the new safety measures we have in place therefore we recommend booking early. We only have a small team working therefore it may take us a little longer than usual to get back to you. Thanks for bearing with us.
If you’d like to hire a buggy, you can book online when booking your tickets or on the day of your visit when you arrive. You’re more than welcome to bring your own buggy.
Please note that a refundable deposit will be taken when you collect the item. This area is at its busiest between 10 and 11, and due to the increased sanitisation taking place, we will do our best to help you as quickly as possible
Will car parking change?
You’ll still be able to park free of charge at the zoo, as normal. We’ll be asking that visitors please respect social distancing measures when leaving and returning to their vehicles. We ask visitors to be aware of those around them, and in order to maintain social distancing, it may be beneficial to wait in your vehicle till those around you have left the area.
Where do I find hand-washing facilities?
Each of our toilet facilities buildings has hand-washing facilities, and you’ll find around 100 hand-sanitisation stations dotted around the zoo for regular cleaning.
Will toilet facilities be open?
All of our toilet facilities (apart from those within cafes and restaurants) will be open, with limited capacity to enable social distancing. Our team will be carefully managing these areas, and so there may be a short wait to use the facilities. All of our washrooms will be cleaned thoroughly and regularly throughout the day for your safety.
Will we have to wear masks to visit the zoo?
Following government guidance in England, you must wear a face covering in ALL indoor spaces at the zoo (with the exception of children under 11 years and those with medical or other exemptions).
For the health of our animals, you must also wear a face covering when visiting our lemur walk through experience. This applies to all visitors excluding children under 3 when carried by an adult. This is a specific request from our animal experts who are taking similar precautions when in close contact with these animals.
Will the animal houses and walk through exhibits be open?
Our animal houses are currently closed, until 17 May at the earliest.
Our lemur walk through experience and the Bali and Sumatran aviaries on Islands will be open.
Thank you for bearing with us whilst we have these additional safety measures in place.
Will the other activities like the boat ride be open?
Yes, we’re delighted to be able to reopen both the Lazy River Boat Trip and Treetop Challenge.
We’ll also be bringing back our popular face-painting and Handimals activities.
There will be additional social distancing and safety measures in place. Just as the team for details.
Can I bring a group or a coach to the zoo?
We’ll be restricting the numbers of visitors coming to the zoo each day so that we can safely facilitate social distancing measures, adhering to the latest government guidance.
Please don’t arrange to meet in groups of more than 6 people or two households.
If you would like to make an enquiry about a group booking contact email@example.com
Will I be able to meet family and friends at the zoo?
For your own safety and that of others, please don’t meet in groups of more than 6 people, or two households.
Can I still use cash at the zoo?
We encourage you to use cashless and contactless payments as much as possible when at the zoo, however we will still have some till points available to accept cash where needed. All locations accept card payments and contactless payments, which can now be made for transactions up to £45.
Can the animals catch or pass on Covid-19?
COVID-19 is a brand new strain of coronavirus and global experts currently don’t know everything about it in humans, let alone animals. The zoo is, of course, taking every precaution for staff, visitors and animals and our expert animal teams have always had a strict set of biosecurity measures in place given that we’re home to so many rare and precious species. Lots of different coronaviruses have always been a part of animal biology and occur naturally in all sorts of different species. Scientists and conservationists at the zoo are monitoring the very latest research and evidence to try and understand how this new virus acts in animals.
Will there still be talks at some of the animal habitats?
Due to social distancing requirements we cannot currently provide talks which encourage gatherings of visitors in one area. We do, however, have lots of information on our website where you can learn more about the animals and plants at the zoo.
Will school visits be allowed?
Please get in touch with our bookings team who will be more than happy to help firstname.lastname@example.org
Or head over to our website for more information about our virtual zoo visits.
Can I still use the lockers at the zoo?
Unfortunately, we’ll be unable to offer lockers for hire due to guidelines around hygiene.
I’d like to support your fundraising by making a donation. How do I do this?
Please visit our page on JustGiving which is the best place for you to donate. Your kind donation will allow us to carry on preventing extinction – thank you!
Is it possible to hold a private event at the zoo?
Get in touch with our event team on email@example.com and they’ll be happy to talk to you about planning an event as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
We’ve pulled together some helpful FAQs and a quick step by step guide on how to book your member tickets below…
- Go to our Members shop page here
- Please select an available day. Don’t forget to double check the selected date of your booking and remember to book a place for everyone in your group, this includes any children under the age of 3.
- To book your tickets you will need to enter your membership number. You can book tickets for up to 6 people. If you want to make a booking for a non-member you will need to do this as a advanced booking here.
- You will receive a confirmation email that you will need to bring with you on the day of your visit to scan, along with your membership cards.
I’m a member, why do I have to book?
The number of visitors being welcomed through our gates each day will be limited to ensure that everyone has a safe and enjoyable day with us, while fully adhering to the government’s social distancing and safety guidelines. To do this, our team will be carefully managing the amount of people at the zoo at any one time.
We’ve reserved a large number of ‘member booking slots’ to ensure that as many of your are able to visit as possible.
We understand that there is high demand for these spaces and we’ll try to release more slots as soon as it is safe to do so.
Please only book a slot if you know that you are able to visit. We have experienced a high number of members not arriving at the time that they have booked. This prevents other members from being able to visit.
Thank you for your understanding and for your incredible, unwavering support – it’s hugely appreciated.
Will members’ days go ahead?
We have taken the difficult decision to cancel Member’s Days but even though we can’t all meet in person right now, we are hosting some exciting virtual members events and talks, so make sure you’ve signed up to receive our email updates for the latest information.
We do hope you will be coming to visit us again soon.
Can I visit the membership office?
Our membership office will open on 12 April.
If your membership enquiry is less urgent then please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01244 650208
I’m a member and can’t log in.
If you haven’t registered an online account before then click here and register.
I’ve tried to register / log in to my account and can’t.
Please email email@example.com with your membership number and preferred email address and they’ll reset your password and ensure that the email address we have for you is up to date. Please bear with us as the team are dealing with lots of queries at the moment.
I’ve logged in but it says I don’t have any memberships.
It could be that your membership has expired. If this is the case then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and they’ll be able to renew your membership for you.
If your membership is still valid then it might be that your online account isn’t linked to your membership record. Please contact email@example.com and they’ll be able to link the two together for you. Please bear with us as the team are dealing with lots of queries at the moment.
I’m a member and all of the slots have been filled, can you release more for the day. I want to visit?
We’re reviewing our visitor numbers all of the time and we’ll release more slots as soon as it is safe to do so.
Thank you for bearing with us whilst safety measures are still in place. We’re hoping to be able to remove the need to book as soon as possible.
I’ve lost my membership card
If you come to see the membership team at the main entrance on the day of your visit they will be able to print a new card for you. Please ensure you have a valid booking for that day.
I’ve bought a new membership but don’t have a card yet, what do I do?
Thanks for joining the Chester Zoo family. You will still be able to book your member tickets using your membership number which can be found on your order confirmation. Please see our membership team on arrival at the main entrance with your confirmation letter and they will be able to arrange your membership card for you.
Can I cancel my booking if I can no longer make the date so other members can book a space?
Yes – if you need to cancel your member ticket please let us know by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
FOOD AT THE ZOO
Will there be changes to your cafes?
Our kiosks, cafes and restaurants are open for takeaway only from 12 April.
The Oakfield is open for outdoor dining. Just visit The Oakfield on the day of your visit and our team of hosts will be happy to help.
Our Jaguar Coffee Shop, Madagascar Market Place and Bembe will remain closed for now.
Can I book a table at The Oakfield?
You can now pre-book a table for outdoor dining at The Oakfield for when we reopen 12 April, subject to availability. You can take a look at the menu or book a table on The Oakfield website.
Can I book an event at The Oakfield?
If you are interested in booking an event for 2021 or beyond then please get in touch with our events team on email@example.com
Can we bring a picnic?
Yes, you’re very welcome to bring a picnic with you when visiting the zoo. Please use our picnic areas and where possible, please take your waste home with you for responsible disposal.
Please note, the indoor picnic lodge is closed and picnic space is mainly outdoors.
I have another question or would like to make a suggestion?
We’ve tried to cover as much as possible here in our FAQs but please do email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any further questions that have not been answered, or if you’d like to make any suggestions. We’re always happy to hear from our wonderful visitors and members! For more information and advice on Covid-19 in England, please visit https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus
I have a booking but can’t visit because of coronavirus restrictions. What shall I do?
If you have any queries about a booking then contact our guest services team on email@example.com or call 01244 380280.
I couldn’t make a booking.
We’re so sorry that you have had problems booking.
The demand for tickets has been quite overwhelming. We’ll be releasing more tickets on a regular basis so we hope you’ll find a booking very soon.
We know the rush for tickets was quite frustrating but rest assured we are working hard to enable as many of you to visit as possible, all whilst ensuring that your visit to the zoo can be as safe as possible. We’ve missed seeing you all over the last few months so we’ll look forward to seeing you soon.
I want to book for more than 6 people.
Social distancing is still in place in order to protect people from coronavirus. For this reason we are not allowing large group bookings at this time. Please help us to keep people safe by visiting only with yup to 6 people or two households.
I’m a member at another zoo can I get in for free?
In order to manage the number of people at the zoo each day all visitors must book online in advance.
Our own members will be able to use their membership number to access a free ticket but unfortunately we have no way of enabling this feature for members of other zoos.
For this reason, we apologise that we won’t be able to issue tickets for a free visit for members from other zoos whilst our own member booking restrictions remain in place.
You are more than welcome to purchase tickets here. We are hopeful that we will be able to welcome members from our partner zoos when the restrictions come to an end after 21 June.