What are your opening times?
We open our gates every morning at 10am. You can find the closing times for the date of your visit here.
What can I expect when I arrive at the zoo?
When you arrive at the zoo by car, our team is on hand to welcome you and guide you into a parking space. As you make your way to our main entrance, you’ll be greeted by other members of our zoo team, including our security experts who are onsite 24/7, 365 days a year to ensure all visitors have a safe and wonderful day.
If you have pre-booked tickets, you can go straight to the gates and a member of our team will scan your QR code which you will have received via email. If you would like to book a ticket on the day, head to the ticket office to the left of the main entrance.
How do I book tickets for the zoo?
You can pre-book your tickets here. Or purchase your tickets on the day at our Ticket Windows.
If you have a pre-paid ticket, such as an adopter ticket or open dated ticket, then you don’t need to book. Just bring your prepaid ticket with you on the day.
How do I book a carer ticket?
Visitors with disabilities may admit one accompanying carer free of charge when they pay for a full price adult or child ticket; tickets can be collected from our Ticket Sales windows when you arrive. To collect the carer ticket, please make sure you bring along your supporting documents that shows you require a carer. We accept the following documents:
- Disability Allowance Letter
- PIP letter
- Access Pass
- Any other appropriate supporting documentation as issued by your local council.
How do I book tickets with a gift voucher?
You don’t need to book in advance! Just bring the voucher with you on the day and head to our admissions window when you arrive.
HOW DO I BOOK A BUGGY, WHEEL CHAIR OR MOBILITY SCOOTER?
Please note these are subject to availability and booking is essential. We currently have a limited number available so we recommend booking early. A £25 refundable deposit will be taken when you hire the item by cash or card.
If you’d like to hire a buggy, you can book this online when booking your tickets or on the day of your visit when you arrive. You’re also more than welcome to bring your own buggy.
Will the animal houses and walk through exhibits be open?
Our animal houses are open. Unfortunately our bird aviaries are currently closed due to an outbreak of Avian Influenza in the area.
Can I bring a group or a coach to the zoo?
Yes, please head to the following link for further information.
I’d like to support your fundraising by making a donation. How do I do this?
Thank you so much for your interest in donating to our fundraising and conservation efforts! You can make a one-off donation or make monthly payments via our website here.
Your kind donation will allow us to carry on our work to prevent extinction – thank you!
Can I book a corporate or private event at the zoo?
Yes! Get in touch with our event team on email@example.com and they’ll be happy to talk to you about planning your event.
Where can I breastfeed or heat up baby food?
You’re welcome to breastfeed in the zoo anywhere you wish. We have lots of secluded benches across site as well as a baby feeding room in our female toilets in our jubilee quarter if you’d prefer a more private location.
To warm up bottles, our team can help with this in The Oakfield.
Are there lockers available at the zoo to store my belongings?
No, we do not have any lockers on site, and due to security reasons, we cannot store any visitor belongings, such as large bags or suitcases. Please refrain from bringing extra baggage into the zoo.
Any large or suspicious bags that are brought into the zoo will be searched as a precautionary measure to ensure that all our staff, visitors and volunteers are safe.
Do you offer electric vehicle (EV) charging stations?
Yes, we have 13 EV charging stations in our main car park available for zoo visitors. Please note: Our EV charge points are on a balanced system and so, when usage is high, charging speeds may be slower.
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 if you have any further questions that have not been answered, or if you’d like to make any suggestions.
My toddler has had their 3rd birthday and I need to upgrade to Junior Membership.
No problem, just ring the membership team on 01244 650208 or pop in to see the membership team at the main entrance next time you visit us and they will be able to add a Junior to your membership pro-rata.
I’m a member and can’t log in or view my membership.
Our members portal is currently under development to better aid our members in viewing their membership details online. Should you wish to know a specific detail of your membership in the meantime, please get in touch with our team on 01244 650 208 or visit us at Membership HQ on your next visit.
I’ve lost my membership card
Don’t worry, just pop and see the membership team at the main entrance on the day of your visit who will print a new card for you for £1.50.
I’ve bought a new membership but don’t have a card yet, what do I do?
You collect your membership cards on your first visit to the Zoo. Pop into Membership HQ at the main entrance and give the team your details. Each member will need to have a photo taken for their cards.
I would like to visit another Zoo
As a member of Chester Zoo you benefit from one free entry to other zoos or attractions in the UK per membership year! This exclusive offer currently includes: Bristol Zoo Project, Colchester Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, Newquay Zoo, Marwell Zoo, Paignton Zoo and Twycross Zoo.
To gain entry, you’ll need to show both your Chester Zoo membership card and welcome letter or renewal email confirming the expiry date of your membership with us.
Please check with the individual zoos for any current booking arrangements before visiting.
I’m a member at another zoo can I get in for free?
You can have one free annual visit to Chester Zoo if you are a member of Bristol Zoo Project, Colchester Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, Marwell Zoo, Newquay Zoo, Paignton Zoo or Twycross Zoo. Please bring your membership cards and confirmation that you are valid members if this isn’t on the cards. When you arrive please go to our Guest Services team at the main entrance who will issue you a ticket to enter the Zoo.
How do I take out a membership?
Memberships can be purchased online here >
We’ll send your membership pack out as soon as possible, which will give you, and any additional members, in your group or family all the information you need to start receiving all of the amazing benefits of being a member.
If you want to split the cost, why not join with our Joining by Direct Debit scheme…
For this option, we’ll split your membership fee into four instalments over the first four months. The first payment will be due at the time of joining us. If you have already purchased an admission ticket for your visit, we can of course deduct this from the cost for you. Please note, there may be a remaining fee to pay on the day. This joining method is available over the telephone or by popping into our Membership Office.
I am disabled, do I get a discount on membership if I need a carer?
Members who are disabled who require a carer can have an un-named carer added to their membership card for free.
This will mean that any adult accompanying the member will be allowed access to the zoo free of charge as the member’s carer. To add a carer to a membership we would need to see either a current DLA letter/PIP statement, a valid blue badge held in the member’s name or a letter from a medical professional stating 1:1 care is required.
You can still take out membership via the internet but the “plus carer” element will not be added to the membership card until proof has been seen by the membership team. You are only required to provide this proof once a year upon taking out or renewing your membership.
What date does a membership start from?
If a start date is not specified, the membership will start on the day it is purchased. Membership is valid for one year.
Can I purchase a membership as a gift?
Yes, a membership can be purchased on behalf of someone else.
We will require the member’s full name, date of birth and a full address including postcode. When purchasing the membership online you must specify that the membership is a gift and if you want the welcome pack to be sent to yourself or straight to the members. If you opt for the pack to be sent to the members, we can include a gift card message from you at no extra cost. In the welcome pack which you receive to give to the members/ or for yourself there will be a letter containing a barcode which the member will need to take with them on the first visit to have their photograph taken in the membership office for their membership card.
Please note the membership will start from the day of purchase or specified start date, not the date the photograph is taken unless of course these are the same date.
How long does the membership pack take to be delivered?
You should allow up to two weeks for your membership welcome pack to arrive in the post but you can start using your membership from the moment you purchase it by providing your details at Membership HQ at the main entrance of the Zoo.
At what age does my child need a membership?
Children need to pay once they are three years old. If you are part way through your membership they can be added pro-rata until your membership expiry date. You can do this in person at membership HQ or by calling the membership team on 01244 650208.
Can friends and family members use my card to enter the zoo?
Unfortunately not. Memberships are sold on an individual basis and display your name and photograph. They are non-transferable and cannot be used by other individuals.
When will I know that my membership is due to expire?
Four weeks before your membership is due to expire we will send you a renewal reminder with the different payment options for you to choose from if you wish to renew. If you are on a direct debit renewal then your reminder will confirm your payment dates and amounts. If you have any questions you can contact the membership team on 01244 650208 who will be happy to help.
What if I have already paid for day entry and decide to become a member?
Admission tickets can be upgraded to an annual membership within 30 days of your visit date.
If you have paid for your admission ticket online, you can upgrade to membership by calling the membership team on 01244 650208 or by popping into Membership HQ at the main entrance of the Zoo. We will need your ticket booking reference.
If you purchased your ticket in person at our Admission Till windows, the upgrade will need to be completed in person as we need to obtain the physical receipt from you. Please note, admission tickets are deducted on a like for like basis.
What membership is available for foster carers?
A membership can be purchased similar to a family membership, the guardians are named but the children who are being looked after are not, this is the only exception to every member being named on the membership. The cost is the same and relevant to the number of children being looked after, for example if you and a partner where fostering 2 children, the cost would be the same as a family of four but only the adults would be named. We would ask to see confirmation of the foster role such as foster carer ID or letter.
Do I get a discount on admission tickets for friends and family?
On our special Members Days you can bring up to 4 guests for half price.
Pre-booking is required for the discounted tickets and they will be available to purchase online a couple of weeks before the next Members Day.
You’ll need to accompany your guests in to the zoo on the day and have your membership card(s) ready to be scanned by our team to validate the discounted tickets.
FOOD AT THE ZOO
Can I book a table at The Oakfield?
Sure, you can pre-book a table for indoor and outdoor dining at The Oakfield through the website.
Can I book an event at The Oakfield?
If you are interested in booking an event with us, please get in touch with our events team by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can we bring a picnic?
Yes, you’re very welcome to bring a picnic when visiting the zoo.
Please use our picnic areas and where possible, take your waste home with you for responsible disposal.
The indoor picnic lodge is open.
What is the Junior Programme?
Junior Programme is our programme of activities designed for children aged 0-17. There are five strands to our Junior Programme:
- Conservation Tots for under 5’s.
- Mini Rangers for primary school years 1-3.
- Junior Rangers for primary school years 4-6.
- Junior Conservationists for secondary school years 7-9.
- Young Conservationists for secondary school years 10-12
What year is my child in?
Conservation Tots activities are designed for children under the age of 5. All other strands of our Junior Programme are determined by school year.
Please ensure your child is in the correct school year for the event before making your booking. Children remain in their current school year until the first day of term in September each academic year.
- Conservation Tots: children under 5 years old.
- Mini Rangers: children in primary school years 1-3.
- Junior Rangers: children in primary years 4-6.
- Junior Conservationists: children in secondary school years 7-9.
- Young Conservationists: children in secondary school years 10-12.
How much does it cost?
Prices, upcoming dates and booking for all of our Junior Programme activities can be found on our event page.
Do I need to be a member?
The majority of our Junior Programme activities are open to all children.
However, our Junior Ranger Camps are a member’s only event and you will need a membership in order to book a place on these sessions.
How many children will be attending the event?
Group sizes are carefully planned in line with adult to child ratios.
Conservation Tots and Mini Rangers activities have a maximum of 16 places.
Junior Rangers, Junior Conservationists and Young Conservationists have a maximum of 20 places.
Can I use childcare vouchers?
At this time we are not able to accept child care vouchers. Apologies for any inconvenience.
Can my child attend just one day of the event?
Unfortunately, we cannot sell partial tickets for one day of the event. However, you’re welcome to book for the full event but only attend part of it.
Our Junior Programme events are planned with the full length of time in mind so your child may not get the full experience if they do not attend all sessions. Please inform us if you plan to do this so that we know when not to expect your child.
Where do I drop off my child?
You will receive drop-off and pick up information in your confirmation email. Children attending Conservation Tots activities must be accompanied by a parent or carer at all times.
Can my child enter the zoo alone?
We are unable to allow children to walk through the zoo alone without an accompanying adult. For safety reasons we require an adult over 18 to drop off and collect children participating in the following Junior Programme activities:
- Mini Rangers
- Junior Rangers
- Junior Conservationists
With written prior arrangement with parents/guardians, Young Conservationists (secondary school years 10-12) may make their own way to the activities.
Do I need a zoo ticket?
Your child will not need a zoo ticket in order to attend a Junior Programme event.
If your drop-off point is inside the zoo and you are not a zoo member, please contact us to arrange the drop-off of your child. You will not need to purchase an adult zoo ticket for this.
Does my child need to bring food and drink?
Children will need to bring lunch and snacks for our full day activities. If you are required to bring a packed lunch for your child, you will receive this information in your parent information pack.
Food is not permitted at our shorter activities.
What should my child wear?
Chester Zoo is an outdoor visitor attraction so warm layers, waterproof clothing and sunscreen are important. Comfortable clothing is advised and please bear in mind that some of our activities might get messy!
We will send a full clothing list with your parent information pack.
Will you take photos of my child?
On occasion, we do take photographs of our Junior Programme activities. You will be given a photo consent form ahead of your chosen activities and are required to complete this and return it to us.
We will not photograph any children who have indicated that they would prefer not to appear in images.
Photographs taken during our Junior Programme events may appear on our website, print articles and in zoo as part of our advertising.
What will the activities be like?
Our Junior Programme activities vary by age group and may include classroom-based activities, talks from experts, games, craft activities, project work, visits to see animals in the zoo and much more.
Please contact us if you would like more information on your chosen activity. For children who prefer to be familiar with the session plan before attending, we can arrange to send this information to you.
Feel free to email us on email@example.com if you have any questions or concerns.
Will my child be going behind the scenes?
Our Junior Programme activities introduce children to the world of conservation through classroom-based session, interactive games, tours of the zoo and much more. All time spent viewing animals at the zoo will take place from public viewing areas and there is no behind the scenes access.
The one exception to this is our annual Young Zoo Keeper Career Day, open to school years 10-12. This is a unique course designed to give Young Conservationists the opportunity to explore future careers and includes some limited time behind the scenes with our skilled keeping staff. Places for this course are highly competitive so keep an eye on our website for when booking goes live.
Will my child handle animals?
Junior Programme activities do not involve contact with the animals.
If you’re interested in spending more time with our animals, check out our animal experiences page.
What if my child excels for their age?
Our talented team of Zoo Rangers have worked with children of all ages during our Junior Programme events. We are very happy to adapt each session to suit the needs of the children and young people attending. We know that sometimes, your child may have a strong interest in wildlife and conservation and we are more than happy to provide more challenging activities to keep them engaged.
Our sessions are carefully planned, taking into account safeguarding and adult to child ratios. We cannot accept children onto sessions if they fall outside of the school year or age bracket specified. For this reason we ask that you do not book your child onto an activity designed for an older or younger age group.
Contact us if you’d like to discuss the content of a session via firstname.lastname@example.org
What if my child has additional needs?
Our Junior Programme activities are designed to be as inclusive as possible. Our team of Zoo Rangers are trained and skilled in supporting children with additional needs and we would love to welcome your child onto one of our sessions. We also welcome support workers and carers to join the sessions.
Upon booking, we ask all parents to complete a questionnaire which includes the opportunity to highlight if your child has additional needs. Upon receipt of this questionnaire, if we see you have made a note here, we will reach out to you by phone or email to ensure that we are able to fully support your child to attend our sessions, and to make adaptations to our activities where needed.
If you’d like to discuss your child’s needs before booking please contact us on email@example.com
What are the rules?
We have a few set club rules that we will introduce to your children at the start of their event, to ensure that everyone is safe and has fun! These will also be included in your parent information pack. Please ensure that your child is familiar with these rules before attending.
At the start of each session we’ll also sit with the children while they create their own set of club rules and will encourage them to remember these throughout the event.
At Chester Zoo we expect children to:
- Use socially acceptable behaviour, remaining kind and respectful to one-another.
- Comply with the rules, which are compiled by the children attending the club.
- Respect one another, accepting differences of race, gender, ability, age and religion.
- Develop their independence by maintaining self-discipline.
- Choose and participate in a variety of activities.
- Ask for help if needed.
- Enjoy their time at Chester Zoo, encouraging positive behaviour.
What if my child has problems with another child?
Our Junior Programme rules include being respectful and kind to one another and we will discuss these rules with the children attending our clubs each day.
Occasionally children will not get along and we will deal with incidences of negative behaviour in line with our behaviour policy – calmly and firmly addressing the issue while maintaining a positive approach. This involves talking to the children concerned and informing parents at the end of the session or by phone during the session if necessary.
In some cases, if a child persists with inappropriate behaviour, then they may not be able to continue attending the event.
We do not tolerate bullying in our Junior Programme sessions. Parents will be contact at the first signs of bullying and regular contact will be maintained with the parents and children involved until the situation is resolved.
What if I can’t attend my booking? Can I have a refund?
Junior Programme activities are non-refundable.
If your child cannot attend your booked session, please contact us on 01244 389789 to let our team know that you will not be attending.
If you’re unable to attend a session as you are isolating due to having symptoms of COVID-19 or a positive PCR test, please contact us on 01244 389789 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We may refund the remaining cost of your place upon proof of a positive PCR test.
What if I am not satisfied with the content of the event?
We hope that you will enjoy your time with us on your Junior Programme event.
If for any reason you are not satisfied, please contact us on email@example.com.
How do I contact you?
If you have a question you can reach us on firstname.lastname@example.org.