We’re doing everything we can to ensure you can visit safely!

Our teams have have been working hard to get you all back to the zoo, as normal as quickly, and as safely as possible.

 

GENERAL FAQs MEMBERS FAQs FOOD & DRINK FAQs BOOKING FAQs

GENERAL FAQS

Is the zoo open and what are your opening times?

Yes, we are open!

We ask that all paying visitors pre book their spot online before they visit us. Members and those with pre-paid tickets do not need to book. You can do this here.

We’re reviewing our ticket allocations all of the time and adding extra capacity whenever we can do so safely.

We’ll need to keep an eye on the number of people arriving each day and the changing restrictions but if there are any changes to our arrangements for Members, we’ll update this page.

We open our gates every morning at 10am. You can arrive at any time from the time stated on your booking confirmation until an hour before we close. You can find the closing times for the date of your visit here.

How will you ensure that we can visit the zoo safely?

Take a look at the latest safety information here.

Thank you for supporting us in keeping everyone safe.

Are you participating in the NHS Test and Trace programme?

We’ll  be providing QR codes at the main entrance of the zoo and in some of our restaurants and cafes for you to scan with the NHS Test and Trace app. Just scan the QR code to ‘check in’ when you arrive.

How do I book tickets for the zoo?

We need all paying visitors to pre book their ticket online before you visit us so we can safely limit the number of visitors at the zoo each day. You can do this here.

We’re reviewing our ticket allocations all of the time and adding extra capacity whenever we can do so safely in line with the latest government guidelines.

We have currently removed any need for member booking. This means you’ll be able to enjoy a visit to the zoo whenever you like and won’t need to let us know that you are coming.

If you have a pre-paid ticket, such as an adopter ticket or open dated ticket, then you no longer need to book. Just bring your prepaid ticket with you on the day.

We’ll need to keep an eye on the number of people arriving each day and the changing restrictions but if there are any changes to our arrangements for Members, we’ll update this page.

I have a gift ticket / adopter ticket / complimentary ticket, which has expired while you’ve been closed. What do I do?

You can visit as normal using your prepaid ticket.

Just bring it with you on the day.

How do I book tickets with a gift voucher?

You no longer need to book in advance!

Just bring the voucher with you on the day and head to our admissions window when you arrive.

Can I buy items in your shop?

Our shop at the zoo is open during normal zoo opening times. You can also buy a selection of zoo products from our online shop.

When you shop with us, you’re not only supporting our zoo, but the vital conservation work we do around the world 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 ticket or a membership card.

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 is open, we just ask that visitors are mindful of others in this space.

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, just email guest.services@chesterzoo.org once you have booked your tickets and pop ‘mobility’ in the subject line.

Please note these are subject to availability and booking is essential. We currently have a limited number available so we recommend booking early.

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.

Please note that a refundable deposit will be taken when you collect the item. This area is at its busiest between 10am and 11am, and due to the increased sanitisation taking place, we’ll 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.

Please be aware of those around, it may be helpful to wait in your vehicle until those around you have left the area.

Where do I find hand-washing facilities and will your toilet facilities be open?

Each of our toilet facilities has hand-washing facilities and you’ll find around 100 hand-sanitisation stations dotted around the zoo too.

All of our toilet facilities (apart from the ones located in Junes Pavilion). 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, its recommended that you wear a face covering in indoor spaces at the zoo (with the exception of children under 11 years and those with medical or other exemptions) unless you are seated and dining indoors.

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 open, with the exception of Fruit Bat Forest, which will stay closed for a little while longer.

Will the other activities like the boat ride be open?

Yes, the Lazy River Boat Trip, Treetop Challenge, face-painting and Handimals activities will be open.

Anyone from age 2 (as long as they can sit up by themselves) can get their face painted, just ask a member of our team where the nearest stall is.

Can I bring a group or a coach to the zoo?

We’ll be limiting the number of visitors coming to the zoo each day so that everyone can social distance safely.

If you would like to make an enquiry about a group booking for 15 people or more please contact groups@chesterzoo.org.

Will I be able to meet family and friends at the zoo?

Yes, you can meet with others at the zoo. We do ask that you read our safety information in advance of your visit.

Can I still use cash at the zoo?

We encourage you to use cashless and contactless payments as much as possible at the zoo, but we will still have some till points available to accept cash. 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?

Zoo talks are not currently taking place. However, we do have our team out and about in the zoo who can give you lots of information on the animals and plants.

You can also visit our website where you can carry on your learning.

Will school visits be allowed?

Please get in touch with our bookings team who’ll be more than happy to help – learning@chesterzoo.org.

Or, head over to our website for more information about our virtual zoo visits.

Can I still use the lockers at the zoo?

The lockers have been removed and will not be available, but you are welcome to pop back to your car at any time during the day, just mention it to a member of our team on the day of your visit.

I’d like to support your fundraising by making a donation. How do I do this?

Please visit our JustGiving page which is the best place for you to donate. 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?

Get in touch with our event team on events@chesterzoo.org and they’ll be happy to talk to you about planning your event.

Where can I breastfeed or heat up baby food?

You are 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.

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 here 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

MEMBERS

 

Will members’ days go ahead?

We have taken the difficult decision to cancel Member’s Days while we have ongoing restrictions on groups sizes and visitor numbers.

We will be hosting some exciting virtual members events and talks soon, 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?

Yes. Our membership office is open, however while we welcome so many of you back to the zoo for the first time this year, we are experiencing long queues for the membership office at certain times of the day.

Please be prepared to queue at peak arrival times and don’t worry if we decide to issue you with a temporary card for that day. We simply want you to get into the zoo as soon as possible to enjoy your day! Our office opens at 9.30am so please arrive in plenty of time if you do need to pop to see us.

If your membership enquiry is less urgent then please email our team here.

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.

Please email membership@chesterzoo.org or call on 01244 650208 and the membership team will be able to help.

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.

Please note that while we welcome so many of you back to the zoo for the first time this year, we are experiencing long queues for the membership office at certain times of the day. Please be prepared to queue at peak arrival times.

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’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, Colchester Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, Marwell Zoo, Newquay Zoo, Paignton Zoo or Twycorss 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. to issue your new membership cards.

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. The confirmation required is sight of a letter from a GP confirming a carer is required, a letter confirming receipt of DLA / PIP or the standard blue badge for vehicles which depicts the disabled person’s name and identification.

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.

If I take out a single adult membership, can another adult be added as a joint member at a later date?

Yes, single adult memberships can be upgraded to joint adult memberships by paying the remaining cost. This can be done 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 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?

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. This can be done within 30 days of your visit.

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 foster carer ID or letter.

FOOD AT THE ZOO

Are your food outlets, including The Oakfield, open?

Our kiosks, cafes and restaurants are open.

There is indoor dining is available in June’s, the Jaguar Coffee Shop and Bembe café. Manado and Madagascar Marketplace are also open for takeaway as well as our kiosks located across the zoo.

The Oakfield is open for indoor and outdoor dining, you can make a booking through the website here.

We ask that you consider wearing a face covering in our cafes and restaurants unless seated in line with government recommendations.

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 events@chesterzoo.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.

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 guest.services@chesterzoo.org if you have any further questions 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: www.gov.uk/coronavirus

BOOKINGS

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 pop an email to guest.services@chesterzoo.org or call 01244 380280 and our team will help you.

 

I couldn’t make a booking

We’re so sorry that you have had problems booking.

The demand for tickets has been high and we’re still keeping an eye on visitor numbers, so it may be that we’re sold out for the day you wish to visit. We hope you’ll be able to select another date.

If you are experiencing technical difficulties on our shop page then please refresh your browser and try again.  Alternatively you can email guest.services@chesterzoo.org and we’ll do everything we can to help.

I want to book for more than 14 people

If you want to book for more than 14 people, please pop an email to groups@chesterzoo.org and a member of our team will help you with this.

 

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, Colchester Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, Marwell Zoo, Newquay Zoo, Paignton Zoo or Twycorss 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.

I’ve forgotten to add a FREE under 3 or carer to my booking.

Don’t worry, we’ll get that sort for you on the day of your visit, just ask a member of staff for help.

BOOK
PRE-BOOK your TICKETS to come and see us soon!
We look forward to WELCOMING you safely to the zoo!