Check out the frequently asked questions below for some of the common things we’re asked about membership.

How do I take out a membership?

Memberships can be purchased online here:

If I come into the zoo today, can I take out a membership when I arrive?

Due to the covid19 pandemic, we ask that you purchase your membership online before your visit. You will be able to collect your membership cards from the membership team and enter the Zoo with your membership cards on the day of purchase. If you want to split the cost of membership you will need an admission ticket first.

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 2 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 post code details at the membership office. You may prefer to take out membership on the day of your visit at the Membership Office and take your pack away with you.

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.

At what age does my child need a membership?

Children under the age of three are free but we do need to issue them with a ‘Little Monkey’ card so they can access the zoo. Please provide their details when purchasing your membership.

My child has reached the age of three and I am part way through my membership, what should I do?

Your child’s ‘Little Monkey’ card is only valid until they reach the age of three so you will need to purchase them a membership or buy a day entry ticket. If you wish to join your child as a junior member, they can be added to your membership on a pro rata basis to bring their membership expiry date in line with your own. This means you will benefit from the discounted family categories when renewing.

I have purchased a membership online, what do I do next?

If you have taken your membership out online, you will receive an email confirming your application and asking you to print out a confirmation letter to bring to the zoo on your next visit. Please present this letter to the membership team to have your picture taken for your membership card.

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

Yes, single memberships can be upgraded to joint adult memberships by paying the remaining cost. For example, if £95.00 has been paid for a single adult, the remaining £70.00 can be paid to upgrade the membership to a joint adult (both under 65). The new member will take on the original member’s expiry date so you must decide if this is cost effective for you to do so.

Do I have to have my photograph on my membership card?

Yes, all members will have a photograph on their membership card. The photograph will be taken by the membership team on the member’s first visit.

What should I do if I lose my card?

Don’t worry, it’s only £1 for a replacement card and this can be replaced at the Zoo. All we need is your name and postcode. The photographic ID will prevent your card from being used by another individual.

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.

Can I join as a new member by direct debit?

Yes you can through the Joining by Direct Debit Scheme. You must have a bank account in your own name and a receipt that shows you have paid for admission into the zoo (not more than 30 days old). We will divide the annual cost of membership into four payments. The price that you have paid as admission will be your first payment. The other three payments will be taken by direct debit over the next three months.

When will I know that my membership is due to expire?

Four weeks before your membership is due to expire we will post out a renewal notice with different payment options for you to choose from if you wish to renew. You can also find the expiry date if you have registered for the online members area you can login or register here:

How much does membership cost for one year?

Membership prices vary depending upon which category of membership you take out and how you choose to pay for it. You can save money if a Direct Debit is in place for next years renewal.

What are the benefits of membership?

Unlimited entry** Due to the covid19 pandemic, members must pre-book online in advance of their visit until further notice.: The main benefit of membership is free entry to Chester Zoo for 12 months (during normal opening hours). Under normal circumstances, we are only closed Christmas Day & Boxing Day and open at 10am daily. Visits to other zoos: You will also benefit from one free annual entry to other zoos and attractions- Bristol Zoo, Colchester Zoo, Edinburgh Zoo, Newquay Zoo, Park, Living Coasts, Marwell Zoo, Paignton Zoo and Twycross Zoo. Membership cards and membership welcome letter must be shown to gain free entry to these attractions. Discount in main shops and cafes: You will also receive a members’ discount in zoo shops and cafes. Excluded items are specified at retail outlets and include products such as books, DVDs and promotional offers. ‘Z’ magazine: As part of your membership, you will receive a subscription to our ‘Z’ magazine. Adult members will receive a car sticker and junior members will receive a set of animal stickers. Members’ Talks: There are members’ talks and presentations advertised in our ‘Z’ magazine, and junior members will have the opportunity to take part in events and days out (age restrictions and additional costs apply).

What if I have already paid for day entry and decide to become a member?

If you have paid online, please email or post your receipt with your contact details and booking number and we will give you a call. We will deduct your admission off the membership price (on a like for like basis). This can be done within 30 days of your visit. The receipt must be produced at the point of membership purchase as it cannot be refunded once membership has been taken out.

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.

By becoming a member of Chester Zoo you are becoming a member of the North of England Zoological Society (NEZS).

The membership is not transferable and is subject to the Memorandum and Article of the Society.

The Rules of NEZS, including those relating to the obligations and conduct of members can be downloaded below, are displayed in the Membership and Adoptions Office or are available on request from the Membership and Adoptions department.

Download the rules of NEZS here