Our Visit to Chester Zoo – A Great Family Day Out

Last August Bank Holiday weekend we visited Chester with the sole purpose of using our Bristol Zoo annual passes for our visit to Chester Zoo. We had caught some of the TV show about the zoo, The Secret Life of the Zoo, and it made us more determined to visit. So, with the long weekend, we drove up and stayed only 15 minutes from the zoo.our visit to chester zoo

We arrived at 9.40am to start our visit to Chester Zoo and quickly found parking, which is free. We headed straight to a staff member who checked our Bristol Zoo annual passes and letter, and she directed us straight to the turnstiles where we didn’t have to queue. It was so easy.

We decided to start from the elephant’s enclosure and waited beside their enclosure until zoo barriers opened at 10am. The elephants weren’t out by then so we started to walk anti-clockwise. We first visited the Butterflies, whose house is like the one in Bristol Zoo but with more vegetation in it. From there we walked through the Spirit of the Jaguar but they weren’t out.our visit to chester zoo

Next on our hit list was the Realm of the Red Ape where we saw gibbons and a huge python. I stayed well back but BattleKid was fascinated.

We carried on around to see the flamingos, penguins and cheeky little otters on our way to the aquarium. I think BattleKid rather enjoyed this as he tried spotting both Dory and Nemo in each tank. He was delighted when he finally spotted them.

From the aquarium we passed the aviary where I was absolutely shocked at the size of the vultures. I had never seen one in real life and really had no idea how big they grew. They are shockingly huge birds!our visit to chester zoo

By now it was 11.30 so we decided it was time for a pit stop. We visited June’s Food Court. We had tea and coffee, and cakes, and got BattleKid a kid’s lunch box which was well stocked. We got two bottles of water to take with us and the total cost of this was £16, which I didn’t think was too bad.

Fueled up we headed to see the lions but their enclosure was being cleaned so they were in their houses. Daddy lion didn’t seem too happy. We then headed over the wooden bridge and managed to spot the cheetahs hiding in the bushes. We also saw deer and for split second I actually thought they were in the same enclosure! We also saw the bongos, tapirs and capybaras. I didn’t know their name and was surprised when BattleDad told me. You learn something new every day!

On the way into the new Islands section, opened in summer of 2015, we saw the Babirusa, an animal I had never seen before and who reminded me of warthogs. We also spotted crocodile and tortoise, saw more gibbon and the orangutans, saw Rhinoceros hornbill birds, which are beautiful and also Warty pigs. The main attraction of the Islands is the Sumatran Tigers and they are just stunning animals. We spotted them through the bushed at the side of their enclosure before seeing them through the viewing glass at the front. Beautiful creatures, so majestic.our visit to chester zoo

I have to say we were very impressed with the Islands of Chester Zoo which include animals from Sumatra, Sulawesi and Bali. They are quite new to the Zoo and are simply beautiful. There is even background noises and music playing which reminded me of the background music you hear at Disneyland Paris. The lazy boat river ride in the Islands looks great too although we didn’t get a chance to do it.

From the islands we headed towards the painted dogs, which were recommended by a work colleague, passing zebra, antelope and rock hyrax along the way. And the painted dogs were worth seeing. Just as we arrived at their enclosure they came towards the viewing windows and lay down right there. BattleKid was fascinated by them.our visit to chester zoo

From there we went to see black rhino and meerkats. BattleKid got very cranky at this stage but refused a nap in his pram just like when we visited Folly Farm. We went in to see the monkeys before heading back towards June’s Food Court to collect a handprint picture we had gotten done earlier in the day.our visit to chester zoo

It is a monkey made using BattleKid’s hands and is framed and cost £18. It’s a lovely memento of our day. As it was past lunchtime we decided to stop for fish and chips and BattleKid ate well. The rain started as we sat eating and the playground nearby quickly cleared. An adults fish and chips cost us £7.25 including any side and a kid’s meal cost £5.50. BattleKid had chicken nuggets, chips and ad rink and they were really nice chicken nuggets too.

As we had pretty much seen all we wanted to we decided to end our visit to Chester Zoo with a trip into the gift shop at the entrance. BattleKid got a toy jeep while I got one or two other gifts. Typically, as soon as we left Chester Zoo BattleKid had a danger nap in the car!

Overall our visit to Chester Zoo was a great day out and well worth it. We definitely needed the full day there to see everything we wanted to.

Facts about Chester Zoo:

  • Chester Zoo is one of the UK’s largest zoos at 125 acres.
  • It houses over 20,000 animals which includes 500 different species.
  • It played host to 1.7 million visitors in 2015.
  • It has been featured in the documentary The Secret Life of the Zoo.
  • It receives no government funding at all.
  • They are heavily involved in conservation and also in conjunction with other zoos across 30 countries worldwide.
  • It is consistently rated one of the top ten zoos in the world.

 

Things we discovered during our visit to Chester Zoo for you to consider if visiting the zoo:

  • It opens daily from 10am to typically 5pm. Entry is allowed up to 30 minutes before closing.
  • You are allowed entry to the gift shop and entrance restaurants at 9.30am but the zoo barriers don’t open until 10am.
  • Chester Zoo is huge and buggies, scooters and wheelchairs are available to hire. Bring a buggy for younger children, you’ll need it!
  • We didn’t see all of the zoo in the one day we went, so two days could easily be needed.
  • There is a mono rail and lazy boat river ride (additional costs for these) but we didn’t get to use either.
  • There are 4 main restaurants at the entrance, on the islands, June’s Food Court and the Oakfield Pub. Food is ok for what it is. It could work out expensive for large families so bringing a picnic would be advisable if you want to save yourself some money. There were enough seats at the eating areas both inside and outside for the ones we visited or saw. There are also smaller coffee shops around too.
  • There is a cash machine at the entrance.
  • There is a big gift shop at the entrance and on the islands.
  • Toilets are dotted all over the zoo.
  • Information signs are really good and animal signs are informative. There are also plenty of staff around should you need help or information.
  • There are a few play areas around the zoo but we didn’t go into any. They all looked well equipped.
  • There is free parking at the zoo, and we would advise getting there before the gates open at 10am to enjoy as much of the day as possible.
  • Baby changing facilities, bottle warming stations and feeding friendly locations
  • Various animal talks throughout the day but we didn’t attend any.
  • For full visiting informaiton, please visit the Visiting Chester Zoo website.

Chester Zoo prices*:

  • Weekday term-time:     Ad £24.00            Child £20.00
  • Weekend term-time:     Ad £26.00            Child £22.00
  • School holidays:             Ad £28.00            Child £24.00
  • If booked online there is a saving of 10% so weekday term0time tickets cost £20.00 per adult and £16.36 per child, for example.
  • Families which include 3 adults and at least 1 child can save 16% on their tickets when bought online.
  • Children tickets are for those aged between 3 and 17, children aged 2 and under are free.

We visited on a bank holiday weekend, yet we never felt like it was overcrowded, even when we were leaving at 3.30. There is plenty of space in Chester Zoo, which in my mind make it stand out from other zoos we have visited. We thoroughly enjoyed our visit to Chester Zoo last year and definitely plan to return in the future when BattleKid is older.

I can highly recommend Chester Zoo as a family day out. There is something for everyone and the number of animals and species to see is incredible. If you do go, make sure you visit the Islands of Chester Zoo. These were definitely our favourite part of our visit.

Thanks for reading. We also filmed a little vlog of our visit to Chester Zoo which is below if you’d like to watch it.

Cath x

*Prices are correct at the time of writing this post.

**We visited Chester Zoo via our Bristol Zoo annual passes. We were not asked to write this post.

our visit to chester zoo

Win a Family Day Pass to Geronimo 2017 Festival

Geronimo, the UK’s largest children’s festival, kicks off on 27th to 29th May 2017. Action-packed with more performances, activities and acts than in its previous two years, families can also enjoy camping on-site in the stunning grounds of Arley Hall, Cheshire for a fun weekend.geronimo 2017 festival

From the Geronimo Festival Circus to the legendary Justin Fletcher, Mr Bloom and Andy Day, there will lots of acts, performers and activities to keep the kids entertained for hours.geronimo 2017 festival geronimo 2017 festival

Guinness World Record holder Jez Avery will also be there performing his world class PRO BMX and Mountain bike Stunts at The Show Ground Arena, which I know BattleKid would love to see as he is bike mad, whether it be the cycling or motor type!

There will be a sound track to enjoy for all Geronimo festival goers from Mr. Wilson’s Second Liners, a New Orleans funeral street parade meets 90s club classics rave, to Rockin’ Rhinos ‘rocked-up nursery rhyme remixes.geronimo 2017 festival

Brand new to Geronimo 2017 is the Digital Zone, where older children can meet their favourite YouTubers and Gamers as well as try their hand at all the latest technology.

There will also be an inflatable assault course, Parkour workshops, plus the UK’s first fully mobile, interactive 30 metre-long trailer cave. Little monkeys can enjoy the four climbing towers and a digital traverse wall, and are sure to be pooped by the end of the day!geronimo 2017 festival geronimo 2017 festival geronimo 2017 festival geronimo 2017 festival

For Tiny tots there are signing classes and sensory activities, along with Little Learners, the award-winning messy play and mark making class. Younger children can get their groove on at Dance Baby Sling.

To keep everyone fueled throughout the festival, there will be a huge range of food stalls, artisan burger and wood-fired pizza vans, which I personally like the sound of. Even the fussiest of eaters will find something to ensure they can carry on enjoying the fun at Geronimo 2017!

For the first year ever families can now camp in the specially designed child friendly campsite. The campsite features both options to either bring your own tent, caravan or motorhome, or take advantage of the many glamping options. With the option of booking all the kit needed to camp and the promise to be pitched with friends regardless of group size or when you arrive, all that grown-ups need to worry about is making sure they get to see as much of the Geronimo Festival as they can.

Like the sound of all of that? Well, I have 1 Family Day Pass to attend the Geronimo 2017 Festival, either on Sunday 28th May or Bank Holiday Monday 29th May, on offer for one of my lucky readers. The winner will win a Family Day Pass to this year’s Geronimo Festival and are sure to have a jam-packed day of fun!

To enter simply follow the instructions in the competition widget below. And for further information about the Geronimo Festival and to book tickets, please visit www.geronimofest.com.

1 x Family Day Pass to Geronimo festival 2017

Good luck everyone!

Cath x

Terms and conditions:

  • 1 winner will win a Family Day Pass to either Sunday 28th May or Bank Holiday Monday 29th May 2017 for this year’s Geronimo Festival. The date must be specified at the time of confirming their prize.
  • A Family pass admits 4 people, one person in the group must be over 18 (NB children under the age of 2 years do not require a ticket).
  • Travel, parking and accommodation are not included.
  • There is no cash alternative, and the prize is non-refundable and non transferable.
  • ID will be required at the time of collecting the ticket wristband upon arrival.
  • Open to my UK readers only.
  • Competition closes on Thursday 20th April 2017.
  • The winner will be chosen at random and notified within 5 days of the end of the competition.
  • The winner will receive their tickets/instructions from Carousel PR to allow them to collect their wristbands upon arrival on their selected day.
  • Although this competition will be broadcast on my Facebook page, it is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Facebook.

13/52 My Sunday Photo: 26/03/2017

my sunday photo
Yesterday we were at Legoland with friends and had a good day. My highlight was by far Miniland, where all the models of famous buildings around the world are. It’s amazing what they can create with Lego! BattleKid enjoyed his ride on a Duplo train and had a ball playing in the Duplo playground. I personally loved this particular climbing frame with the mirrored balls. I love the effect it creates. Hope you all enjoyed yesterday’s sunshine as much as we did!
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Photalife

11/52 My Sunday Photo: 12/03/2017

My Sunday Photo
It’s taken me leaving Ireland (13 years ago) and about to emigrate again to finally visit Powerscourt Waterfall in County Wicklow. The weather wasn’t brilliant but I had BattleKid’s waterproof all-in-one so I didn’t mind. And it was worth it. Funny how you take things for granted when they are on your doorstep!
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Photalife

Living Arrows 09/52

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth

Kahlil Gibran

This weekend BattleDad was out on Saturday with a friend so BattleKid and I joined said friend’s wife and children on a trip to Cefn Mably Farm Park. BattleKid enjoyed himself alot and was giggling while playing away. We managed to get around the farm before the rain really set in although the boys still got soaked going down the slide several times. It was a pleasure to change them afterwards into dry clothes before letting them loose in the soft play knowing they had had so much fun, even in the drizzle. I had lots of pictures of a happy BattleKid so here are a few of them.

living arrows living arrows living arrows

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Living Arrows