Checking Out Chester Zoo

Recently we went to Chester Zoo (here). We love it there. We’ve been there a lot in the past, in fact my wife has fed the penguins there (just adopt them for a year and you can do this), but this was the first time we have taken our one year old son there. We were excited to see how he found it.

You’ll know we like going to see wildlife if you’ve read my other reviews, like Ponderosa Zoo, Yorkshire Wildlife Park, Canon Hall Farm, Woburn Safari Park, The Deep and Knowsley Safari Park.

The Animals

At Chester Zoo you’ll find one of the largest collection of animals in any zoo in the UK spread across 125 acres of land. It’s huge. There are over 21,000 animals! The animals range from lions, elephants and jaguars, down to bats, fish and stick insects.

Although as a visitor we wander around and see animals and learn about them from the different boards you can read as you go, Chester Zoo is actually heavily focused on conservation. The Zoo has been on TV an awful lot, such as Secret Life Of The Zoo on Channel 5. On this programme you can really see how they try to conserve the different animals through breeding programs. Being a visitor therefore actually helps this by giving them money for all the good work they do.

It’s very clear too how much care is taken of all the animals. All of the animal enclosures are spacious enough for the animals and full of things for them to do. You don’t feel sorry for the animals as you do at some places.

Chester Zoo – Big Cat Lego

While we were there they had an exhibit all over the zoo made out of Lego. The main focus of the exhibit was an area focused on the big cats, like a Snow Leopard, Lion cubs, Cheetah etc. They also has a number of other animals made of Lego too though, such as a Lemur and Orangutan. It really was a fantastic display, so well made to such a high standard. I would very much encourage anyone to go soon to see this. Here are a few photos of the display:

Chester Zoo Big Cat Lego
Chester Zoo Big Cat Lego
Chester Zoo Big Cat Lego
Lion Cubs
Chester Zoo Big Cat Lego
Chester Zoo Big Cat Lego
Cheetah Chase
Chester Zoo Big Cat Lego

Added Benefits

There are some great little extras at Chester Zoo to keep you entertained.

There’s a great play area for kids. It’s outside so consider that on a visit, but it’s large and has some great climbing areas.

There’s also a monorail. It’s a small train on a raised train track that goes around the whole zoo. It’s great when you’re on it but also if you’re not on the train then you don’t really notice it. As it’s raised off the ground it doesn’t get in the way as you walk around.

There is also a boat journey you can take too which is fab. You have to be able to walk independently so we couldn’t do it with N but I would recommend it. It’s just a bit different and will give you an alternative view of the zoo.

The Practicalities

Firstly, there’s plenty of baby changing facilities. For this sort of place where they want to attract families they really have to have good facilities like that, and indeed they do.

There’s also plenty of parking. It’s so popular though that you could have a bit of a walk from your car to the zoo itself but you can virtually be guaranteed of getting a space. I’d just get there early if you go on a weekend!

We all know too that little legs can’t always walk for 10km around the zoo. What’s great here is that you can hire little buggies near the entrance that kids can sit in as you push them around. From the same place you can also get electric buggies for adults if you will struggle to walk that far too. These adult buggies are free to hire if you need one.

The terrain is great for prams and wheelchairs. Although not 100% flat it is pretty good and most places are relatively flat. There are just a few places which are quite steep.

The cost of it does mean it’s quite prohibitive to go too often. For an adult the price ranges from £20 to £25.45 and for children £15.45 to £20.90. You can get some discounts for buying online but it’s not cheap. However it’s not to say it’s not worth it. With the amount of animals on display and the conservation efforts they go to it’s not a bad price, but not something you can do all the time with a family.

There are some good places to eat here too. There’s a contemporary British pub, an area for street food, a food court, ice cream parlour, couple of coffee shops and lots of kiosks around the zoo.

Chester Zoo – Summary

Chester Zoo
Baby Rhino!

We love Chester Zoo. As I said at the start we have been there loads. If we lived closer we would get an annual pass we love it that much.

They care for the animals very well and want to conserve them. The space to move around is good, and great for prams. There are a number of places to eat too which offer a good variety of tasty food.

No, it’s not cheap, but consider the fact you’re helping the animals and being entertained for hours, and perhaps you’d agree it’s ok to spend that.

If you’ve not been then go. If you’ve been go again soon while the Lego animals are there.

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