In early January I took my two four year olds to Chester Zoo in Winter, on a week day in term time. It transpires that it is the perfect time to go.  I’ve recently changed my job and so I’m now getting two days a week at home (or probably two days to get out and about) with my two four year olds before they start school in September.

Chester Zoo is an incredible place mid week during term time and why if you have babies, toddlers or pre-schoolers you should visit and maybe even invest in an annual pass.  I’ve written here about why you should visit on a Rainy Day and a lot of the reasons are similar, but with the added benefit of it being even quieter.

On arrival the staff on the entrance took time to chat to my two about what they wanted to see that day. They could do that because there was literally no-on else walking in at the same time as us. I don’t think that has ever happened to me before (and we have been a lot!).

Whilst the main reason to visit is that it is very very quiet.  There also seemed to be lots more staff about and obviously loads more places to take photos near their favourite things! The kids are usually queueing up to get near this elephant statute (go figure!).

This was elephant poo (lovely) and the girls got a good five minute talk from the volunteer about why, how, when, what the sweet corn was for in it….

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When we got to the butterfly house, there was another staff member around and this time he was getting the stick insects out for people to look at. When I say people – I mean the three of us and one other man. It was incredible. I felt so spoilt and as though I was there on an invitation only day.


Incredibly it seemed like the animals like quieter days too as we saw all three Jaguars. The times we have wandered through the Jaguar house and seen nothing at all. That day this beautiful Jaguar seemed so happy and content to relax on his rock. The girls had to drag me away.

We spent 3 hours just wandering through an empty Chester Zoo soaking in all the sights at our own pace.   I saw quite a few Mums with babies in prams and toddlers mooching about.  They didn’t have to worry about them running off as they could see them easily, there was no queues for the toilet and no problems with the kids getting prime position around the enclosures.

We had a great day and will definitely be getting good value out our annual passes over the next few months.  I’ve worked out you only have to go 3 times to make it worthwhile and we will definitely go more than that.

NB: This is not a sponsored post, nor did we get free entry to Chester Zoo. We just love going.  For another post on the A-Z of Chester Zoo click here.

Country Kids from Coombe Mill Family Farm Holidays Cornwall

Mini Travellers

Mini Travellers

Karen Beddow founded Mini Travellers in 2014 while doing what she loves most...going on holiday!

Mini Travellers is for parents looking for holiday ideas, destination reviews, days out and things to do with the kids. We also have family travel tips, activity ideas and all other things family holiday related. Take a look at some of our latest reviews for holidays and day trips in the UK.


  1. January 9, 2016 at 6:43 am — Reply

    Great advice, I would enjoy the zoo much so much more with it being quiet. We had a similar experience in November at Paphos Zoo, now all the tourists have left it was virtually empty!
    Popping over from #Countrykids

  2. Emma Martin
    January 9, 2016 at 6:46 am — Reply

    Great advice, I’d have never have thought of it once but after visiting Paphos zoo last November once the tourists had gone home I’d agree!

  3. January 9, 2016 at 7:20 am — Reply

    I love your Chester Zoo posts Karen! It looks like such a good zoo and I will have to put it on my list of places to go. Emily would definitely be interested in the elephant poo!!
    Karen recently posted…A Family ChristmasMy Profile

  4. January 9, 2016 at 7:40 am — Reply

    We absolutely love Chester Zoo but have never been in the winter months, always opting for the busy summer ones, we might have to give it a go and see if we can spot more animals than usual!
    Sean recently posted…A bit of helping turning our house into a home!My Profile

  5. barjerow
    January 9, 2016 at 12:14 pm — Reply

    Looks like a great day out, except the elephant poo! We might even renew our passes this year and go while it’s still quiet.

  6. January 9, 2016 at 4:07 pm — Reply

    I remember visiting Chester Zoo when I was younger, as I grew up about an hour away – I’m not sure I’ve made it back since! But like you, I love visiting places while I can on weekdays when they’re a bit cold and quiet and unloved, so we can have it almost to ourselves. I can’t imagine having so few people at Chester Zoo, how fantastic! #countrykids
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…Exploring St John’s and historic AntiguaMy Profile

  7. January 11, 2016 at 10:16 pm — Reply

    Great post! A friend was extolling the virtues of off peak Chester Zoo too, we really must take the boy, he’s never been!
    HodgePodgeDays recently posted…My Sunday Photo 10.1.16My Profile

  8. January 13, 2016 at 10:19 am — Reply

    When we lived in Yorkshire we used to try and make the trek across to Chester Zoo and we would always go out of season. We find it is much nicer that way as you can really enjoy the zoo without the crowds!

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