We’ve just had our first proper day out to a visitor attraction since lockdown started on March 23rd 2020. So we chose to visit Chester Zoo as it has just re-opened.
As a family we love visiting Chester Zoo. We are very lucky to have it on our door step and since our girls have been little, we have visited several times a year. In fact, we love it so much that any time our family and friends come to visit, we always recommend to them a day out to Chester Zoo. It’s a full day out that ticks so many boxes, no matter what time of year.
We have a post that links all our Chester Zoo reviews together which you can read here.
So what’s different about Chester Zoo right now?
3000 people not 10,000
Chester Zoo are only selling 3000 tickets a day which is significantly less than their usual 10,000. Helps with social distancing and the pressure on facilities. It also makes for a much quieter visitor experience.
You have to book tickets you can’t just turn up.
I booked ours a week before our trip and with that comes the risk of bad weather which we had in epic proportions. Normally I love a Chester Zoo trip in the rain, and in fact recommend it in this post on Chester Zoo on a Rainy Day – BUT during lockdown none of the indoor attractions are open so there is literally nowhere to hide from the rain! You have to take your chances!
You can use tickets you bought before the Pandemic (they will have been extended by a year) and members can use their membership but you still have to book!
Tickets are released a few weeks ahead.
At the time of writing (18th June) you could buy tickets up to the end of July. The weekends had sold out but there was still availability in the week.
You can choose to buy afternoon tickets (2pm -5pm) or full day tickets
Full day tickets are
Adult Concession £21.81
Aged 2 and Under and Carers FREE
Afternoon tickets are
Adult Concession £10.00
Aged 2 and Under and Carers FREE
Toilet facilities (apart from those within cafes and restaurants) are all open, with limited capacity inside to enable social distancing. Chester Zoo’s team was carefully managing the areas, and so whilst there was a short wait to use the facilities and the wait was outside, it certainly wasn’t any longer than other days I’ve visited. Less probably due to the fact there is less people on site. Chester Zoo have also confirmed that all of their washrooms will be cleaned thoroughly and regularly throughout the day for your safety.
There are places to use hand sanitiser everywhere. Lots and lots of places so you can top up on this as often as you like.
Are people social distancing at Chester Zoo? Yes and No. There is definitely the space, but people do sometimes forget. Especially if they have seen something they want to see like a baby elephant. But in the main people are trying and if you keep your wits about you then I think you should feel safe.
The indoor attractions at Chester Zoo are all currently closed. Which means no butterflies, bats, orangutans etc. There is plenty to see at Chester Zoo without these but it does mean that on a wet day there is nowhere to escape to.
A number of the takeaway outlets are open and we saw a few new covered picnic areas. We took a picnic with us as we weren’t sure what would be open and what wouldn’t be. The queues at the outlets we saw were ok. Mainly because of the lack of numbers too.
The playgrounds at Chester Zoo are also closed so if that’s a big draw for the kids usually do warn them.