Our trip to Chester Zoo 2017

When we were invited to visit Chester Zoo and, even better, attend the launch of the new Play Zone, it was an opportunity too good to miss. It was a great coincidence that the date fell on Harry’s 3rd birthday, making it the perfect way to celebrate his birthday as a family. Funnily enough, the last time I had visited Chester Zoo was on Lewis’s 3rd birthday, a whole decade ago, and so I was very excited to see just how much had changed!

On arriving at the zoo I was pleased to find that appropriate security measures were in place. Given the recent terrorist attacks in the UK, I’ll admit to being  a little worried about visiting such a popular tourist attraction, so it was hugely reassuring to see that each bag was thoroughly searched and security were present, meaning that we could simply relax and enjoy our day.

When we arrived at the Play Zone the children couldn’t contain their excitement, and I genuinely think that they forgot all about the animals and would have been happy to play there all day long!

From climbing frames, to rope ladders, Chester Zoo had thought of it all, and the children were spoilt for choice on what to try first!

For a child like Harry, who climbs on literally everything, he was completely in his element!

The girls loved the slides and I lost count of the number of times they came whizzing down, laughing hysterically!

Alongside the traditional play equipment, there is a fantastic water zone, where the children can take off their socks and shoes and get into the water to play. With the sun cracking the flags, it was the perfect way to cool down!

My children love nothing more than splashing in the water and, although only very shallow, they had so much fun in there!

With a variety of wheels and pulley systems, it was lovely to see them working together, and squealing as the cold water hit their feet!!

In another area of the Play Zone is the sand pit, where there is so much for the children to do, including lots of little nooks and crannies for them to crawl in and out of!

As reluctant as the children were to leave the Play Zone, the rest of us were desperate to see some animals, although it was a real challenge dragging them out of there!

As is always the case when it comes to my children, a day out wouldn’t be a day out without an accident of some kind. So on the way to see the animals, when Harry fell face first whilst running down a hill, our first stop was the first aid cabin!! With a nasty graze to the head, and a huge bump forming, I cannot fault the staff for their fast responses. The first aider was so lovely and reassuring, made Harry laugh whilst cleaning his wound and applying an ice pack, and made a real fuss of it being his birthday, including giving him a special badge for being so brave.

After the drama of Harry’s head injury we decided it would  probably be far safer to hire a buggy so that Harry could be safely strapped in whilst travelling around the zoo! The buggy hire starts at £6 a day, up to £10 for a double, but it was worth every penny to contain two of the little ones and store our bags, even if we did have to boot Lewis out of there on one occasion!

Chester Zoo is far bigger than I ever remembered, 125 acres in size, and there is a lot of walking involved. At one point we assumed that we had seen everything there was to see before discovering that we hadn’t even touched on a quarter of it!

One thing that really struck me was just how healthy and happy all of the animals looked. Chester Zoo has some amazing viewing points to see the animals with raised platforms, glass screens and underwater portholes.

Our favourite animals at the zoo were, the children’s kindred spirits, the monkeys!

It was amazing to see them so close, although at first Eva wasn’t quite sure what to make of them!

Her worried look soon turned to laughter when one of the monkeys came and sat directly on the window ledge in front of her and tapped on the glass!

Another recent addition to Chester Zoo are the islands. There you can find a variety of different animals, the tropical realm, indoor and outdoor enclosures and boat rides along the waterways.

I love how every part of the zoo has been designed with such care to detail, every stand, even those simply selling ice creams, are in keeping with the style of the zoo and there are so many spots for the perfect photo!

Chester Zoo also has some of the most beautiful gardens to wander through, making the perfect spot for a picnic.

We were able to take some beautiful phots of the children to look back on, especially with it being such a special day for Harry’s birthday.

It was lovely to see Harry enjoying himself, birthdays are so exciting when you’re small and it was very special to know that both he and Lewis had spent their 3rd birthdays at Chester Zoo.

From gasping at seahorses in the aquarium…

Spying on otters in the outdoor enclosures…

Laughing at the cheeky monkeys in the tropical realm….

Riding on model elephants….

And comparing lemur tails, the children genuinely enjoyed every single moment.

It was so lovely to be able to share that experience, all six of us together, without Lewis moaning that he was bored, Eva whining that she was hungry , Megan crying that her legs hurt, or Harry injuring himself every two minutes…..oh wait…..!! And yet with so much to see, so many places to eat, the luxury of a buggy and the most helpful of first aiders, we really could not have asked for anything more from our day out at the zoo.

 

 

*** We were kindly gifted these tickets for the purpose of the review. All words and opinions are my own. ***

What is there to do at Chester Zoo? | Chester zoo has amazing facilities to cater to all ages for the perfect family day out. Aside from the animals to visit there is also the play zones with a huge sand pit and a water area for children to play in. If you are looking to create memories as a family and give your children the ultimate zoo experience then this is not one to be missed www.fivelittledoves.com

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89 Comments

  1. June 6, 2017 / 7:17 am

    Some gorgeous photos, and I love your dress! The play zone sounds fantastic, I think we’d also struggle to get Miss O out of it to see some actual animals! #TriumphantTales

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:57 am

      Ahh thank you Siobhan, it’s from Rock my vintage (Ill be sharing a review of it soon!) and such a lovely dress to wear! The Play Zone is amazing, although I did have an unfortunate incident on the slide that resulted in a large friction burn to my bottom, hahah! xx

  2. June 6, 2017 / 7:32 am

    Fabspictures hun and I lovd cheater zoo I only live about 20 minutes away from the park and I do wish I went more often but I know it’s not cheap.
    #twinklytuesday

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:55 am

      Thank you Maria, it’s an amazing zoo isn’t it? Days out are never cheap but I know they do a years membership which works out so reasonable. If we lived a little closer I think I would definitely do that! There is something so lovely about a day at the zoo though, especially seeing it through the eyes of your children. xx

  3. June 6, 2017 / 7:41 am

    Sounds like an amazing day and some wonderful pictures! Looking at these pictures has made me feel all nostalgic; I grew up in Cheshire so we had many a day trip to Chester Zoo as a child – we even sponsored a macaw parrot in memory of my Grandad when he died as they were his favourite! We now live over 200 miles away in Norfolk, but I will definitely make a trip back with Leo when he’s older…I’d like to be able to share some of my own childhood experiences with him. #TriumphantTales

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:54 am

      Ahhh I didn’t realise you were originally up this way! That’s so lovely to sponsor a parrot in your Grandads memory, how special it would be to take Leo there when he is a little older. I love that Harry and Lewis have both celebrated their 3rd birthdays at the zoo, it’s one of those lovely coincidences that makes me feel all emotional! It’s an amazing zoo, the best we’ve ever been to by far! xx

  4. Mackenzie Glanville
    June 6, 2017 / 7:53 am

    oh look at Harry and Lewis, so beautiful. Great photos to remember a very special day xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:52 am

      I know, that photo is my absolute favourite. xxx

  5. June 6, 2017 / 8:03 am

    I have such fond memories of Chester Zoo from the summers when we would visit my grandparents in the UK. This has brought back so many lovely nostalgic feelings 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:52 am

      Oh me too, although you wouldn’t recognise it now! It’s the best zoo we’ve ever been to by far! xx

  6. June 6, 2017 / 8:24 am

    Chester Zoo is at the top of my visiting wish list at the moment, but we are too far away to do it in a day. Is it bad that I kind of want to go without the kid so I can have a jolly good look round by myself!! #TwinklyTuesday

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 9:50 am

      Haha not bad at all, it’s an amazing zoo and I think you’d get around it quicker without the kids in tow!! xx

  7. June 6, 2017 / 10:53 am

    What a fab day, bar the head injury! Looks like you had amazing weather and the play area looks great. Gorgeous photos too! How do you always look so good?! #twinklytuesday

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Haha Fran I really don’t! But thank you, you’re my new favourite person! xxx

  8. June 6, 2017 / 11:17 am

    Such gorgeous photos as always hon! You can’t beat a trip to the Zoo for a day out in my book it looks like you all had a fabulous time x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      The zoo is the best isn’t it? It reminds me of being small again, and so lovely to share that with the children! xx

  9. June 6, 2017 / 11:24 am

    What a wonderful review of a fab looking day. That play zone looks amazing! We wouldn’t get Zach to see the animals haha! Thanks for linking up with #TwinklyTuesday

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:19 pm

      Thank you. It’s such a fab zoo, my favourite one we’ve been to by far! xx

  10. June 6, 2017 / 11:46 am

    It looks like you had an amazing day and you got some absolutely fab photos! We went chester zoo last year and I really want to go again this summer, the boys loved it and they were so tired by the time we finished. It is so hard to get round everywhere though! #twinklytuesday

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:18 pm

      Yes mine were asleep before we left the carpark! It’s SO big isn’t it? I had no idea! If it wasn’t for the buggy we would have been carrying them at least half of the day! xx

  11. June 6, 2017 / 2:02 pm

    Your photos are gorgeous, every detail presented beautifully on the photos. Going to the zoo always a blast, especially for the kids. Looks like your family had a fabulous time, despite the fall and the bump.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:17 pm

      Ahh thank you so much Rose. My husband took a lot of these, for once I decided to get on the photos, it made a nice change! xx

  12. June 6, 2017 / 2:30 pm

    You took some beautiful pictures here 🙂 Looks like a great day, we went a few years ago and looks like we need to go again 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:16 pm

      It’s an amazing zoo isn’t it?! We had the best day! And thank you! xx

  13. June 6, 2017 / 3:15 pm

    We visited Chester Zoo around 18 months ago and I was so impressed by the Islands which I think was quite new at that time. We didn’t see the new play area so I think we may need to go back and give it another try as it looks fantastic – especially the water splash area. It looks like you all had an amazing day. Happy belated birthday Harry! Thanks for linking up with #DreamTeam Laura x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 6, 2017 / 4:15 pm

      The islands are AMAZING aren’t they? They still looked brand new! The Play Zone only opened on the 27th May so all very new, there’s so much for the children to do, they genuinely would have been happy playing on there all day! And thank you, he had a wonderful day! xx

  14. June 6, 2017 / 9:02 pm

    This looks like a great day out. My daughters would love the water play section (and the animals!!). #TriumphantTales

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 4:01 pm

      We were so lucky with the weather, I’m not sure they would have been as keen to paddle in the water in the freezing cold! xx

  15. June 6, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    Had never been to Chester zoo but looks like a place for a must visit! I love that slide and i am sure even I will give it a go when we visit there 🙂 Love the pictures, did you use a camera? If so, could I know which one please?

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 4:00 pm

      Hi Rishi, Yes, it’s a Nikon D90. It’s an amazing zoo! xx

  16. June 6, 2017 / 10:00 pm

    The new play zone looks awesome. I know that my daughter would have loved a place like this when she was younger. And to be honest, she probably would love a place like that now. It’s cool that they added that to what they already have going on at the zoo.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:59 pm

      Even my 13 year old had a climb on the play zone, I was first down that big slide too! xx

  17. June 6, 2017 / 10:03 pm

    loved reading this and your photos are stunning! I use to live in Chester and visited the zoo many times, I remember it being huge then but can image its expanded loads since. Must try and get back there one day

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:59 pm

      It’s amazing! I hadn’t been in ten years and it’s unrecognisable! It’s HUGE! The Islands and the playzone are both new and amazing additions, I can’t wait to go back! xx

  18. June 7, 2017 / 1:00 am

    This looks like such a great day! I seriously can’t believe I’ve never been to a zoo. I have to go one of these days.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:57 pm

      Wow you’ve never been to a single zoo? You definitely should go! xx

  19. eazynazy
    June 7, 2017 / 5:23 am

    What an amazing day you had. It looks so much fun specially for kids.I love to visit Zoo with kids.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:57 pm

      The zoo is such a fun day out, we had the best time! xx

  20. June 7, 2017 / 6:38 am

    I have not been to Chester zoo in years. Looks a lot better than the last time I visited.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:56 pm

      I hadn’t been in ten years and it has changed beyond recognition! It’s huge! xx

  21. June 7, 2017 / 7:31 am

    Love the pics as always! That playzone looks amazing! Think I would be having a good climb too and then hurting myself like Harry. I wish the grem was more into animals – she just doesn’t get excited!! Thanks for sharing with #bestandworst x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:55 pm

      Haha I did! I got a huge friction burn all down my bum!! Oops! xx

  22. June 7, 2017 / 9:45 am

    I am pleased to see that they heightened security measures as this is something all attractions should do. So pleased that you got to celebrate his birthday in the playzone it looks so fun I kind of want a go myself lol!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:54 pm

      Me too, I was a little nervous but it was so reassuring to know they were doing their best to put us all at ease. We had such a lovely day there, I can’t wait to go back! xx

  23. hal
    June 7, 2017 / 1:17 pm

    now this looks like way more fun then kids playing on iPads and other electronic things
    i always say if you don’t have any cuts an mild bruises then you didn’t play enough as a kid 🙂
    !

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:53 pm

      Totally agree, I love getting out and about with the children, that’s what childhood should be about! xx

  24. June 7, 2017 / 1:23 pm

    It looks like a great zoo. I be the little ones loved seeing all the animals. I’m also impressed at how good the play area is too – it looks like great fun.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:52 pm

      Considering its a zoo and the focus is on the animals, its an amazing play area! The children loved it! xx

  25. June 7, 2017 / 1:39 pm

    Chester Zoo looks great, i love the play island for the kids. Is it bad that I want to go down that fab slide too lol!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:52 pm

      Haha I did – several times! I have a huge friction burn on my bottom as a result – oops! xx

  26. June 7, 2017 / 5:26 pm

    I really love this post. Your photos are beautiful! You’ve really captured the day and completely sold it to me! My Little Man would love it there, I know for sure. Thanks for joining #TriumphantTales, hope to see you back next week! 🙂

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:50 pm

      Thanks Jaki, it’s so worth a visit. We have been to some zoos and walked round them and been a little bored within a couple of hours. Here we spent eight hours and we still hadn’t seen everything! xx

  27. June 7, 2017 / 5:44 pm

    Looks like you had a fantastic day plus amazing weather too. Hope Harry enjoyed his birthday

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:49 pm

      We were so lucky with the weather, it was incredible! xx

  28. June 7, 2017 / 8:52 pm

    Gorgeous photographs, looks like an amazing day! #BloggerClubUK

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:49 pm

      Thank you! It really was! xx

  29. Ali Rost
    June 7, 2017 / 10:16 pm

    Your post reminded me so much of the days when my kids were little. It was such a fun excuse to go to places like the zoo. Not that my husband and I couldn’t now, but it’s so much more fun to experience it through a child’s eyes. I’m in love with the fluffy monkeys with their funny flat faces, and the cute little striped tails the girls had! I’d so glad you guys had a good time .. thank-you for taking us along! x

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:48 pm

      Thank you Ali. I think that’s part of the fun isn’t it? Seeing it through your children’s eyes? It was lovely to have a day out that we could all enjoy, even Lewis, who at 13 likes to think he is too old for the zoo, loved it! xx

  30. June 8, 2017 / 3:20 am

    This place looks so great. I love the idea of a playground and zoo in one place. Great Birthday for Harry.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:46 pm

      Thanks Alice, he had such a lovely time there, we all did! The zoo is timeless isn’t it? xx

  31. June 8, 2017 / 3:52 am

    That looks like a fabulous time and that tiger is magnificent!

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:46 pm

      It was the most fun, Harry had a really lovely birthday there. xx

  32. June 8, 2017 / 5:31 am

    This looks lile an amazing place! I love that there are so many areas for the kids to explore and play.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:46 pm

      Definitely, there was so much to do, we still didn’t see everything! xx

  33. June 8, 2017 / 11:16 am

    Popping back over from #coolmumclub lovely xoxo

  34. June 8, 2017 / 12:17 pm

    I’ve never been to Chester Zoo, it’s one of those places that’s always on my to do list! Looks amazing! #coolmumclub

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:43 pm

      Oh you really should Donna, it’s such a lovely zoo and SO much to do! xx

  35. Liz cleland
    June 8, 2017 / 12:59 pm

    This looks like so much fun. I would love to take my family here! Your pictures have us sold.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:43 pm

      Thanks Liz, it’s our favourite zoo! xx

  36. June 8, 2017 / 1:25 pm

    I’m really glad to hear that security was good! So glad you had a lovely day out there, I haven’t been to Chester Zoo but I always loved seeing the animals as a kid.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 8, 2017 / 3:43 pm

      It’s such an amazing zoo Ellie, I really can’t recommend it enough! xx

  37. June 8, 2017 / 6:08 pm

    This zoo looks amazing, we went yesterday at the zoo in my city and it was so sad. I think that they are not taking a very good care of the animals.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 9, 2017 / 11:33 am

      Oh that’s so sad. I didn’t feel that way at all here, the animals looked so happy and healthy! xx

  38. June 8, 2017 / 8:44 pm

    Stunning photos, they sum up what a lovely day it was, perfectly. I have never visited Chester Zoo but it looks fun, and lots to do. The play area is amazing! Sorry to hear your little one hurt himself though.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 9, 2017 / 11:32 am

      Ahh thank you, he wasn’t remotely bothered by it though! Chester zoo is amazing, definitely worth a visit! xx

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 9, 2017 / 11:32 am

      We had such a great day, the weather was amazing! xx

  39. June 8, 2017 / 9:39 pm

    That looks like an awesome play area – my children would have loved that when they were younger! The zoo looks amazing, I think we might have to add a trip there to our wanderlust list x #BloggerClubUK

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 9, 2017 / 11:28 am

      Its our favourite zoo by a mile, so much to do! xx

  40. June 9, 2017 / 8:08 am

    Chester Zoo does look like a great place to take the kids to. I love that they have a play ground for the children. Your children are all beautiful! Harry is a strong boy, he seems okay even after that fall.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 9, 2017 / 10:53 am

      Ahh thank you so much, they are very special to us. Harry never even cried, huge bump and didn’t bat an eyelid! xx

  41. June 9, 2017 / 6:49 pm

    Lovely photos Laura, looks like you had a fab time. We’re heading there tomorrow. Just hope the rain holds off!! x
    #CoolMumClub

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 10, 2017 / 3:08 pm

      Oh have a wonderful time! xx

  42. Oh my goodness, I love the photos of Lewis and Harry together. It’s so sweet to see that bond between them even though they are so many years apart. It also looks like you had a wonderful time! I’ve always wanted to go to Chester Zoo but we don’t live close enough. It’s definitely got a good reputation for caring and nurturing animals which is really important to me. Glad you had a lovely and almost injury free day! #BestAndWorst

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 10, 2017 / 3:06 pm

      Thank you, it’s one of my absolute favourite photos!! I totally agree, so many zoos we have been to have left me feeling sad that the animals didn’t appear happy or healthy, but I didn’t feel that way at all here. It’s a really lovely zoo! xx

  43. June 15, 2017 / 8:30 am

    We haven’t been to a zoo for AGES – looks fab! #bestandworst

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 15, 2017 / 1:07 pm

      It’s an amazing zoo, can’t recommend it enough! xx

  44. June 18, 2017 / 8:13 pm

    I went to Chester but I didn’t have time to visit the Zoo. From your pictures it seems that it is a nice place to visit.

    • Laura Dove
      Author
      June 20, 2017 / 9:07 am

      Oh its an amazing zoo! Definitely worth a visit next time!

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