penguins school edit

Christmas Penguin Experience


penguins education small

Take part in a wonderful Christmas educational experience at Colchester Zoo! Your class will be greeted by a festive elf who helps you learn all about penguins. You’ll then get the chance to observe a real penguin up close to test what you’ve learned. Father Christmas will then join you to see how much you know about one of his favourite winter animals! As you leave, Father Christmas will give each pupil a lovely gift to remember your experience.

Suitable for Reception, KS1, and lower KS2 classes with accompanying adults.

Christmas Penguin Experience Cost:

Ticket Type Cost
Primary Pupil £10.00
*Primary Disabled Pupil £8.50
**Primary Zoo Pass Holder £3.00
Additional Adults £10.99
*Adult Carers £5.49

Schools are offered free adult places at a ratio of 1 free adult per 6 paying pupils. Any adults above this free ratio are charged at the additional adult rate.

* Disabled pupil rates apply to all students with physical or emotional disabilities, are the subjects of SEND statements or EHCPs, or can provide other evidence of specific needs. You may be asked for proof at entrance.  A letter on school letterhead is acceptable proof. Carer places are offered at a 1:1 ratio for each disabled pupil. If your pupil requires a higher carer ratio, please contact us.

** Zoo Passes (Gold Cards or Platinum Cards) must be shown on the day of your visit. If passes are not shown, pupils will be charged the full price of £10.00.

Christmas Penguin Experience includes:

  • Entry to Colchester Zoo
  • Meet a live penguin
  • Father Christmas
  • Gift for each child
  • Free adult places*
  • Indoor lunch space**

Each Christmas Penguin experience is for a maximum of 30 pupils, and their free adult supervisors (5 adults per 30 pupils). If you are bringing a large group, we can run multiple sessions to accommodate you.

*Free adult places are offered at a 1 to 6 ratio per paying pupil. Additional adults beyond your free adult ratio will be admitted to the zoo with your group at our standard charge of £10.99 per adult (or £5.49 per Carer accompanying disabled Pupils). Please note, due to limited capacity only those adults admitted free for supervision purposes (or accompanying carers) will be allowed to accompany the class for the Christmas Penguin Experience. We will accommodate extra adults where possible but this is at the discretion of the staff member at the time of the event.

**Each participating class will receive an assigned time slot within an indoor eating area. Please note that outside of these timeslots, these lunch spaces may not be available.

To book a Christmas Penguin Experience please contact our education department directly to discuss availability by phone at 01206 332511 or 01206 332512 or email education@colchesterzoo.org. Bookings can not be made until the 17th September.

Experience available from Monday 12th Nov until Friday 14th Dec 2018, weekdays only. Please note, the Christmas Penguin Experience must be booked at least two weeks in advance.

ON THE NORMAL PRIMARY PAGES: (At the top under the T&Cs)

Are you visiting in late November or December? Why not book a Christmas Penguin Experience for you class! You’ll get the chance to learn all about these amazing winter animals, and get to meet Father Christmas and a penguin. Click here for more details.

On the penguin session bit:

Christmas Penguin Experience KS1

Are you visiting in late November or December? Why not booking a Christmas Penguin Experience for you class!  You’ll get the chance to learn all about these amazing winter animals, and get to meet Father Christmas and a penguin. Click here for more details.

ON THE HOME ED SESSION PAGES: (At the top under the T&Cs)

Interested in a special Christmas educational experience?

Click here for more details about our Home Education Christmas Penguin Experience.

At the bottom (and with an anchor link from the standard penguin dec session link.

Christmas Penguin Educational Experience 3rd and 5th Dec

Recommended for ages 5 to 9
60 minute session from 2:00-3:00

Once again, we are running our Special Christmas Penguin Educational Experience for Home Educated Children. Sessions will run on Mon 3rd and Wed 5th of Dec 2018. This session is recommended for ages 5 to 9.

A festive elf will greet the group and need help learning all about penguins. Participants will work together with a magic book to find out more about these fascinating animals. The entire group thens get the chance to observe real penguins up close before Father Christmas arrives to see how much you’ve all learned about one of his favourite winter animals! As you leave, Father Christmas will give each child a lovely penguin-y gift.

Due to the up close animal experience and the gift, there is a charge of £3 per child attending the session (this includes younger siblings attending).

This session will be identical to the Christmas Penguin Educational Experience that ran in Dec 2016 and 2017.

Please note that we will still be running our usual free educational sessions on the same day. There is considerable overlap between the educational material covered in the 5-7 year old regular ‘Penguin Session’ and the special Christmas Penguin session. As such, if your child attends the Christmas Penguin Experience, we recommend that they don’t attend the regular 5-7 year old ‘Penguin Session’.

This session has very limited places which will be filled on a first come first served basis.

Bookings open at 9am on Monday, 8th Oct. We are unable to take any bookings or hold any spaces before this time.

Once bookings open, if you would like to attend this special Christmas Session, please email education@colchesterzoo.org to register with your child(ren)’s name and age and the parent/guardian’s full name (please note that this is a completely separate session and requires different registration than the usual free sessions for which registration is via the form found higher on this page). If you have any questions, email education@colchesterzoo.org

Please note, this session (as with all Home Education Sessions at Colchester Zoo) does not include entry to the zoo. Participants must arrange entry separately either by paying standard entry fees (click here for prices), organising themselves with 15 people to qualify for our group rates (fees (click here for group details), or using zoo passes (click here for pass details).


4.30pm close or dusk if earlier
Last admission to zoo grounds at 3.30pm

Click here for further closing times


upcoming events
November 2018
Sun mon tue wed thu fri sat
28 29 30 31 1 2 3
4 5 6 7 8 9 10
11 12 13 14 15 16 17
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
25 26 27 28 29 30 1