We are now open for bookings

If you are interested in making a booking or checking availability please contact the Education Department via email education@colchesterzoo.org or phone 01206 332511 or 01206 332512.


This educational experience is very popular and spaces book up quickly. If you are interested in a specific date or require multiple sessions we recommend contacting us as soon as possible once bookings open.

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.

The session covers a wide range of learning about penguins as well as the National Curriculum links as outlined in the below PLOs.


Christmas Penguin Experience Cost:

Ticket TypeCost
Primary Pupil£10.00
*Primary Disabled Pupil£10.00
**Primary Zoo Pass Holder£3.00
Additional Adults£10.99
*Adult CarersFree

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. Please note that any pupils who qualify for carer places (as detailed below) are provided free adult carer at a 1:1 ratio and therefore these pupils will not count towards your free adult ratio.

* Adult carers are admitted free of charge at a 1:1 ratio for any pupils with physical or emotional disabilities, are the subjects of SEND statements or EHCPs, or can provide other evidence of specific needs. Please note that you must declare the need for these carers on the day of your visit based on the pupils who attend on the day. 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 (excluding any adults who qualify for the free carer places as detailed above). 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: 01206 332511 or 01206 332512 or email education@colchesterzoo.org. Bookings can not be made until the 16th September.

Experience available from Monday 11th Nov until Friday 13th Dec 2019, weekdays only. Please note, the Christmas Penguin Experience must be booked at least two weeks in advance.

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