Virtual Outreach

Colchester Zoo has launched exciting new interactive virtual outreach sessions delivered via Zoom with one connected device (e.g. a computer in a meeting hall), or with multiple connected devices (e.g. individual participants can access the session from home). To enable interaction, the sessions are designed for a maximum of 30 participants (children, not counting supervising adults), and 15 connected devices.

Sessions cost £50 and can be delivered to one family, or you can join together (virtually) and all participate in a session (max 30 child participants and 15 connected devices)

To see any of our currently available sessions, and more details about these sessions, please click here.


Private Home Education Tours

Due to the Education Department remaining furloughed over Dec, these private tours are not currently avaliable to book.
We hope to reopen for bookings early next year.

Colchester Zoo will has an exciting new educational experience for Home Education families. Families (a maximum of 5 people) can book a 50-minute private tour of the zoo lead by a Learning Officer.

This tour does not include any behind the scenes areas nor meeting animals up close. Instead, the tours focus on specific educational topics using a variety of props and the live zoo animals (as seen from the public viewing areas). Participants will also have the chance to ask questions and have an insight into the zoo from our education team.


Tour topics avaliable:

For younger children:

  • Rainforest / Jungle Animals: find out what a rainforest is, who lives there, and what threats these animals might face.
  • Water Animals: how to animals live in water? how do they move? breath? eat? find out these answers and more!
  • Amazing Animals: discover the weird and wonderful, wild and colourful side of some of the animals at Colchester Zoo.

For older children:

  • Animal Adaptations: what is an adaptation and how do they help animals survive?
  • Habitats: learn about different places where animals live, how they live there, and how the zoo strives to replicate their homes.
  • Endangered Animals: discover some of the threats animals in the wild face and what you can do to help save them.

For teens:

  • Animal Care: an introduction overview to looking after captive animals, including: diet, health, enrichment, training and lots more.
  • Enclosure Design: a focus on zoo enclosure design evaluate them from the needs of the public, the zookeepers and the animals.
  • Zoos Good or Bad: an exploration of the thorny topic of why humans keep animals in zoos and the pros, cons, and ethics of doing so.

This educational experience is £25 per family* (a maximum of 5 people). This includes:

  • A private 50-minute tour for your family with a socially distanced learning officer
  • Specific themed educational handouts for post tour self-lead activities at the zoo and at home
  • Different themed and age appropriate tours to choose from
  • The opportunity to get up close and handle a variety of educational props (e.g. skulls, furs, etc.)

*Please note, these tours do not include entry to the zoo. Participants must arrange entry separately either by paying standard entry fees (click here for prices), or using zoo passes (click here for details) to gain entry to the zoo.


Home Education Tour T&Cs

  • One tour ticket is required per group (not per person)
  • Tour tickets do not include entry to the zoo. Zoo passes (Gold Cards) can be used for entry, or you can purchase day tickets for any attendees who require them (please wait until your tour date is confirmed before purchasing any day tickets)
  • Tours are for a maximum of five participants (including under 3s), from one support bubble
  • Ensure you and your child(ren) maintain social distancing from general zoo visitors and the tour leader
  • Everyone over the age of 11* must wear face coverings at all times while on the tour (during the rest of your visit to the zoo, this is only required in indoor areas, but recommended in outdoor locations as well) (*Children under 11, people with certain health conditions and people with a disability are exempt.)
  • Tours will include outdoor locations, please dress appropriate and ensure you have appropriate footwear to walk outdoors
  • Payment for tours must be made a minimum of 48 hours in advance of your confirmed tour date
  • Colchester Zoo reserves the right to withdraw this experience at any time without prior notice

Home Education Sessions

For a number of years Colchester Zoo has offered monthly education sessions for registered families of home educated children. These sessions were available for a variety of age ranges and covered a range of topics from Animal Adaptations and Classification to Travel & Tourism Business Session and Animal Care.

Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, this format of Home Education sessions will not be available at this time

We hope to be able to offer these again in future, and details will be posted on this webpage if and when anything changes.


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