Last few sessions still available!

To reserve your place, contact our education department at or via phone at 01206 332511, 01206 332512 or 01206 331292.

Find details about this popular festive session below:

Booking Details

Last few spaces still available!

To reserve your place, contact our education department at or via phone at 01206 332511, 01206 332512 or 01206 331292.

The sessions are available Mon-Fri from the 14th Nov 2021 to the 16th Dec 2022. Sessions will be bookable on the hour at 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, and 13:00. Each time slot is for one class, a maximum of approximately 30 children. See below for approximate availability, but please be aware that this calendar is not live and will not include bookings received and not yet processed.

Session availability as of 23rd Nov 2022. Please note – this calendar is not live.

Risk Assessments

Please see our detailed school trip risk assessment page for our general school trip risk assessments and session risk assessment, which covers associated risks of live animals in sessions including the Christmas Penguin Educational Experience.

Session Details

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 has a lovely gift for each pupil.

Suitable for Reception, KS1, and lower KS2 classes with accompanying adults. The session can also be deliver for SEND groups working at these levels.

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

After your Christmas Penguin session, you can also complete a follow up activity with your class where they can write letters to Father Christmas and receive a custom, personalised reply. Download the worksheets for this here, or check your confirmation email attachments.

The 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 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.

Christmas Penguin Experience Cost:

Ticket TypeCost
Primary Pupil£11.00
*Primary Disabled Pupil£11.00
**Primary Zoo Pass Holder£4.00
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) must be shown on the day of your visit. If passes are not shown, pupils will be charged the full price of £11.00.

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