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Magic of Christmas

Sun 16 December 2018 09:30 - 16:30

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Join us at Colchester Zoo this Christmas and immerse yourself in the wonderful Christmas atmosphere!

See Santa's beautiful reindeer in their stables, get crafty at the Elves' Workshop, enjoy a Christmas tale and lots more, including this year's staff pantomime performed by the Colchester Zoo team! 

PLUS don't miss out on the Santa Experience!
All children with a Santa Experience ticket will journey through this magicial grotto and go home with their own 'Papa Penguin & Baby Bleu' penguin soft toy!* 
Find out more below! 

On the 24th Nov, 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd & 23rd December you can also stay after dark as we remain open until 7.30pm for you to enjoy our magicial Christmas illuminations!

*Please read the full term & conditions for our Magic of Christmas events before visiting.

All you need to know;

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Event dates:

24th November 9.30am - 7.30pm (Christmas Starlight Night) 
25th November 9.30am - 4.30pm 
1st December 9.30am - 7.30pm (Christmas Starlight Night)
2nd December 9.30am - 4.30pm
8th December 9.30am - 7.30pm (Christmas Starlight Night)
9th December 9.30am - 4.30pm 
15th December 9.30am - 7.30pm (Christmas Starlight Night)
16th - 21st December 9.30am - 4.30pm
22nd December 9.30am - 7.30pm (Christmas Starlight Night)
23rd December 9.30am - 7.30pm (Christmas Starlight Night)
24th December 9.30am - 4.30pm

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The Santa Experience

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During our Magic of Christmas event days the kid's can take part in the magical Santa Experience for the additional cost of £7.00 per a Santa Experience ticket. 

Journey through the magical festive scenes and meet some of our elf team! PLUS every child taking part with a Santa Experience ticket will be able to take home their own 'Papa Penguin & Baby Bleu' penguin soft toy!* 

Find out more about Papa Penguin & Baby Bleu's tale here!

PLUS On the 1st December Mother Christmas will also be available at The Santa Experience to meet children if they wish to greet her instead of Santa.

*Subject to availability. 

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Admission Prices

Ticket Type Gate Price

E-ticket Price
15% off


£18.99 £16.14
Child (3-15yrs) Entry only
(does not include Santa Experience ticket)

£15.99 £13.59
Child (3-15yrs) Entry & Santa Experience ticket included

Senior (60yrs +)

£16.99 £14.44
Child Santa Experience ticket 

£7.00 £7.00
Passholder Santa Experience ticket 
Book online by the 31st October and  purchase a
child passholder's Santa Experience ticket for just £6.00
£7.00 £6.50



Who needs a Santa Experience ticket? 
All children who wish to enter the Santa Experience and recieve a 'Papa Penguin & Baby Bleu' soft toy will require a Santa Experience ticket. This includes children under 3 if you would like them to meet Santa himself and receive a 'Papa Penguin & Baby Bleu' penguin soft toy.

Child Zoo Passholders, child complimentary ticket holders including adopters, children attending birthday parties and animal experiences must also purchase a Santa Experience Ticket if they wish to participate in the Santa Experience and receive a 'Papa Penguin & Baby Bleu' soft toy.

Tesco vouchers: 
Tesco vouchers are accepted towards admission tickets purchased on the gate on the day of your visit during our Magic of Christmas events. However please be aware that Tesco vouchers CANNOT be used towards a Child's Santa Experience ticket which MUST be purchased seperately at the cost of £7.00 per person for those children who visit to take part.

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Event Timetable

Click on each of our Christmas activities below to find out more about them and when they are taking place:

African Snow Safari
Inside Elephant Kingdom (D3)

Santa Experience
Kalahari Theatre (G3)

Elves' Workshop
Next door to Penguini's Restaurant (G2) 

Christmas Train
Lost Madagascar Express Train (D5) 

Staff Christmas Pantomime
Kalahari Theatre (G3) 

Santa's Reindeer Stable
Familiar Friends (A3) Next to Wallaby Walkabout

Enchanted Woodland
All Saints Church (H2) Access through Organgutan Forest 

Elves' Christmas Party
On the stage at Penguini's Terrace (G2) 

Christmas Tale
Kalahari Theeatre (G3) 

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Festive Food at the Zoo! 

As well as our full timetable of events you can also enjoy some delicious festive treats during your visit as well as seasonal drinks and snacks! 


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

Click here for further closing times


upcoming events
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