Chester Zoo is having a sleepover!

Conservationists are inviting families to a unique camping experience at Chester Zoo’s Nature Reserve, part of an annual festival celebrating rare UK wildlife.

This September (Sat 14 and Sun 15 Sept), an open weekend of family-friendly activities, live music and wildlife spotting will be free for visitors to the zoo’s 14 acre Nature Reserve, just outside the boundary of the main zoo, with family ‘sleepover’ tickets now available.

Campers will be given the exclusive opportunity to experience the Nature Reserve at night, on a British nocturnal safari, guided by the zoo’s UK wildlife experts, before being treated to a hot dinner and refreshments.

The following morning, sleepover guests will be taken on an early bird tour around the zoo, before daytime visitors arrive.

The tour will finish with breakfast in the zoo’s Grade II listed restaurant, The Oakfield, which was the original family home of zoo founder, George Mottershead.

Annabella Bashforth, Assistant Team Manager of Informal Education at Chester Zoo, said:

“The Wildlife Connections Festival Sleepover will offer a unique opportunity to camp at Chester Zoo and experience the wonderful wildlife of the zoo’s Nature Reserve after dark. It’s sure to be a lot of fun and we’re certain it will leave campers feeling far more connected to the incredible species we have living here in the UK.”

Day visitors to the Wildlife Connections Festival – part of the zoo’s wider Wildlife Connections campaign which is helping UK wildlife by creating new areas of habitat in gardens, parklands and community spaces – will enjoy storytelling sessions and hands-on conservation activities, live music, theatre and family games.

The festival is taking place at Chester Zoo’s Nature Reserve, which provides a protected habitat for a variety of species of local and national significance, such as kingfishers, hedgehogs and harvest mice. It features wildflower meadows, ponds, beetle banks, log piles, trees and a reed bed, with a hide for viewing the wildlife.

Conservationists from the zoo have long been fighting to protect habitats and species in the UK, from rare bats to threatened butterflies and critically endangered plants.

* The Wildlife Connections Festival at Chester Zoo’s Nature Reserve is free, with no tickets required. Tickets must be purchased for The Wildlife Connections Sleepover and can be booked at Prices are £34 for children and £59 for adults and includes hot dinner, hot drinks and breakfast.

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