Enjoy a wild day out with the kids at Whipsnade Zoo!
Whether your child is a toddler or school-aged, Whipsnade Zoo is the perfect place for them to let off steam.
Home to more than 11,000 animals, ranging from brightly coloured butterflies to gigantic elephants, you’ll be sure to make a big impression on your little one’s day. They'll love spotting their favourites as they embark on an adventure like no other at Whipsnade, but there's so much more to see and do. Here’s our top tips for a great day out for families this summer:
1. Book online for indoor play
We have our own indoor soft play area! Book online for Hullabazoo Indoor Play the day before your visit to secure your time slot, making it easier to plan your visit and ensure that there's no disappointment on the day.
If you're a Gold member, you have exclusive access to the 10.30am session every day!
2. Take the car in
As the UK’s largest Zoo, set across 600-acres, there can be a lot of walking around Whipsnade, which might be more difficult with kids. Children are able to bring scooters into the Zoo under the supervision of adults, to help them get around. You can also drive your car around Whipsnade Zoo – perfect if you’re worried about your little one’s legs (or your own!). Just drive up to the gate and pay an additional fee on arrival - there's no need to book this online in advance, so you can decide on the day.
Don't forget, Gold members get a discount on car entry.
Under 3s go free!
Whipsnade Zoo Tickets
With 600 acres of wide-open space, soft play, a huge outdoor play area, and over 11,000 animals, it’s a great day out for the whole family. And a bonus - under 3s are free to visit!
3. Visit the Zoo shop first
Begin your day at our Visitor Centre. With a coffee bar serving up a delicious range of hot drinks and food, it’s the perfect place for a snack stop and toilet-break before you head off around the Zoo. The gift shop is also here – it can get busy towards the end of the day, so why not have a quick browse at our educational and engaging zoo-venirs or pick up a Zoo Guidebook before setting off on your day. We do also have an online shop if you'd rather browse for gifts from the comfort of your own home without the kids!
Don't forget, if you're a Gold Member, one of many benefits is 10% off in our shops and catering outlets.
4. Don't miss our daily talks and bird demonstrations
As you leave the Visitor Centre or gift shop, take a photo of our advertised talks for the day on our 'What's On' boards, or find them on our website here. These are the perfect way for children to learn more about their favourite animals and have the chance to ask an expert their burning questions. Plus, our Birds of the World demonstration is a must-see - you'll be in awe of these majestic birds as they swoop above your head.(this demonstration is seasonal). You can plan your route around the Zoo, depending on which talks you want to go to.
5. Surround yourself with beautiful butterflies
Our Aquarium and adjoining Butterfly House is much-loved by children. And it's also the perfect place to warm up in or stay dry if the weather turns! Floor-to-ceiling tanks, mesmerising projections on the floor and sounds of bubbling water provide a unique sensory experience, and kids love to see how many fish they can spot hiding inside shells or behind sea plants.
Once you’ve resurfaced from Whipsnade’s underwater world, it’s time to embark on a tropical adventure in the Butterfly House. Look out for the very hungry caterpillars hanging in their cocoons in our interactive metamorphosis zone, waiting to emerge as beautiful butterflies. And keep your eyes peeled for our West African dwarf crocodiles - little ones can get an up-close view of the miniature crocs who may be basking on land or lurking in their underwater home.
6. Visit our goats in our farmyard
As you leave the Butterfly House, the next stop is Hullabazoo Farm. Home to all of your little one's favourite farmyard friends - from guinea pigs to alpacas - they'll love to get up close and personal with these animals. Six baby goats joined the Zoo in spring 2023, all named after our members' favourite Disney characters! Plus, don't miss seeing our Guinea Pig Village!
7. Go wild in our outdoor play area
Next to our farmyard, you'll find our Hullabazoo Adventure Playground - it's the ideal spot for pre-schoolers to go wild. With rope bridges, swings, tunnels and a sand park they’ll be able to embrace their inner-monkey and clamber away!
8. Ride on a steam train
See a different side to Whipsnade Zoo from a steam train! The station store, which is just outside of the play area, is open every day until 1 October 2023 where you can purchase tickets. Gold members get a discount on the train - and under 3s ride for free! The train closes for winter, but will be back open for February half term 2024.
9. Have lunch in our Base Camp restaurant
Around now, you’re probably getting hungry yourselves and ready for feeding time at the zoo. Our restaurants and food outlets serve a variety of food options - and Gold members get a discount in our catering outlets. Or if you’d prefer to bring your own, we’ve got plenty of picnic areas dotted around the Zoo.
At the Base Camp restaurant we’ve made life easy for you. Order and pay via your phone, and we'll bring your food to you – all you have to do is choose what you’re going to eat. So there's no need to juggle trays of food and children at the same time!
10. Don't miss our penguins
Energy levels restored, it's time to see some more animals!
No zoo visit is complete without a p-p-p-peek at the penguins. Whipsnade Zoo is home to two different types of penguins, African black-footed and rockhopper penguins. These flightless birds provide endless giggles with their comical waddles – can your little one stick out their hands and do a penguin impression?
11. Become a member
We’re sure that you’ll want to come back again, so why not check out our Zoo Membership? You can visit us at Whipsnade as often as you like, and our sister site at, London Zoo and be the first to know about future events and promotions.
Fun at the Zoo
Whether it's our nimble red pandas or agile chimps, your children can leap, climb and swing just like their favourite animals in our nature-inspired adventure play parks.
The Great Whipsnade Railway
From 1 April - 1 October 2023, the Great Whipsnade Railway will be open every day
What's on at Whipsnade Zoo
From animal awareness day celebrations, to summer fun with Beano, don't miss out on our upcoming events and activities