There are plenty of family things to do in Chester. Animal lovers should set aside at least half a day to enjoy Chester Zoo. Close-up encounters with rare and exotic creatures will impress even hard-to-please teenagers, and the whole place hums with laughter and excitement. A couple of smaller venues near Chester give children contact with British farmyard animals, as well as offering extensive play areas and other activities.

    There’s also watery fun to enjoy. You can take a rowboat on the River Dee or encourage the children to get some exercise ferrying you along on a pedalo. To burn off extra energy, there’s no shortage of playgrounds and parks in and around the city. Chester has a host of beautiful traditional pubs within the city walls. Choose one with a beer garden for the children to run around in, while you settle back with a pint of real ale. Follow us through a selection of fun places in Chester to take your kids.


    Chester Zoo

    One of the largest zoos in the UK

    Chester Zoo has all the big-name draws like lions, elephants, and orangutans. You can also find some quirkier experiences here, such as an underwater giant otter viewing zone and a free-flight bat enclosure.

    Location: Upton-by-Chester, Chester CH2 1EU, UK

    Open: June–December: daily at 10 am (closing time varies between 3 pm and 6 pm)

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 380280


    The Ice Cream Farm

    A good mix of flavours and fun

    You’ll find more than farm animals at Cheshire Ice Cream Farm. Around 40 scrumptious ice cream flavours are made on-site, plus there’s quad biking, crazy golf, playgrounds, and a café where mum and dad can relax and enjoy snacks and drinks.

    Location: The Ice Cream Farm, Newton Lane, Tattenhall, Cheshire, Chester CH3 9NE, UK

    Open: Daily from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)8001 337000


    photo by Martyn Wright (CC BY 2.0) modified


    Blue Planet Aquarium

    Come face to face with a shark

    All ages will enjoy the impressive Blue Planet Aquarium, which is less than 30 minutes north of Chester. The aquarium has an underwater tunnel, daily shows, African and Amazonian themed areas, and one of the largest shark collections in Europe. 

    It’s even possible for kids to dive with white and black tip reef sharks. The junior shark diving experience is available at weekends and should be booked in advance. Younger children will also enjoy the outdoor Pirate Playground.

    Location: Longlooms Road, Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port CH65 9LF, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 10 am to 5 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1513 578804


    Fun at Grosvenor Park

    Lush open spaces for all to enjoy

    Britain is good at parks and Chester is no exception with its Grosvenor Park. The park is bang in the city centre and has a playground and miniature railway. Adults can admire the ornamental flower beds while little ones scamper around the expansive lawns.

    Location: 9 The Groves, Chester CH1 1SD, UK

    Open: Summer: daily from 7 am to 8 pm. Winter: daily from 8 am to 6 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)3001 237026


    Chester Cathedral

    A 16th-century abbey to explore

    At Chester Cathedral, children enjoy hunting for carvings of the Chester Imp and a little dog scratching his ear. Recommended is the Cathedral at Height tour – note that children must be able to walk up the tower and spiral staircase unaided.

    Location: St. Werburgh Street, Chester CH1 2HU, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 11.45 am to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 324756


    Grosvenor Museum

    Find national treasures inside

    Grosvenor Museum is an excellent museum in Chester that gears itself towards families and organizes a range of events during school vacations. Besides offering interesting historical exhibits, the museum also regularly holds workshops, museum walks, and special one-off exhibitions.

    Location: 27 Grosvenor Street, Chester CH1 2DD, UK

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 10.30 am to 5 pm, Sunday from 1 pm to 4 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 972197


    photo by Dennis Turner (CC BY-SA 2.0) modified


    Bear and Billet

    A cosy family pub serving home-cooked cuisine

    Built as a townhouse in 1664, Bear and Billet is a black-and-white timber-framed pub that has tiny lead windows and overhangs the street. Inside, there’s a real fire, plenty of space, and a huge menu of home-cooked food that will suit the whole family.

    Plain and simple English pub food really hits the mark when you’ve got children in tow in Chester. Venues often provide special kids' menus of reliable favourites, like scampi and chips or bangers (sausages) and mash. 

    Location: 94 Lower Bridge Street, Chester CH1 1RU, UK

    Open: Monday–Friday from 11.30 am to 12 am, Saturday from 11 am to 12 am, and Sunday from 10 am to 11 pm

    Phone: +44 (0)1244 311886


    photo by Peter Broster (CC BY 2.0) modified

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