Chester Zoo

Play at Chester Zoo logo

Since 2016 Chester Zoo has been on a mission to improve play opportunities. In their own words: 

“Play is serious business at Chester Zoo. We’ve been working hard to make the zoo as playful as possible. Why? Because play helps ensure a FANTASTIC zoo visit for our guests and it can even help us ACHIEVE our conservation mission.

Playgrounds have been part of the zoo experience for many years. But, as we’ve come to realise through our work with play experts, play at the zoo is about so much more than playgrounds. It isn’t really about any particular activity. It’s more about the qualities of play behaviour. It’s about creating spaces where children (and adults) can be silly, play games, hop, skip and jump their way around the zoo, make believe, have magical adventures and explore new ideas in playful ways.”

Since developing training for all zoo staff back in 2017, Playful Places and Chester Zoo have stayed closely connected, facilitating network and workshop training events and sharing learnt practice with the wider cultural sector. Charlotte Smith, Director of Conservation Education have been integral in supporting the development of the Playful Places Network and continues to support our work to share good ideas and practice with people and organisations on their own playful journey.