ZSL Whipsnade Zoo is a fabulous day out for the whole family brimming with outdoor activities at every turn. If you're looking for things to do outside, here are 11 ways you can make the best of our 600-acre countryside sanctuary - with some surprising things to do outside with kids!
1. It’s enormous
Dust off those cobwebs, ditch the sofa and bask in the fresh air with a glorious walk and outdoor activities around our 600-acre site. Proudly the biggest Zoo in the UK, there’s so much to see that it’s probably worth planning a return visit.
2. There’s thousands of animals to see
Whipsnade is home to more than 2,500 animals from over 200 different species! These range from the very small (like butterflies) to the very tall (even our baby giraffe was 7ft tall when he was born) and everything in between. Don't miss the only sloth bear in the UK, Columbo, and find out how we’re helping to conserve some of the world’s most endangered species.
3. …including wild ones
It's a great place to look out for rare wildlife as it’s situated on chalk grassland, one of the most endangered habitats in the UK. Over half of the country’s butterfly species have been recoreded in the vicinity, and it’s also home to a quarter of Bedfordshire’s bat hibernation sites. In the last 6 months alone, a black-throated thrush chose our grounds as its home – a bird that hasn’t been spotted anywhere else in the UK for years!
3. You can drive through it!
One of the best outdoor activities available and situated in the leafy county of Bedfordshire, a picturesque less-than-an-hour drive from London, not only does ZSL Whipsnade Zoo make for a fab family road trip – but you can bring the car in when you get there. Enter our Passage to Asia and find yourself nose-to-nose with camels and more deer than you can shake a stick at (although please don’t, thanks!).
6. It’s up a hill
If you want a Zoo with a view, things to do outside and plenty of fresh air, then we’ve got that covered. We’ve got stunning views over the Chiltern Downs, where you can see for miles and miles – including all three local counties, visible from the same spot.
7. You can walk with wallabies and maras
Hopping happily around you as you stroll around the spacious site are leggy Patagonian maras and lolloping Bennet’s wallabies. You can’t turn your head without finding yourself surrounded by free-roaming furry friends!
8. You can sleep there!
Situated in extraordinary surroundings overlooking the magnificent Chiltern Downs, your outdoor neighbours for the evening include a herd of white rhinos and reindeer. It’s totally possible that you’ll wake up to the sound of roaring lions, if you’re lucky! Make sure you book first, though...
9. It’s got its own open-air play area
Grab some peace and quiet while your kids dive down the slides and blow off some steam in our whopping great playground - you won’t regret it! Grab a coffee and cake from the takeway cafe and take a seat at one of our picnic tables.
10. We have a baby rhino!
Thumping into the world in late 2019, this far-from-little lady is making quite the impression on keepers and visitors alike. Zhiwa is a greater one-horned rhino, a species which is threatened by extinction in the wild, making her 70kg birth all the more weighty – contributing to the future of this incredible species.
11. You’re saving wildlife with every visit
Just by coming along to our outdoor activities at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo, you’ll be helping us work for a world where wildlife thrives, by learning about our incredible species. If you include a donation in your ticket price, you’ll be contributing to furthering our global conservation work, so that the world is still full of diverse creatures when your little ones are all grown up.
Don’t take it from us though, make some memories this spring and come and see for yourself!
Select a blog
Our people are our greatest asset and we realise our vision for a world where wildlife thrives through their ideas, skills and passion. An inspired, informed and empowered community of people work, study and volunteer together at ZSL.
A blog for lovers of ZSL London Zoo, bringing you extraordinary animal facts and exclusive access to the world's oldest scientific zoo.
Do you love wildlife? Discover more about our amazing animals at the UK's biggest zoo!
We're working around the world to conserve animals and their habitats, find out more about our latest achievements.
From the field to the lab, catch up with the scientists on the cutting edge of conservation biology at ZSL’s Institute of Zoology.
A day in Discovery and Learning at ZSL is never dull! The team tell us all about the exciting sessions for school children, as well as work further afield.
Every month, one of the pieces held in ZSL’s Library and at ZSL Whipsnade Zoo will feature here as Artefact of the Month.
Read extracts from ZSL's award winning members' magazine, Wild About.
The Chagos archipelago is a rare haven for marine biodiversity. Hear from the team about our projects to protect the environments in the British Indian Ocean Territory (BIOT).
ZSL works across Asia, from the famous national parks of Nepal to marine protected areas in the Philippines. Read the latest updates on our conservation.
An Open Access journal for research at the interface of remote sensing, ecology and conservation.