Little sister to the nearby thrill-seekers' paradise Thorpe Park, Chessington combines a theme park, a zoo and an aquarium – which makes it great as a day out attraction but even better as a family short-break destination. Though there are a couple of big coasters, on the whole the rides and attractions tend to cater to younger visitors.

See our reviews of a short break at Chessington World of Adventures Resort and a Halloween half-term break at Chessington.

Best for: younger kids.

Location

Chessington World of Adventures

What to expect

Public transport
Picnic areas
Family rooms
Cafe/restaurant

What to do

Chessington Theme Park: includes more than 40 rides suitable for various ages across several themed lands.

Don't miss the Gruffalo River Ride Adventure - and the Gruffalo rooms in the Safari Hotel. Overnight stays with meet and greet and story-telling are available to book with Chessington Holidays.

Ideal for young children: Penguins Live: Operation Cheezy Dibbles (live show), Penguins of Madagascar: Treetop Hoppers, Toadies Crazy Cars, Carousel and Canopy Capers (amongst many others).

Ideal for older kids: rollercoasters Vampire, Kobra and Rameses Revenge and the Black Buccaneer pirate ship.

Perfect for all the family: the Pandamonium live show featuring life-size animatronic pandas; the Zufari: Ride into Africa off-road safari experience.

Chessington Zoo:
See hundreds of exotic animals, including tigers, gorillas and sealions.

SEA LIFE centre:
Enjoy exhibitions, talks and feeding sessions, plus many people's favourite – the walk-through ocean tunnel.

Where to stay

Chessington World of Adventures Resort has everything you need for an amazing family getaway — especially when you book early. Two brilliant hotels within the park itself mean you're never far from the action. The Safari Hotel offers an African-themed experience for young adventurers, whilst the Azteca Hotel has the imagination of intrepid explorers running wild. If you love the great outdoors, the Explorer Glamping site is a must, with 31 canvas safari tents with real beds and home comforts. They're open late May to early Sept. And the safari adventure doesn't end with accommodation; evening meals can be enjoyed in the on-site safari-themed family restaurant.

Alternatively, stay nearby in a family-friendly hotels such as the Hilton Cobham or Holiday Inn Express Epsom Downs. Enjoy park entry, an overnight stay and breakfast.

When

Chessington World of Adventures is open from mid-March to Nov (daily from 10am; closing times vary depending on season), but the zoo and SEA LIFE centre remain open throughout the year, as do the Safari and Azteca hotels. There's a whole host of exciting events and awesome activities available, plus an exclusive selection of attractions open over the winter months.

Eat

There are lots of restaurants and eateries to enjoy in the park, including the Smokehouse BBQ. Guests of the Safari and Azteca hotels can also dine at the Zafari Bar & Grill and/or Temple Restaurant & Bar during their stay.

Competition of the week

Explore the world through our website and win your family a year's subscription to National Geographic Kids!

Find out more

Cost

Save money by booking early, as well as by booking a Chessington ticket and hotel package deal.