As the festive season approaches, Chester Zoo has confirmed that its annual trail filled with animal-themed lanterns is returning this Christmas, with the festive occasion taking place from November 11 – December 23. Transforming the zoo into a winter wonderland with glistening animals dotted throughout the trail, the family-friendly event takes guests on a magical journey, through the mysterious oceans of the world, to a tropical paradise filled with familiar animals.
Guests can expect the same sparkling experience this Christmas, too, with tons of different ‘worlds’ to explore throughout the trail. This year a number of new features, including a life-sized orangutan in a dazzling UV jungle, a giant polar bear overlooking a magical fairy-tale castle and a stunning snow leopard protecting its mountain home, will take centre stage. The trail will also follow a new, longer route.
Emulating the majestic creatures that inhabit Chester Zoo, guests will be able to discover a range of glowing animal lanterns, which showcase the zoo’s wildlife in a whole new light. Literally. Get lost in the stunning, colourful lanterns, before uncovering an array of spectacular costumed characters and plenty of Christmas scenes to get you into the festive spirit.
To accompany, guests will also be able to enjoy a selection of festive-themed food while they wander the glowing wonderland, with sightings of Father Christmas himself with his reindeers in store for the kids, too. Promising a number of ‘unexpected encounters’ throughout the keep the trail exciting, kids will need to keep their eyes peeled for the big man in red, with the zoo teasing that he could be around ‘any corner’!
Scott Manton, Chester Zoo’s Guest Experience Supervisor, said: “The zoo is a spectacular place in the day, but as the sun sets it will be transformed in to a colourful festive celebration that will light up the night sky as we begin our very own countdown to Christmas.
“This year we’ll be taking visitors on a magical journey through distant lands, while discovering different animal-themed tales from around the world. Delve into a Norwegian fairy-tale as you encounter a multi-coloured, glowing castle towering high in the heart of the zoo and watched over by a huge polar bear. Wander through giant lotus flowers and flying dragonflies in a Japanese inspired garden, then earn your stripes with our zebras in an African inspired full of colour and music.
“Father Christmas and his fellow reindeer will also be joining the celebrations each night and will be here to spread some festive cheer while guests tuck in to delicious festive treats at our Christmas markets, including Yorkshire pudding Christmas wraps, bratwurst hotdogs and a range of tasty plant-based options, too!
“The Lanterns is a fabulous way for people to take in the magic of Christmas at the zoo – all while knowing they’re also helping our charitable mission to protect some of the world’s most threatened species.”
The Lanterns will officially enter its eleventh run this Christmas, with demand for tickets expected to be even higher this year as the world finally returns to a sense of normality. Child tickets start from £12 and adult tickets start from just £15. To get your hands on tickets, head to Chester Zoo’s booking page here.