The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

“If you light a lantern for another, it will also brighten your own way” - Nichiren


Christmas is a great time of the year to introduce some magical traditions into your family’s advent calendar, especially if these involve giving to those less fortunate or helping charities and other good causes.

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo is a lantern-lit fairytale world with ticket proceeds helping to fund the zoo’s fantastic conservation work.


Visitors not only experience an illuminated Christmas journey, they also help to prevent the extinction of endangered species both in the UK and around the rest of the world.


Now in its sixth year, this years event has been created in partnership with Wild Rumpus, the award-winning specialists in creating extraordinary outdoor events. 

Last night I took my family along to the opening night where we were taken on a magical trip through a Christmas sorting office. 


Young visitors are encouraged to take their own letters to post to Santa.


The journey came to life as twilight fell across the zoo. Theatrical performances, dancers and live musicians were hidden around every corner. 


We were given our own lanterns to guide us on a route filled with an Antelope Narnia, a Spectacled Bear Airship, an Insect Orchestra and, my favourite, a Flamingo cocktail lounge.


It’s a lovely way to spend an evening in the build up to Christmas. 


Although suited to younger children, there's something about illuminations at this time of year which perfectly captures the festive spirit, making it a magical evening for all ages. 


The event will take place on the following dates:

  • 24th - 26th November
  • 1st - 3rd December
  • 8th -10th December
  • 15th - 17th December
  • 20th - 23rd December
  • 27th - 30th December

Tickets can be purchased via The Chester Zoo website