Chester Zoo reveals plans for winter light trail

Announcing a raft of new additions to its much-loved Lanterns and Light spectacle, Chester Zoo has unveiled that it is again teaming up with entertainment giants Sony Music to deliver this year’s festive event.

The trail promises to be even longer and more exciting than last year, with the event opening on 15 November, going all the way through to New Year’s Day for the first time. 

Organisers say visitors will journey through a number of distinct and vibrant lands where they’ll encounter an exciting line-up of costumed characters and new animal puppets including meerkats, peacocks, red pandas, and snow leopards. 

A new soundscape will add to the immersion, with animal lanterns, such as dragonflies hovering over water, elephants in permafrost and exotic birds flying overhead, decorating the route of the stunning light trail. 

The event will see the return of ‘selfie favourites’ such as glowing cathedral tunnels of light, while a whole new festive menu will be on offer at bustling food and drink markets stationed in various locations within the zoo.

Ticket sales will help to support the conservation zoo in its efforts to protect some of the planet’s most threatened species.  

Heidi Budden, Marketing Manager, said, “This Christmas our zoo will be transformed into a magical winter land and our new dazzling displays will light up the sky each night throughout the festive season. For the first time, the celebrations will continue on until New Year’s Day. 

“We’ve made the light trail even longer and packed it with exciting new elements. There’ll be more animal lanterns than ever before and never-before-seen interactive puppets including energetic meerkats, colourful peacocks and playful snow leopards – all joined by many of the family favourites from years gone by that people have grown to love.  

“Returning for 2024 will be our illuminating sea of light, synchronised to an incredible soundscape of festive songs, creating a mesmerising spectacle of light and sound, plus an impressive fire garden, rainbow bridge and gigantic pea-lit lanterns. It also wouldn’t be Christmas without greeting the big man himself, Father Christmas, as he works away in his workshop with his elves as they make all of the presents!

“Not only will friends and families make lasting memories together at Lanterns & Light, in purchasing a ticket they’ll also be helping to support our charitable, global conservation efforts. It’s a wonderful evening that plays a part in helping wildlife to thrive, and that’s really special.”

The magical event will run on selected evenings throughout November and December and extra nights have now been added the week after Christmas and up until New Year’s Day.

Matthew Findlay, Director or Live Experiences at RG Live, added, “After a hugely successful launch last year,  we are delighted to partner with Chester Zoo once again on Lanterns and Light. 

“This festive event in 2023 brought more visitors than ever before to a light trail at the Zoo and we were delighted with all the positive feedback received! Lanterns and Light in 2024 promises to be bigger, brighter and with lots of brand new fantastic moments for all the family. We can’t wait to welcome audiences later this year!”

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