Every year we have a routine of visiting our favorite places in London to see Christmas lights. But there is one place that is very special – the Magical Lantern Festival. Traditionally held in January (read my January 2016 and 2017 reviews), this year we are lucky to have it in December right before the Christmas holidays. It’s been now our third year going to the festival and it doesn’t fail to impress us. Just see the photos for yourself!
Held in the Chiswick House and Gardens, the Magical Lantern Festival is an impressive light display that takes you on an enchanting journey, following park’s trails. Depending on a theme, it tells various stories and portrays festive scenes using hand-sculpted lanterns and lights installations.
The pathway to the gardens is decorated with a row of snowmen and gigantic Santa sleight, full of presents to be delivered just in time, be it in London and somewhere else.
What light display in London would be complete without the iconic Big Ben and guard parade?
Considering that the tradition of using sky lanterns for festivities comes from ancient China, there is always an element of Chinese culture in the festival. This year, they recreated an ancient city of the Song Dynasty (960-1279) with its own city walls, pathways, and archways, transporting us back in time.
Biblical Noah’s Ark was also really impressive with life-size animals surrounding the ark.
And from the ancient times, the journey took us to various fairytales, filling Chiswick gardens with a sense of magic and romance.
And being a winter festival, a colony of happy penguins walking over ice glacier decorated with baubles and gifts is also on display.
Other scenes depict various sea and wildlife creatures, like playful dolphins diving out of the water and giant turtles, hardworking ants and caterpillars, colorful parrots and peacocks, and even a Bambi deer!
And at the end of the trail, there is a small theme park with fun rides and Santa’s grotto for the little ones.
And should you get hungry, there is plenty of choice of hot snacks and drinks, ranging from international cuisine to street food.
Overall, it is an amazing and unique experience that all members of the family will enjoy. It’s truly a celebration of color, light, and imagination – a perfect way to get into a festive spirit!
Tip: bundle up as you will be outside for at least couple of hours.
Prices: £5.40 – £19.80
Address: Chiswick House Gardens, London, W4 2QN
Website: Magical Lantern Festival
Merry Christmas and happy travels xx