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Chester Zoo set for groundbreaking festive light trial with giant holograms, fire gardens, fairground rides and more this Christmas

A truly spellbinding way to spend an evening this winter.

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 31st October 2023

Chester Zoo’s Christmas trail is back for 2023 and this year the return of the festive light show and long-running seasonal experience promises to be truly bigger and better than ever, with groundbreaking new displays, light shows, immersive soundscapes and much more.

Lanterns and Light‘, or previous incarnations of the annual Christmas event, has been running at Chester Zoo for over a decade now, with the family-friendly entertainment delivering a bigger and more enchanting spectacle year in, year out.

So, given the success of last year’s celebrations, the legendary local zoo had quite the job on their hands topping themselves, but with talk of not only a huge light show with more colourful illuminated animal lanterns than ever but plenty of exciting new additions, we think they just might have done it.

The beloved wintertime event will see visitors embark on the incredible light trail around the 128-acre premises this November right up until the end of the year and it really is promising to be the most special year to date.

As alluded to above, in addition to hundreds of colourful illuminated animal lanterns, guests will also be greeted by a whole host of costumed characters including the main man himself: Father Christmas, jolly old Saint Nick, Santa — whatever merry moniker floats your boat.


Other sparkly new features include an ultraviolet walkway with luminous animal faces and colour-changing rainforests; illuminated dolphins that appear to leap from moats and waterways, a huge fire garden, as well as a variety of fairground rides and Christmas market stalls.

However, undoubtedly the best of this year’s offerings are the brand-new soundscapes designed in collaboration with Sony Music as part of the groundbreaking festive installations, which include a giant, four-metre-tall, interactive 3D woolly mammoth hologram. Yes, seriously.


The incredible lights and effects will be taking centre stage at the zoo on multiple occasions each day and is a world-first that will light up the Cheshire sky like never before.

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This dazzling display has previously received widespread public acclaim over the years, especially since the funds raised from ticket sales support the zoo’s conservation missions and work to help nature survive and thrive around the world.

Tickets for Lanterns and Light are on sale now with the festive experience scheduled to run across 33 special evenings from Friday, 17 November all the way up until New Year’s Eve (Sunday, 31 December) and entry slots from 4pm–8pm every evening.


And, most importantly of all, as Chester Zoo remains a vital non-profit in the North West and in the global wildlife community, all the money raised through the event goes right back into their crucial charity work.

You can find out more information and book your tickets HERE.

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Featured Images — Chester Zoo