When I think of lights at Christmas, I usually envisage twinkly fairy lights on pine trees or candles on a Jewish Hanukkah Menorah. I do not usually think of lanterns. To me that symbolises the Chinese New Year.
But Chester Zoo seems to be merging the two holidays and cultures together this year with their special Lantern Magic evenings. I suppose it is not really such a huge leap, considering it is a zoo, and each Chinese Year celebrates a new animal on the zodiac.
It will be an exciting experience for the whole family, as you travel through the zoo to the nocturnal sounds of the wilderness. Your night time journey will start with a lantern making workshop, followed by the chance to hang up a wish on the giant cedar wishing tree. You will then get to meet festive characters, snack of seasonal treats, and take a look at the zoo's own life size animal lanterns lit outside the manor house.
Santa will also be paying a visit to spread the Christmas cheer. Tickets are £9.99 for adults and £8.99 for children, but you can also buy extras, such as roasted chestnuts, hot punch, souvenir photos, and a special lantern supper.
Supper will be served at June's Pavilion, and the course will include Hungarian goulash with pasta and warm apple brandy.
The event runs till the 23rd December, with preview evenings on the 12th & 13th December, which give you a 30% discount.