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REVIEW | The Magical Lanterns – A Starlit Christmas Trail at Chester Zoo

By Jenny Schippers – 16th December 2020

The Lanterns – A Starlit Christmas Trail at Chester Zoo


I was kindly invited down to Chester Zoo this year to experience The Lanterns – A Starlit Christmas and I can honestly say I was blown away. Along with my husband and two children, 3 and 6 years old, we were able to experience Chester Zoo’s largest annual event which takes place every Christmas, and thankfully was able to go ahead as planned this year. The Christmas Lanterns remain immensely popular with North West residents and many families return year after year to walk this interactive explosion of light and colour. Chester Zoo is transformed after-dark into a winter wonderland of sparkling displays and lanterns bought to life by costumed actors mimicking the animals they embody.

The Lanterns – A Starlit Christmas Trail


This year we headed Over the Rainbow to The Observatory, a spectacular display of the solar system before arriving at Zebra Grasslands, complete with some dancing black and white comical characters. Following this we moved into the pretty Cactus Desert where the resident chameleons, with their impressive fly-catching, entertained my little ones who were truly fascinated by their skills. The final section of the trail, after a pit stop for hot drinks and snacks, took us Beyond the Sunset, past the Second Star on the Right, and finally finishing in a whimsical Underwater world. Fantastic festive touches along the route included a socially distanced visit from Father Christmas and his excitable reindeers, an impressive light tunnel for those Christmas selfies, and finally, every child’s dream…a snow machine!


Ways to Support Chester Zoo’s Fundraising Effort


My visit to The Lanterns at Chester Zoo this year coincided with the annual VIP evening which takes place as a way of thanking the zoo’s major donors, lifelong supporters, and corporate sponsors.


“These regular and committed supporters are by our side no matter what so we always like to say thank you to them at the end of every year” Julie Platt- Fundraising Manager.


Chester Zoo is a charitable organisation and receives no funding whatsoever from the Government. The zoo relies heavily on commercially generated and fundraised income to support their amazing conservation efforts that happen across the globe and right here in Cheshire. There are a number of ways we can support the zoo year-round, not least by visiting it, to ensure it remains for the next generation to enjoy and in its mission of preventing extinction across the globe. For more information about how individuals and corporate bodies can get involved, please click here: https://www.chesterzoo.org/what-you-can-do/fundraising/


Keep up to date with Chester Zoo’s News and Events by following their Instagram and Facebook pages.


This is a Girl About review. I was invited by the management to dine at their restaurant free of charge in exchange for an honest and frank review. All my opinions are my own and in no way have they been swayed by their kind invite. Girl About reviews are always 100% honest. We only publish reviews that, for the most part, are positive.

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