Halloween and Bonfire Night have both been and gone and so now we start preparations for the biggest event of the year – Christmas.
Here in Manchester the Christmas Markets have just opened and so my friends and I have been getting into the festive spirit by drinking our fair share of mulled wine and eating our body weight in schnitzel.
During December there are of course plenty of festive events you can go to including carol services and film screenings, my personal favourite is the annual Frozen sing-along.
But if you are looking for something a bit different which all the family can enjoy, well Chester Zoo may just have the event for you.
Every day from November 23 until December 23, Chester Zoo will be host to an incredible animal lantern event which is as magical as it sounds.
Nine specially created worlds filled with animal-inspired illuminations, lanterns and characters will light up the zoo guaranteed to leave you feeling warm and fuzzy inside.
Father Christmas himself will be there so what is not to love!
🎇❄️🎄☃🎅 Christmas just got a whole lot better! 🎅☃🎄❄️🎇
More LIGHTS, more LANTERNS, more SPARKLE, more MAGIC, more of EVERYTHING you love… pic.twitter.com/SwciXLIeSu
— Chester Zoo (@chesterzoo) November 6, 2018
The annual event’s official description gives us a taste of what is to be expected:
Visitors arriving at the zoo will enter into a ‘Garden of Delight’, filled with illuminated flowers that reach up to 10 foot in the air and giant friendly snails, before meandering through a series of fairy-tale worlds.
Guests will first discover a Moonlit Meadow, home to some favourite animal lanterns from years gone by, featuring species such as giraffe, elephant, lion, tiger, rhino and zebra – as well as specially created new sun bears, cheetahs and mandrills.
The journey continues through a giraffe lantern filled zone called Shangri La, into a Cloud Cuckoo Land of stunningly colourful bird lanterns and costumed characters, including a brilliant Southern cassowary and majestic great hornbill.
Those who wish to stop off at the zoo’s Northern Lights zone will enjoy Christmas trees, Christmas markets and Father Christmas himself, before travelling on into the snow-filled Enchanted Woodland, placing much-loved British wildlife up in lights, before discovering the colourful Wonderland – a radiant, topsy-turvy world.
In Rainforest Aglow families can walk underneath fantastical neon vines – and look out for the glowing sloth couple overhead.
Finally, no Christmas spectacular would be complete without penguin lanterns and characters, who can be found in the zoo’s new Ice Kingdom.
Along the way you can enjoy some festive food either at the zoo’s very own Christmas markets or even a brand new pub, The Oakfield, which recently opened.
If you fancy going tickets are available now on Chester Zoo’s website.
Depending upon the time you are visiting, ticket prices for adults range from £10 to £17.50 for adults while for children it is £5 to £15. Kids aged two and under get in for free.
The money goes to a good cause too with the Zoo stating that funds raised will support their conservation work which fights to prevent animal extinction.
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Emily Murray is a journalist at UNILAD. She graduated from the University of Leeds with a BA in English Literature and History before studying for a Masters in Journalism at the University of Salford. Emily has previously worked for the BBC, ITV and Trinity Mirror. When Emily isn’t writing about topics including mental health and entertainment, you can find her at the cinema which is her second home.