Chester Zoo has released the first detailed plans for 2018’s instalment of its annual family Christmas event The Lanterns.
Visitors to the zoo’s festive winter spectacular will be welcomed this year by nine specially created ‘worlds’, filled to the brim with animal-inspired
illuminations, magical lanterns, twinkly costumed characters… and Father Christmas himself.
Running on selected nights from 23 November to 23 December, the heart-warming event raises vital funds to help support zoo’s work as a conservation charity fighting to prevent extinction around the world.
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, which can be found in the zoo’s new Ice Kingdom.
Festive food will be served throughout the route – including at the zoo’s Christmas markets and a brand new pub, The Oakfield, which was the original family home of Chester Zoo founder George Mottershead.