We’re always looking for festive days out that will appeal to all three of our kids. There’s a 6 year age gap between our eldest and youngest so it can be quite tricky.
For the last two years we have taken them to the Chester Zoo Lantern Walk.
The event runs from 24th November to 30th December and it’s a rare chance to visit the zoo at night. While we don’t get to see the real animals, we do get to see some fantastic illuminated creatures.
The prices and general info are here. We found it to be great value, especially since it’s free for under threes. I usually find if it’s free for my daughter (who’s 2) there’s not much for her to do or enjoy but she loved the lantern walk.
When you book you choose an allocated time starting from 4pm. They say it takes around 90 minutes but you can take your time and stay up until the zoo closes.The kids love the novelty of going somewhere when it was dark so this always adds to their excitement.
When you arrive adults are given a large lantern to carry while the children are given little battery operated candles in paper cups (which are much better than they sound!)
Along the walk we see illuminated animals that are both static and moving. My son loved the moving reindeer last year that bent down so he could see it properly. He thought it was magical, and really enjoyed being able to get so up close to it.
We found the staff operating the moving animals to be brilliant and always stayed in character. We saw dancing zebras (on a zebra crossing!), flamingos and penguins amongst others.
For me personally though, I loved the static animals. The detailing was fantastic and the displays were so effective
During the walk the children got to see Santa and his elves who were giving out sweets, which the kids obviously loved!
It’s always a great evening out. There’s a really lovely atmosphere with other families out with their children and it’s a really unique experience.
We’ll definitely be booking again for this year!
For more details please see the Chester Zoo website.