Gi­ant lanterns to light up park for Christ­mas

Solihull News - - FAMILY LIFE -

THE Mag­i­cal Lantern Fes­ti­val is back in Birm­ing­ham this Christ­mas but in a new lo­ca­tion.

Hun­dreds of hand­made, il­lu­mi­nated in­stal­la­tions are com­ing to the city as part of the award- win­ning spec­ta­cle.

Last year’s lanterns fea­tured rein­deer, Santa and pen­guins to­gether with pan­das, clowns and even a Bull­ring bull at Birm­ing­ham Botan­i­cal Gar­dens.

High­lights are set to in­clude a huge gin­ger­bread house com­plete with lantern lol­lipops and sweets and a five- me­tre high, hand­made replica of the iconic Birm­ing­ham Cen­tral Li­brary.

There will also be an eight- me­tre high fairy­tale cas­tle with spires, tun­nels, arches and flag poles.

And, to add to the Christ­massy feel, there will be a pack of po­lar bears rest­ing on a glacier of ice.

Visi­tors will also come face to face with a gi­ant six- me­tre high Phoenix, a Chi­nese leg­end with the head of a pea­cock, body of a swan and wings of a golden cock­erel which is be­lieved to be a mes­sen­ger of hap­pi­ness.

There will also be a hand­ful of fair­ground rides for chil­dren and a Christ­mas mar­ket sell­ing a va­ri­ety of in­ter­na­tional cui­sine and tra­di­tional street food.

Along the route there will be hot snacks and drinks while grown- ups can tuck into mulled wine at the bar to help them feel fes­tive.

New this year will be a grotto. For an ad­di­tional £ 10, chil­dren can meet Santa and take home a gift.

Ad­vance on­line book­ing is rec­om­mended although visi­tors will be able to pay on ar­rival at qui­eter times.

This fes­ti­val runs for more than a month over the Christ­mas pe­riod from Novem­ber 24 to Jan­uary 1, from 5pm to 10pm each day with the last en­try at 9pm.

It will be open five days a week from Wed­nes­days to Sun­days in the run- up to the school hol­i­days. Once the Christ­mas hol­i­days be­gin, it will then be open ev­ery day apart from Christ­mas Eve and Christ­mas Day.

Tick­ets start at around £ 12 for adults and £ 8 for chil­dren aged four to 15 ( plus book­ing fees) and are avail­able from Eventbrite.

Fam­ily tick­ets are avail­able for £ 9 each for four tick­ets. Chil­dren aged three and un­der do not need a ticket to en­ter.

The 35- acre Green Flag park is on Vicarage Road, Kings Heath, B30 2TP. The site is gen­er­ally flat, mak­ing it ac­ces­si­ble for pushchairs and wheel­chairs.

The fes­ti­val is put to­gether by Weli Cre­ative, a Lon­don based multi- me­dia com­pany which also in­volved with the Juras­sic King­dom event that came to Birm­ing­ham Botan­i­cal Gar­dens ear­lier this year.

For more in­for­ma­tion check out the web­site at www.mag­i­

The Bull­ring Bull at last year’s Magic Lantern Fes­ti­val

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