Giant lanterns to light up park for Christmas
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.magicallantern.uk
The Bullring Bull at last year’s Magic Lantern Festival