The Lanterns at Chester Zoo

Part of our Families guide

Gemma Gibb, Associate Editor
The Lanterns at Chester Zoo
Chester Zoo

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo, Chester, 11 November–23 December 2022, from £5 - Book now

Now in its eleventh year, The Lanterns at Chester Zoo is back, and this Norwegian fairy-tale sparkly spectacular is set to be better and more illuminating than ever. Families of all ages are welcome to experience the zoo after dark in an entirely new light, transformed into a sparkling wonderland, packed with glitter, delight and festive fun.

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo will take you on a journey through distant enchanted worlds. Explore awe-inspiring life-sized, hand-crafted animals and illuminations, including a huge white bear watching over a multicoloured, glowing castle towering high in the heart of the zoo, and life-size orangutan puppets welcoming you through the UV Bornean jungle. Experience wolves surrounded by the sun, moon and stars, and a giant snow leopard guarding a snowy mountain at the end of a light tunnel.

See 10-foot-high lotus flowers, friendly snails and flying dragon flies in a Japanese inspired garden of delight, and Zebras in the African Zone. For some Christmas cheer, you might even get a chance to see the jolly man dressed in red… reindeers included!

For when you get hungry, there’s loads of festive treats to choose from at the Christmas Market, featuring Yorkshire pudding wraps, festive burgers, fresh pizza, and hot dogs, of course.


Chester Zoo is a leading global conservation and education charity which supports projects all over the world and helps to save highly threatened species from extinction. Ticket sales from The Lanterns help to fund this work.

With Wild Rumpus’s signature goosebump moments of wonder, The Lanterns at Chester Zoo will be a Christmas trip to the theatre, art gallery and an illuminated outdoor wonderland in one – the emperor (penguin) of all family festive experiences.

With tickets going fast, we recommend booking ahead to guarantee entry.

The Lanterns at Chester Zoo, Chester

11 November–23 December 2022
From £5