Christmas Lantern Festival – Roundhay
The Magical Lantern Festival has made its debut now in the lovely Roundhay Park in Leeds. The hubby, baby Ethan and I visited it on its opening night this week, here’s our review covering what we thought and our top 5 tips for a better experience.
Magical Lantern Festival – was it worth it?
Not really knowing what to expect for our ticket price of £13 per adult, I have to say we were pleasantly surprised overall. Once you’ve collected your entry wrist band, you follow a trail through Roundhay Park, its specialist gardens and wooded area in front of Tropical World. We took our Bugaboo pram, and it was fine along the paths. The lanterns are honestly pretty amazing – incredibly intricate, colourful and absolutely huge!
The entrance area, which is by the car park, also hosts some pop up food and drink stalls, such as German sausage, fish and chips, Greek food and donuts. We indulged in a glass of mulled wine and churros (a Spanish delicacy of fried dough pastry which you dip into melted chocolate) – this has basically no nutritional value but it tastes pretty awesome and would satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth. This area does actually feature some lanterns and can be accessed for free from 2pm – the lantern festival entry opens from 4pm.
We felt the visit was worth it – mainly because its a pretty unique and memorable family experience. Yes, you could be cynical, and claim that companies are exploiting pester power and just ‘commercialising Christmas’ (Santa’s grotto-tipi entry is also available at £10). Or, you could just throw yourself into it and imagine the awe going through your little one’s mind as they uncover the illuminated surprise around the next corner. We chose the latter.
Magical Lantern Festival – 5 tips for a better experience
1. Expect to queue for your ticket – it took us about 12 minutes to get our wrist bands. Get there early if you can to avoid this.
2. Expect (and therefore don’t get frustrated by) lots of excited small kids running around the lanterns the whole time shouting while parents wave their I-phones and shout “stand there and smile”.
3. Wear comfy shoes with a good grip – some of the paths are very slippy so watch out.
4. Avoid the congestion on the roads – if possible, walk to avoid getting crammed in the car park.
5. Wrap up warm and if possible, check the forecast – much better to avoid having to walk around in the rain as its all outdoors.
Did you Attend the Roundhay magical Lantern festival?
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