Photographs are Reviewer’s own
DISCLOSURE – TICKETS TO SEE THE SHOW WERE GIFTED TO THE REVIEWER AND GUEST FOR THE PURPOSES OF WRITING THE REVIEW
Reviewed by Alison Rood
December is here. And so is Christmas at Heaton Park!
Our Family loves Christmas and we love being outdoors – so the light trail at Christmas at Heaton Park was an ideal way for us to kick off our festivities.
The carpark is well signposted and the team were great at directing us to where we needed to go, all very well organised.
As soon as we got our of the car, we could see a multitude of glowing, strobing and flashing lights in the near distance, we knew then that we were in for a treat.
Before you enter the light trail, you are given another hint of what is to come by a cutely lit pathway which leads you to an area with some fairground rides (Helter Skelter, Hook a Duck and Dodgems to name a few) and some food & drink stalls. We bypassed these for now, deciding to circle back at the end.
Our tickets were scanned and we passed through quickly, the set up is really well planned and efficiently run.
On our right hand side we could see the massive lake that Heaton Park boasts. It was dark when we arrived, so it looked particularly beautiful as you could see the reflections of the light installations dotted around it. There are even a couple of installations on the lake itself, so keep your eyes peeled for those!
As you enter the trail there are a few food and drink stalls where you can pick up some donuts, mulled wine, or hot chocolate. Here, you can also purchase giant marshmallows to toast on the warming firepits.
By each installation are speakers blasting out well known Christmas classics from the likes of Bing and Bublee. This addition (plus how cold it was!) added to Christmassy atmosphere and prompted a few dwellers to have a little boogie.
One thing I really liked about the trail was the positioning of the lights. Some were on the ground, some way up into the sky – this really encouraged our little boy to look around and there were lots of “oooos” and “ahhhhs” as he discovered the next thing, and the next thing.
His favourite was a wander through a laser garden. There were a multitude of tiny beams of light that he enjoyed trying to “catch” by stomping on them. Another enjoyable part of the trail for him were the bubbles – again, it encouraged him to move around and explore a bit (which helped keep him warm)
The giant twinkling tunnel was my favourite though – a great photo op which many families were taking full advantage of. Walking through it felt so magical and nostalgic.
We spent a couple of hours at Heaton Park, and they seemed to fly by as there was so much to take in.
We have been to similar events at other places and they have gotten better year on year, so I am excited to see how the light trail at Christmas at Heaton Park develops and improves. Some more interactive sections of the trail would be a great addition to think of for future events.
We were lucky in that even though it was bitterly cold, it was dry. When you attend, it would be worth bearing in mind that if the weather is bad, there is no shelter – so make sure you take waterproofs, wellies and umbrellas!
If you have a four legged friend, then you can take them to the trail providing they are well behaved and are kept on a short lead. We took our dog Sid and he had a great time meeting other dogs and noseying at the lights.
If you haven’t eaten before you arrive, as detailed above, there are food and drink stalls. I would say that these were the one downside of the whole experience. We went to 3 of them for various things and all were really disorganised. This was quite early on when not many people were there yet, so I dread to think how they fared as the evening went on. The worst by far was Heaton Park Grill van – they got our order wrong (2 burgers and chicken nuggets with chips!) and the chips were freezing cold. For the price, it was awful.
But so as not to end on a sour note, one major brownie point for the trail is given for their consideration towards the environment and wildlife. There are informative signs dotted around which explain the actions they are taking to mitigate any negative impact of the trail. For example, an ecological assessment was carried out to ensure resident wildlife of the park were protected. And the majority of the lights are LED.
Overall, it was a lovely, Christmassy experience with the family.
The light trail is open now and runs until December 31st. It is closed on a handful of days, but they will show as unavailable at the point of booking.
Time slots start at 16.45pm and go up to 8pm.
Adult tickets start from £15 and children from £10 (infants are free) – family tickets are also available to make it that bit more cost effective.
For more information and to book your tickets, please visit