The Magical Lantern Festival returns once again to Birmingham over the Christmas period to help spread the festive cheer, with a gorgeous display of larger-than-life Chinese lanterns.

Moving to its new venue of Kings Heath park, the festival does not disappoint in its intricacy and the splendour of the vibrantly-coloured silk lanterns against the dark winter sky.

Ranjit Dhillon
One of the hundreds of lanterns and electrically-lit displays along the Magical Lantern route

Most people have seen Chinese lanterns before, but maybe not on such a grand scale. The highlights on offer are an eight-metre high fairytale castle and a six-metre high phoenix. The Christmas themed lanterns including Santa’s Grotto and the family of polars by the ice add an authentic festive atmosphere to the festival.

Ranjit Dhillon
The polar bear family lantern display in Birmingham’a Kings Heath Park

My personal favourites include the swans at the lake (which reflect beautifully in the water) and the life-like flamingoes. Other features predominantly use electrical lights, such as the roughly 20 metre long display of a woman’s hair flowing with hearts and a display of clocks – both are mesmerising.

Ranjit Dhillon
The bright silk-lantern swans at the lake at the Magical Lantern Festival in Kings Heath Park

Along the route there are many chances to delve into a hot snack or a warm drink. There is a small entertainment area with some fairground rides along with a Christmas market and cafe. The festival offers a range of street food and drinks, including Christmas market favourites such as the ostrich burger and mulled wine. A visit to the cafe for a warm hot chocolate is a must, offering some respite from the cold wintry evenings.

Ranjit Dhillon
The Magical Lantern Festival enters its second year in Birmingham following a hugely successful festival last year

Although the Magical Lantern Festival website states that people on average spend 2-3 hours at the vicinity – visitors may be hard-pressed to fill the average time spent. Unless they spend a copious amount of time eating and have accompanying children who will go on the fairground rides.

Ranjit Dhillon
A small Christmas market offers a range of drinks and street food at the Magical Lantern Festival

I looked around at all of the lanterns, took many photos and stopped off at the café for a hot chocolate. However, the overall time spent would not have hit more than 70 minutes or so. If you do visit, be sure to walk at a slow, leisurely pace to make the most of the stunning lanterns, particularly those found at the front.

Ranjit Dhillon
The scale of the bright artistic features at the Magical Lantern Festival in Birmingham are a sight to behold

The price for an adult on the weekend is nearly £15 or £13 on weekdays (both prices include booking fees via Eventbrite). It can be argued that the overall experience is hard to justify for nearly £15 on a weekend.

Nonetheless, if you love visual displays and want an alternative to the annual Birmingham Christmas Market – it will not disappoint. If the pricing is a sticking point, I would recommend finding a cheap deal with Groupon which offer tickets for under £10 if you visit at specific times.

Ranjit Dhillon
The phoenix rising high into the night sky at the Magical Lantern Festival

Overall, I would recommend visiting the festival for the range of stunning lanterns and displays on offer. Pack your camera, some gloves and experience this optical feast whilst you can.

Ranjit Dhillon
A grand exit featuring a fusion of Chinese and Western themes at the Magical Lantern Festival in Birmingham

The Magic Lantern Festival takes place at Kings Heath Park until January 1st 2017 (Wednesday-Sunday only). Tickets are on sale now.

(Visited 101 times, 4 visits today)
https://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_7890-copy-1024x683.jpghttps://www.iambirmingham.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/IMG_7890-copy-220x140.jpgRanjit DhillonArtsEntertainmentGalleryNewsReviewsTravelWhat's OnArt,B'ham,Birmingham,Brum,Chinese Lanterns,Christmas,Christmas activities,Christmas Illuminations,Christmas Market,December 2017,Display,Displays,Festival,Illuminations,Kings Heath,Kings Heath Park,Lights,Magic Lantern Festival,Ranjit Dhillon,Review,sculpturesThe Magical Lantern Festival returns once again to Birmingham over the Christmas period to help spread the festive cheer, with a gorgeous display of larger-than-life Chinese lanterns. Moving to its new venue of Kings Heath park, the festival does not disappoint in its intricacy and the splendour of the vibrantly-coloured silk...The latest news, updates and events in Birmingham