Bigger, better and brighter than ever – you will discover never seen before light and sound experiences that will surround you in festive magic.

Explore new captivating light installations and be transported into enchanting lands filled with colour and festivity, where you can meet orangutans, lions, dolphins and woolly mammoths as you make your way along the trail! Wonder at the colour changing displays stretching as far as the eye can see, while birds and stars adorn the zoo’s winding paths and trees. Take a walk through the spectacular Winter Cathedral tunnel of lights and even catch a glimpse of Father Christmas in his sleigh.

Join us this winter for a festive light trail like no other and take an unforgettable journey into the land of Lanterns and Light. Every ticket purchased helps us create a better future for wildlife.





What’s new for 2023?

  • Festive fairground rides
  • Mouthwatering marshmallow toasting
  • Meet the stag! Larger than life, pea-lit animal statues
  • A giant 3D projection of a life-size woolly mammoth!
  • Flickering fire gardens
  • A sparkling Forest of light, animated to a bespoke soundtrack
  • An Instagram favourite; the towering Winter cathedral
  • Neon faces
  • Plus, lots of familiar favourites including our stunning lanterns and puppets!

Lanterns and Light is produced and managed by Sony Music/RGL and Culture Creative, in partnership with Chester Zoo. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I book my ticket?

Tickets for Lanterns and Light are available to purchase through our online shop.

What dates are available?

Lanterns and Light will take place on various dates from Friday 17 November – Sunday 31 December.

What are the opening and closing times for this event?

To make Lanterns and Light as magical as possible we’re offering time tickets giving entry every 15 minutes.

When you book you will be able to select your preferred session time, from 4.15pm to 8pm. The last entry for Lanterns and Light is 8.15pm and the zoo will close at 9.15pm.

If you’re visiting the zoo during the day you’ll need to go back to the main entrance at 3.30pm when the zoo closes and wait for your arrival time for Lanterns and Light so we recommend booking an earlier session time to avoid having to wait around. Please ensure you have bought a separate zoo admission ticket, or you have a valid member’s card if you want to visit during the day. You will be able to buy your zoo tickets using the ‘book now’ button at the top right of the webpage.

What is Lanterns and Light?

Lanterns and Light is bigger, better and brighter than ever before! We’ll have brand new captivating light installations, with all the magic of our beloved lanterns and puppets.

The journey around the zoo takes around 60 – 90 minutes and there are lots of lovely festive feasts for you to enjoy as you travel around.

How much is it?

Prices for Lanterns and Light range from £18 – £22 for adults and £12 – £17 for children, depending on the day that you choose to visit.

Children under the age of 2 years old, and carers come free but please remember to book them a ticket.

Free entry for carers

We offer a free carer ticket for guests who require it, when booked with a full price adult or child ticket. You may be asked to produce documentation when you arrive at our admission lanes. This can be:

We offer a free carer ticket for guests who require it, when booked with a full price adult or child ticket. You may be asked to produce documentation when you arrive at our admission lanes. This can be:

  • Entitlement to Disability Living Allowance for children under 16
  • Personal Independent payments for those aged 16-64
  • Attendance Allowance or Carer’s Allowance letter of award
  • A Blue badge

Carers must arrive and leave Lanterns and Light with the qualifying visitor and must be able to perform all requirements as needed, including assistance during an evacuation or other emergency. People attending on a carer ticket must be attending with a qualifying visitor who has a valid Lanterns and Light at Chester Zoo ticket already purchased.

Is this event accessible for everyone?

We have several quiet times for our event at a 4pm timeslot. We have reduced the capacity for our guests who need a quieter environment to enjoy the event.

Saturday 18 November

Thursday 23 November

Friday 24 November

Saturday 25 November

Wednesday 29 November

Wednesday 6 December

If you would like to book please get in touch via the Contact Us page or call us on 01244 380280.

How will I receive tickets?

If you book online then you’ll receive an email from us with your booking confirmation attached. Bring this booking confirmation with you on the night of your visit to get entry to the zoo.

I’m a member, do I get discounted tickets?

As this is a special event outside of our usual opening hours members and non-members pay the same price. Events like Lanterns and Light help us to raise valuable funds to enable Chester Zoo to continue to invest in our mission and the zoo. We really appreciate your support, especially after a really difficult time and we’re sure you’ll be delighted with the experience we’ve planned this year.

What are the parking arrangements? 

There is ample FREE parking at the main entrance to the zoo.

Which parts of the zoo will be open?

Lanterns and Light follows a specific route around the zoo and our indoor animal habitats will stay closed. You won’t be able to see any of our animals during the event. Please ensure that you stick to the route for your safety and to ensure the wellbeing of animals.

What if the weather is really bad?

Wrap up warm and bring your waterproof clothes and we’re sure you’ll still have a wonderful time and make precious memories that last a lifetime.

If we have very extreme weather we may need to cancel and we’ll be sure to be in touch with you by email (as soon as possible) if this happens. You can find out more about this in our terms and conditions here.

Will I be able to take photographs?

Yes, absolutely and please do share them with us on social media, using #LanternsandLight

Can I bring my own food?

We’ll have lots of delicious food and drink options available to buy on the night but you are more than welcome to bring your own if you would prefer to.

We just ask that you don’t bring any alcohol to the zoo with you.

What is the best way to get to Chester Zoo?

You can find all the directions and options to the zoo here.

I need help with my SeeTickets Booking

For any queries regarding a See Tickets booking please contact them directly, using the search function and customer query section of their website Seetickets Support Centre