A first look at Crystal Palace Park’s Lightopia Festival

Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park <i>(Image: Amy C)</i>
Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park (Image: Amy C)

Reporter Amy Clarke attended launch night of Lightopia Festival at Crystal Palace Park on Thursday (November 17) and got to get a first look at the festive experience.

The lanterns themselves were stunning and incredibly detailed with a lot of thought put into each exhibit.

My favourite part of the route was definitely the magical beast section, which featured a variety of fearsome fantasy creatures which roared and moved.

News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park
News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park

Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park (Image: Amy C)

A close second was the Clangers arch, which probably brought a lot of fond memories for those who grew up with the children’s TV show.

Some of the exhibits were interactive, meaning that you can bash a drum and watch the lights feed up a giant plant or have a go on a musical foot piano.

We noticed that children, particularly the younger ones, were having the best time and the displays seemed to have a mind-blowing effect on them.

News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park
News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park

Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park (Image: Amy C)

I attended with just my partner and while we enjoyed the experience, we took note that those with families appeared to get most out of it.

The route itself is much longer than first anticipated, so I would suggest that you wear some comfy shoes that you do not mind getting muddy.

There are plenty of cabins selling drinks, food and sweet treats along the path – we treated ourselves to a lovely Baileys hot chocolate.

News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park
News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park

Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park (Image: Amy C)

Towards the end of the festival is a 40-metre-wide and 15-metre-tall water show featuring the beloved Christmas imagery of a giant Santa, Rudolf, Christmas tree and snowflakes.

While this was incredible and a special sight, the wind direction did mean that you got soaked if you stood directly in the viewing area, which was a strange little raft on the lake.

News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park
News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park

Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park (Image: Amy C)

Overall, I found Lightopia Festival was something different to experience this Christmas time and a real visual treat.

The festival runs from November 17 to January 2.

Standard advance tickets are £19.50 off peak and £24.50 on peak for adults, £13 off peak and £16.50 on peak for children, £56 off peak and £72 on peak for families of two adults.

Children under three can go free.

Essential carers of disabled visitors can attend for free, and the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee.

For more information click here.

News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park
News Shopper: Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park

Lightopia Festival - Crystal Palace Park (Image: NQ)

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