Magic Lantern Festival, Chiswick

A few days after Xmas my sister, dad, cousins, son and I headed off to Chiswick for the Magical Lantern Festival. I wasn't sure of what to make of this place beforehand as it had very mixed reviews but it was a last minute family day out so why not?

Firstly what I will say is it was not cheap. We'd missed out on the Groupon deal that my sister wouldn't stop bleating on about so a family of four and an adult ticket on top of that cost us £70.95!!! Secondly, it's more of a trail than a festival. I wasn't expecting Drake to perform an entire set and bring out Rihanna as a surprise guest. But I did expect a bit more background music as we were walking around the trail and photographing the lanterns. And I'm using the terms trail and walk lightly as a lot of the mud paths were waterlogged and it was more of a hike than a walk - getting from one collection of lantern exhibits to another seemed to take ages (if it wasn't for the hot refreshment pit stop about half way in we would have all froze to death! And btw you're looking at another £5 EACH per hot chocolate. That being said the white hot chocolate was to die for and I've been addicted to it ever since). Oh and whose idea was it to guide the trail over the steepest iciest bridge I've ever walked over in my life (I'm talking steep enough to make Gypsy Hill look flat)?? The amount of anxiety I had going over that bridge was insane.

Distance and bridge aside, the lanterns themselves were stunning and well worth a visit. When the trail ends you're faced with a souvenir booth, a wedding tent  to warm up in (complete with plastic tables and chairs), a few food and drink vans, bumper cars and two kids rides. The entertainment all seemed a bit thrown together last minute. Was it worth the money... Hmm no not really. I mean yeah, it beat staying indoors but there needed to be more in the way of entertainment after the lantern trail (I'm not expecting a full out Winter Wonderland but a mini coaster wouldn't have hurt). Based on that I'm giving the Magic Lantern Festival 1.5 stars.

***NB This review was originally featured in the Xmas Mini Vlog

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