An Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum
This weekend we were invited to the Enchanted Christmas event at Westonbirt Arboretum. Having been before, we jumped at the chance! It is the perfect way to start getting into a festive mood. A new lighting design is used each year for the illuminated trail, keeping things a little different for previous visitors. It is about a mile long and goes through the old arboretum, taking about 45 minutes to walk through.
Westonbirt Arboretum looks very different during Enchanted Christmas. I enjoy seeing the changes throughout the seasons, but the arboretum lit up at this time of year provides a very different perspective, and one that is definitely worth seeing. We had previously been two years ago and both the girls didn’t really remember much about it. This time they really enjoyed seeing the trees lit up in a variety of different colours.
In addition to lighting up the trees, the trail was also lit up with hanging lights, some of which slowly changed colour. Some of the lights only lit up when visitors interacted with them. For example, one set required pedaling on an exercise bike to power them and one needed visitors to sing to it before it would light up. There were also ones requiring visitors to play drums or jump up and down on a special mat. Other effects included lit smoke rings being blown out across paths and a huge disco ball and bubbles providing a little dance floor amongst the forest floor.
At the end of the trail there was a free craft area in the Learning Centre. This year children could make a leaf print card and decorate it with glitter. Freyja and Emily’s cards were very heavy on the glitter, but what would Christmas be without lots of sparkle?
This year, Enchanted Christmas runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday evening from 25 November to 18 December 2016. You MUST book tickets in advance and have to select one of the one hour slots between 5pm and 8pm to walk through the illuminated trail. When you are not walking the trail, there are also plenty of other things to see and do. Father Christmas (in traditional green robes) is available for children to visit free of charge, and stilt walkers wander around greeting guests. There are choirs or bands performing Christmas music during the evening, and also a little carousel. There are plenty of different foods available including chips, burgers, a hog roast and hot chocolate and mulled wine to warm you up! You can find out more about the event on the Westonbirt Arboretum website.
Once again, we really enjoyed Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt. The trail itself was stunning, as usual. The event seems to mark the start of winter and gets us all looking forward to the Christmas period.
Disclaimer: We were given free entry to Enchanted Christmas in exchange for an honest review of our experience. As always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.