Brighten up your February with Lightopia.
When the weather has you feeling blue, try injecting a little twinkle into your life with a visit to Chiswick House and Gardens, home to London’s loveliest lantern festival. Lightopia will take over the grounds until March 1 — and they’re offering a massive 40% off tickets this week*!
A one-mile long trail filled with 45 groups of lantern art installations awaits you, featuring castles, boats, and a whole menagerie of animals. For instance, there’s an 18-metre peacock, which features lights pulsing through its wings in time to music.
It’s the perfect marriage of old and new; the lanterns are handmade from Chinese silk, in a tradition which dates back hundreds of years, and combined with state-of-the-art light technology to create the illuminations. You’re invited to embrace Lightopia’s theme of ‘Harmony’ and get nice and involved — upon entering the festival, you’ll be given a special badge which empowers you to control certain installations, working in harmony to produce dazzling effects.
This is best seen at Lightopia’s centrepiece: the Tree of Light. Ten metres tall and surrounded by twenty drums, you’re encouraged to hammer on the drums in order to change the tree’s colours and throw vivid shapes up into the night sky. Meanwhile, musical buttons in the floor create tuneful light shows when stepped on (a perfect chance to reenact this iconic scene, I reckon), and you’ll also spot giant honeycomb arches surrounded by glowing bees.
Instagram opportunities abound, from a field of 70,000 flickering roses to a rainbow tunnel, and a pair of impressive angel wings that you’re very much invited to pose in front of. The whimsical Keys of Life, meanwhile, invite you to wander through the keyhole and into a world of enchantment. Historic Chiswick House isn’t being left out of the show, either, for 3D video mapping will project a visual tale across its facade throughout the duration of Lightopia.
It’s an absolute treat for the senses, especially since you’ll also find acrobats, musicians, and food stalls at the festival. Really, it’s enough to make Lightopia a utopia in our eyes! And, with 40% off, it would be rude not to go.
Find it at Chiswick House and Gardens until March 1st – tickets are available on their website. *The 40% off offer is valid from February 26 to March 1. Just enter ‘LASTCHANCE’ at the checkout.
Also published on Medium.