The Birmingham Botanical Gardens has the feel of a Victorian public park with its four glasshouses which range from tropical to subtropical, mediterranean and arid desert, 15 acres of beautiful landscaped gardens, pool, rock garden, bandstand, aviary, playground, tea room and gift shop, although I am not too sure the Victorians would have had a gift shop, but hey they have to make money.
Magical Lantern Festival
25/11/16 to 2/1/17
Price adult £14 on the day £12.50 pre-booked on-line but there is a charge for this.
Child £10.00 £8.50 pre-booked
Family tickets £44.00 or £38 pre-booked
Entrance is set in 15 minute slots.
Parking for blue badge holders only
I was pleasantly surprised by this event, it was far prettier than I had expected. Set in the gardens it is an easy walk around the paths with only one very slight dirt pathway.
A short walk from the road alongside the car park and you enter the festival through a 12 meter wide lantern arch, complete with snowmen, santa and reindeer’s. Just beyond this is the ticket office and a couple of food stalls, (don’t bother with the mulled wine, it’s just warmed up red wine, no mull at all), and a gift tent.
The first set of lights is a freeze with penguins, snowmen and trees, this seemed to be a favorite with the little ones. Large baskets with birds and flowers were next, followed by illuminated animals. The nice thing about this show was that in certain parts of the gardens you could see across to other lights, and from on top of them giving a fantastic almost fairy tale like view.
I found it hard to pick a favourite, I loved the pandas in the bamboo garden and the angel in a pool of lights with swans was magical, the frogs on the lily pads enchanting, even Brasso made an appearance. The cinderella coach got a few gasps from some of the younger girls.
After leaving the main part of the festival walk towards the main building and the gift shop, otherwise you will miss Teddy bear and all his presents.
This really is a lovely way to spend an evening for anyone who is young at heart