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Lightopia Light Festival at Heaton Park

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by Alison Brinkworth (subscribe)
Freelance journalist in Birmingham with a passion for the dynamic theatre, art, food and fashion scene in Britain's 'Second City'.
Event: -
Be dazzled at Christmas at outdoor socially distanced show
Lightopia returns to Manchester this Winter as a socially-distanced illuminations festival during the festive season.

lightopia, heaton park, Manchester
Light up the festive season at Heaton Park


The award-winning light festival will be at Heaton Park from November 20 over Christmas and New Year until January 3, 2021. Lightopia showcases unique interactive and immersive lights, lanterns and installations and even has a magical illuminated trail that has been designed so visitors and families can safely social distance from others.

The brand-new route has wider footpaths, three entry points to reduce queuing and direct access to two car parks.

lightopia, heaton park, manchester, water show
Illuminations that enthrall at Lightopia


New themes for this year include the Christmas showcase, which uses the Grade I-listed Heaton Hall as its sparkling backdrop. Visitors will be able to pass by Santa's sleigh, walk through glistening snowflakes and make their own festive soundtrack with a giant interactive walking piano.

Also new for 2020 is the Astronomy display that illuminates the night sky with a beautiful moon installation. Other pieces include robotic controlled pads on the floor that create light shows when stepped on and an interactive Zodiac Sign installation.

lightopia, heaton park, manchester, light tunnel
A tunnel of light at Heaton Park


Further sights will be an area dedicated to the Manchester Skyline and an immersive Musical City that encourages visitors to dance their way through the lights.

For those who visited last year, they can again see the popular Animals attraction in the Discovery space. Children will be full of excitement as they enter the fairytale world of candy, flowers and characters at the Woodland Fairytale area.

The Lakeside water show will also play a key role in the exhibition, as a state-of-the-art projection creates a visual masterpiece, bringing the story of Lightopia to life. This year's new production focuses on the theme of discovery.

Shimmering walkways, lights and lanterns will guide the walkways, marking the route direction. And extraordinary dragon sculptures will lead the way to Lightopia's food stalls and licensed bars.

Ian Xiang, Creative Director of Lightopia, says: "We are excited to bring Lightopia back to Manchester, and have once again created a world in which light, sculpture and art combine with traditional Chinese lantern-making techniques to create an immersive experience, full of light and stories."

lightopia, heaton park, manchester, festive season
Plenty of sights to entertain families while keeping their social distance


Xiang added: "We want our guests to become part of the Lightopia story, helping to create new forms of art as they interact and engage with the luminescent sculptures that trail through Heaton Park."

Lightopia will be open to the public from Friday November 20 until Sunday January 3, 2021. The event is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, except during school holidays. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are closed. Opening times are between 5pm to 10pm, and last entry is 8.30pm daily.

For those looking to plan ahead with friends and family this festive season, tickets are available to purchase at the Lightopia website here.


Advance tickets cost £20 adults (or £22 on the day), £13 for children (or £15 on the day) and £60 for families of two adults and two children (£68 on the day). Children under three can go free. Essential carers of disabled visitors can attend for free, the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee
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Why? Socially distanced fun festival for Christmas season
When: November 20 - January 3, 2021
Phone: 0161 773 1231
Where: Heaton Park, Middleton Rd, Manchester M25 2SW
Cost: From £13 child and from £20 adult in advance.
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