Nothing says Christmas like a mesmerising light trail. This list compiles the best ones in and around Manchester that are already available to book now.

Image credit: Jason Lock

Chester Zoo

Lanterns and Light returns to Chester Zoo from Fri 17 Nov – Sun 31 Dec and the installations are better than ever. The experience takes around 60-90 minutes and includes marshmallow toasting, a giant 3D projection of a life-size woolly mammoth, the towering winter cathedral, puppets and a glimpse of Father Christmas. There’s also a Christmas market full of festive food and drink – making it the perfect family adventure. Tickets are from £12.

Chester Zoo, Upton-by-Chester, Chester, CH2 1EU

The PRISM Light Trail is a community-led project featuring of a series of light installations coming to Sale Town Centre, running from Thu 23 Nov – Sun 31 Dec. The installation promotes a heart-warming community spirit as it has been designed by children and young people from the borough. Entry is free.

1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Trafford, M33 7ZF
Dunham Massey

Experience a magical light display this Christmas at Dunham Massey – a great place for those festive family photos. The famous light trail includes a giant glowing deer, stars and new light and sound installations for 2023. Running from Sun 17 Nov – Sun 31 Dec, tickets start at £12.50 – profits support the conservation of Dunham Massey to ensure there are many more magical Christmases to come.

Dunham Massey, Woodhouse Lane, Altrincham, WA14 4SJ
RHS Glow

The spectacular, enchanting light installation at RHS Garden Bridgewater is back with a bang this Christmas. Stroll through illuminated archways and yew domes full of fairy lights and then hit their rainbow dancefloor. Tuck into delicious food and drink at the café and take a trip to the Garden Centre for last-minute Christmas shopping. Open Wed – Sat from Wed 15 Nov to Sat 30 Dec, non-member prices from £7.95 and RHS member prices from £4.45.

RHS Garden Bridgewater, Occupation Road, Off Leigh Road, Worsley, Salford, Greater Manchester, M28 2LJ
Heaton Park

Christmas at Heaton Park runs throughout December (Fri 1 – Sun 31) and promises colour-changing orbs of light, a laser garden and a twinkling tunnel, as well as fairground rides and street food vendors offering hot chocolate and toasted marshmallows. Tickets from £10.

Heaton Park, Middleton Road, Manchester, M25 2SW
Walton Gardens

Walton Gardens presents Luminate – an after-dark captivating trail set to ambient music near Warrington. Expect light play to guide you through the experience, promising 13 standout moments. After the trail indulge in mulled wine and toasted marshmallows by the firepit. Running from Thu 30 Nov – Sun 24 Dec, Mon – Thu tickets start at £12.25, with weekend tickets from £15.75.

Walton Lea Rd, Higher Walton, Warrington, Cheshire. WA4 6SN

Lightwaves festival returns to Salford Quays this December (Thu 7 – Sun 10) featuring work from both established and emerging artists, both locally and nationally. The festival is part of the Quays Culture Programme, aiming to bring art into the community for everyone to enjoy. It’s completely free and requires no booking in advance.

Salford Quays, Manchester, M50 3UB
The Twilight Trail at Mayfield Park

A first for Mayfield Park this Christmas, The Twilight Trail is set to illuminate Manchester with a brand-new winter light show. Unlocking the gates after dusk, The Twilight Trail transforms Mayfield Park into a twinkling, city-centre escape, complete with musical curation from much-loved Manchester-based collective, La Discotheque. Running from Fr 17 Nov – Sun 31 Dec.

Boardman Gate Entrance, Baring St, Manchester M1 2PY
Chloe Tuff
Published on:
Thu 16 Nov 2023