Kids in London – Christmas at Kew Gardens

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Posted by KimT on Thursday 22nd of December 2016




A night time visit to Christmas at Kew Gardens has now become a firm fixture in the Christmas celebrations – we usually go as a group with both family members and friends. It seems to bring joy to everyone from the smallest people to the grumpiest oldies.

And what’s not to like? We spent just under two hours walking the trail in the dark. Luckily, it wasn’t too cold and the weather stayed dry.

There are regular stopping points for loos and mulled wine and all manner of other delights on the way. One of our particular favourites is the marshmallow toasting spot which is just before the mistletoe moments display (which contains a sculptured waterfall where you can toss coins) and a theatre production containing Father Christmas.

As in former years, the trail is slightly different each time. Common themes are beautifully lit trees which look ghostly and magical in equal measure. Gentle music plays throughout – sometimes classical and sometimes Christmas-themed. The light tunnel is always a favourite – my daughter filmed a cracking time lapse film of this which makes you feel quite dizzy to watch.

We ambled along the trail taking in the sights. There was a vast field of glowing orbs that changed colour in a mesmerising way. The fire feature was back and this time housed a series of “Twelve days of Christmas” lanterns. There was a stunning, rotating mirror ball made of hundreds of stars that twinkled across the shadowing grass. Trees were decked with weirdly shaped angular glass ornaments and jolly red festive baubles.

At the half way mark we stopped to sit down and rest for a bit and watched the kids on the giant carousel, the helter skelter and the car rides. And then we were off again – marvelling at tall light sticks and fields of white lotus flowers.

They’ve managed to incorporate the hive into the trail this year. From a distance it looks like a huge floating ball of lights. As you get near – and even go under it – you can peer up into the lights and the amazing intricate metal structure. The trail continues on – lit by cheerful balls of mistletoe-like white lights and sometimes with spheres which transform between soft glowing colours.

The finale is a platform over the water facing the palm house which has a laser light, giant projections and water display timed to music. Whilst seeing the palm house lit in first purple, then blue and then a blast of icy white is exciting, the crystal clear reflections of the giant trees in the perfectly still water is deeply moving.

At the end of the trail we bought some Christmas tree decorations in the shop and treated ourselves to hog roasts and Cumberland sausages in rolls. Some washed it down with coffee and hot chocolate and others with more mulled wine.

It’s a wonderful evening for young and old alike.

Christmas at Kew continues until 2nd January 2017

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