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Lightopia’s award-winning visually spectacular lantern and light festival has returned to Heaton Park; shining a light on Manchester as it opened its gates to the public, Thursday 3rd December.

One of the city’s only outdoor experiences this season, Lightopia showcases unique interactive and immersive lights, lanterns and installations, with a magical illuminated trail, which has been designed to maintain social distance from others.

Presenting Christmas at Heaton Park, this year’s event also features new themes and creations to discover! Lighting up Manchester this winter, and throughout the festive season, Lightopia 2020 reveals new installations and a brand-new route for guests to explore. The new route has been designed to create a safe environment, where Lightopians are able to see the sights safely with friends and family; there are also wider footpaths to maintain social distancing, three entry points to reduce queuing and direct access to two car parks.

New themes to uncover include a stand-out Christmas showcase, which uses the Grade I-listed Heaton Hall as its sparkling backdrop. Enjoy the most wonderful time of the year at Lightopia, featuring a 10-metre illuminated candy-covered Christmas tree and Santa’s sleigh.

Lightopia also hosts a brand-new area– the Local Heroes display, dedicated to those on the COVID19 frontline. The Local Heroes walkway will be magically lit to reveal a beautiful, colourful rainbow display, with the words ‘Thank You’ lit up in front of the well-regarded symbol of 2020. The large, heartfelt creation will make for the perfect photo backdrop for families and friends and a way for people to show their appreciation for all the city's heroes during the pandemic.

Also new for 2020, is the Astronomy display; illuminating the night sky with its beautiful moon installation, other pieces include robotic controlled pads on the floor, which create light shows when stepped on and an interactive Zodiac Sign installation. There’s also an area dedicated to the Manchester Skyline and an immersive Musical City encouraging visitors to dance their way through the lights.

The popular Animals attraction has returned, and much-loved installations from last year can be re-visited 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, with some new captivating pieces featured in this illuminated wonderland.

The Lakeside water show is also a star attraction at Lightopia; as its state-of-the-art projection creates a visual masterpiece, bringing the story of Lightopia to life; with a new production created for this year’s event!

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.

Event goers will be fully immersed into the Lightopia narrative, exploring new experiences through each design, transporting visitors on a breath-taking journey of discovery into the beautiful world of art that surrounds them.

Lightopia will be open to the public from Thursday 3rd December until Sunday 10th January. The event is open every day, except Christmas Day. Opening times are between 5pm to 10pm, and last entry is 8.30pm daily.

Advance tickets are priced at £20.00 for adults, £13.00 for children and £60.00 for families of two adults and two children. Children under three can go free. Essential carers of disabled visitors can attend for free; the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee.

There are also a limited number of tickets available for key workers, with a 20% discount off the standard ticket price, when using code KEY20 here. Plus, the 20% discount is applied to all tickets in the online basket. One essential worker ID is required for entry, per party.

To book tickets, visit

Follow on Instagram and Facebook @lightopiafestival #Lightopia

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