Strolling through the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, the children’s eyes were like saucers. I listened as they whispered to each other:
“This is amazing, we’re in fairyland!”
Arriving in fairyland at Birmingham Botanical Gardens
When we arrived at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, we were greeted by a small fairground. The helter skelter, carousel and mini-roundabout were joined by a couple of small food stalls. The girls had a ride on the carousel and we enjoyed a mulled wine before heading for the illuminated trail.
As soon as we set foot on the trail, the lights were simply beautiful. As we looked at one incredible illumination, our eyes were drawn to the next one along. The natural beauty of the gardens was combined with the creative talents of event producers Raymond Gubbay Limited. At one point, a member of staff stopped us to point out the reflection of a tree in a small pond. A stunning natural spectacle that we might otherwise have missed.
Part of the trail saw the children running from one light-draped reindeer to the next, shining their torches on the reindeer names as they searched for Rudolph. Eventually at the top of a hill, stood a golden reindeer with that distinctive red nose.
Around the next corner was one of Santa’s helpers, explaining that all the reindeer had gone missing. Then suddenly, the man himself appeared and chatted to the children. The next step along the path was a stand selling flavoured marshmallows, along with a fire to toast them on.
But for me, the highlight had to be the Lawn Aviary Finale. Here, lights dance around in time with classic Christmas songs. We stood watching this for ages, never feeling like we wanted to walk away.
Finally, we made our way into a glasshouse to warm up and see some tropical plants and rather enormous fish.
We went to the Botanical Gardens with some friends so there were six of us in total, two children and four adults. This has been marketed as an event with something for everyone. And that is absolutely true. Each of us took something different from the experience but we all agreed that it was completely magical.
Visiting the illuminated trail
Christmas at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens runs until 1st January. Tickets can be booked online in advance or purchased on the day. The experience opens at 4.45pm and closes at 10pm. Do check their website for times and availability.
For more ideas for Christmas days out, check my list of Christmas events in the West Midlands.