Allan and I don’t usually give Valentine’s Day much thought, but this year it just so happened that Edinburgh Zoo was hosting a Giant Lanterns Of China event and one of the few remaining dates with tickets still available landed right on the 14th February.
I had seen some pictures on Instagram and I’m a sucker for pretty lights, so we bought a couple of tickets (children under 3 go free) and chose the revisit option so we have reduced price tickets to visit the zoo during the day before the end of April.
We packed the girls and lots of cosy clothes in the car and drove down. We had a quick picnic in the car (because the food ain’t cheap in there!) and headed in. I was so glad that we picked a quieter day because we managed to view all the lanterns at our own pace and didn’t have to squeeze our way in to see them.
Against the dark evening all of the lanterns were amazing, but I especially liked the peacocks, flowers and the dragon. Sorsha loved the lions and zebras. They also had a large area of light depicting the different animals in the Chinese zodiac. Allan is a rooster (which is so accurate!), Willow is a monkey (also very true!), and Sorsha and I are a couple of goats!
My absolute favourite display wasn’t a silk lantern at all, it was the Qilins (chee-lins) who were made of thousands of individual glass bottles.
Towards the end there’s a stage for regular performances by acrobats including plate-spinning, juggling and…well…acrobats! After standing in the cold for a while we decided to get a couple of hot drinks and dried up cakes in the cafe, hang the cost! Whilst I was at it I threw away some money by buying a spinning top that had lights and music because Willow was mesmerised by it. Needless to say it broke after one use.
Apart from that it was a really good event and the whole family loved it. If you can get tickets (I think only a few dates this month were still available when I checked) it’s definitely worth seeing just make sure you wrap up warm!