Christmas Lands, Lights & Trails 2023

We’re excited to share with some of the incredible Christmas Lands, Lights & Trails happening in Essex this year. It’s the perfect family-friendly event that will get everyone into the holiday spirit!

From dazzling light displays, Santa’s Grotto’s to immersive Christmas trails, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Take a stroll through the magical winter wonderlands, where you’ll be greeted by twinkling lights, festive decorations, and a joyful atmosphere. Many of the options include live entertainment, delicious food stalls offering festive treats, and even opportunities to meet Santa himself!

RHS Glow 2023 at Hyde Hall, Chelmsford

29th November – 16th December (Wed – Sat weekly) 5pm – 9pm

18th – 23rd December; 27th – Sat 30th December 5pm – 9pm

From: £4.45 per child & £8.95 per adult (members)

Bring all the family for a magical evening at RHS Garden Hyde Hall. See the garden in breathtaking beauty as amazing illuminations light your way on our spectacular Glow trail.

New for 2023, follow the trail up onto the Hilltop, past the iconic Thatched Barn, stopping to see a fountain on the top pond, before heading back down the hill through the Dry Garden, where you’ll see a carpet of colour, mirror balls on the lake and lanterns lighting your way. At the Lake Cabins, enjoy take away hot food and seasonal treats. Clover Café will be open for winter warmers and snacks as you head in and out of the garden.

Havering Christmas Land at Harrow Lodge Park, Hornchurch

29th November – 31st January 4:30pm – 8:30pm

Christmas Walk: £4.50pp Under 2’s free

Santa’s Grotto: £7 per child

The local mental health charity Mind in Havering, Barking and Dagenham is delighted to see the return of its ‘Havering Christmas Land’ attraction over the festive period!

The magical Christmas Walkway is an outdoor lights trail for all the family, featuring a variety of themed scenes and loads of spectacular photo opportunities. You’ll also find a stunning Santas Grotto, food and drink served nightly, and lots of Christmas Cheer.

Enlightened at Barleylands Farm Park, Billericay

1st December – 24th December 4:30pm – 7:30pm

Tickets from: £15 per adult & £12 per child.

Infants are free.

Enlightened are a series of magical outdoor light trails hosted at multiple venues throughout the UK each winter. Our 2023 season brings new installations and interactive elements across all of our trails to make Enlightened 2023 the biggest and brightest season of winter events to date.

Christmas at the Zoo, Enchanted Trail of Light, Colchester Zoo

December 2, 6, 8, 9, 13, 15, 16, 20 & 22nd

4:30pm onwards

Tickets from: £10 per person

With a host of illuminations along a designated route, dancing fountains and fairies spreading their magic, our light trail event will leave you feeling enchanted.

Seasonal food and drinks will be available along the route to keep you warm and cosy as you discover the trail, so there is no need to worry about eating beforehand!

Epping Ongar Railway Lights Express, Epping

November: 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26th

December: 1, 2, 3, 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 29, 30, 31st

January: 5, 6, 7th

Tickets: Standard Seating £20.00

The Epping Ongar Lights Express is an incredible light show on and in a steam train, consisting of thousands of coloured LED lights and LED wristbands, creating a kaleidoscope of different colours and flashing patterns.

Join the festive action on board and get in the party mood with a festive DJ mix of music the whole family will love. Sing, dance and cheer on this magical journey, hosted by the legendary Voiceover Man – laugh with him (or at him!) and compete against each other in his on board game! The Epping Ongar Lights Express departs from Ongar station.

Audley End Miniature Railway’s Christmas Special

18th November – 24th December 2023

Ticket prices from £18.00 – £30.00 per person Children under 92cm £9.00 – £15.00

Under 1yr and carers free

Winner of the 2023 Essex Mums Award: Best Event – All Seasons!

Hop on our festive train for a magical journey to meet Father Christmas, Mother Christmas, and their playful Elves! Stroll through our Illuminated Woodland Walk, surrounded by twinkling lights and enchanting decorations. Make special reindeer food for Rudolph and his friends, write heartwarming letters to Father Christmas, and listen to Holly the Fairy’s captivating Christmas story.

This enchanting experience promises joy for the whole family. Don’t miss out on the festive fun!

These are just some enchanting Christmas events happening across Essex this winter. We’ll be out reviewing a few over the next couple of months and we’ll be creating our usual lists of Christmas concerts and Markets too – so look out for those! Have a wonderful festive season.

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