Light and lantern festival Lightopia has confirmed it's now open, returning for its third year.

The award-winning Lightopia takes place in Manchester's Heaton Park, which is around an hour's drive away from Liverpool's city centre.

Presenting a new enchanting light and lantern festival A Christmas Fantasy at Heaton Park, alongside a Dine in the Light experience, the never-before-seen, illuminated trail features magical and multi-sensory interactive lights, lanterns and installations.

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Lightopia has proved a popular addition to many people's festive calendars, as it's suitable for couples, families, those wanting to get out and about with friends and more.

This year, the entry points to the immersive Lightopia will be via the Gate of Guardians where shimmering walkways, decorative lights and projections will guide the way.

The giant bauble Christmas tree
The giant bauble Christmas tree

Those wanting to truly get in the Christmas spirit can venture to the Grade I-listed Heaton Hall to see its 9ft bauble-inspired Christmas tree and the stand-alone giant bauble, which visitors are able to walk inside.

There'll be thousands of lights illuminating the space with a collection of vibrant colours.

Aiming to offer a fairy tale experience, the Lightopia characters and lights tell the tale of good vs evil, with the festive heroes protecting Christmas.

Christmas in Liverpool 2021

Lightopia 2021 also features a magic circus display, complete with illusion-based installations and interactive entertainment including clowns, animals and magicians.

There's plenty more to see on the route, including the giant Earth Flower, which represents our planet. Guests will be able to help care for the earth flower and give it a power boost. With 10 musical drums guarding it, "Lightopians" need to immerse themselves in the experience and give light to the flower with musical energy.

The earth flower's roots run deep as they also illuminate the Field of Love - taking charge of all the senses with an explosion of more than 50,000 love hearts filling the floor, leading the way into the Future zone.

There'll be thousands of lights illuminating the space with a collection of vibrant colours.
There'll be thousands of lights illuminating the space with a collection of vibrant colours.

The ultimate in fantasy exploration, Lightopia is also home to a time travel zone. Walk through holographic time portals and a colourful time tunnel, into "the future", complete with digital interactions.

Lightopia’s Fantasy Forest features mystical animals to uncover, including a nine tailed fox, unicorns and other worldly flowers, while its Fantasy Universe showcases a supernova display and bioluminescence plants, and Dragon's Land offers two huge 40m dragons and fabled fairies.

There's also Candy Land, a sweet-inspired illuminated spot; and a Wonders of the World display with giant mirrored, glistening crystals and gems, plus much more. The Lakeside Water Show is a must-see, state-of-the-art projection show, bringing the story of Lightopia to life, with a new fantasy production created especially for 2021.

Nestled in the park's woodland and surrounded by lanterns, Lightopia’s illuminated Dining Domes make for a unique and atmospheric dining experience for families, friends and couples.

The 10 dining domes serve up an imaginative three-course menu of classic seasonal dishes, all with a whimsical touch, curated by three-rosette chef Chris Holland and The Life Cafés and Resorts Culinary Team. The former head chef of Alderley Edge Hotel in Cheshire is best known for his traditional British cuisine with a molecular and experimental edge.

Each private dining dome sits up to six or twelve, with guests permitted to book for up to 90 minutes before or after heading off to discover the Lightopia light trail. A three-course menu and a drink comes to £38 per person. Dome dining experiences must be pre-booked, with visitors able to choose from three dining time slots, 5pm, 6.30pm or 8pm.

Also new for Lightopia Manchester 2021, The Stables Courtyard Bar and Dining offers a more casual dining experience to top off your night. Tables at The Stables can be reserved, with guests able to sit under the heated canopy in the courtyard, where there is a variety of food and drink outlets set up in converted vintage horseboxes. Walk-in on the evening or, to guarantee your spot, reserve a seat for £5 per person, which is fully redeemable against food and drink on the night.

The Field of Love boasts more than 50,000 love hearts which fill the floor
The Field of Love boasts more than 50,000 love hearts which fill the floor

Lightopia is open to the public Thursdays-Sundays from November 25 until December 11, after which Lightopia will be open every day until Monday, January 3 2022, except for Christmas day.

Opening times are between 5pm and 10pm, and last entry is 8.30pm each day.

Advance tickets are priced at £20 for adults, or £22 on the day, and £13 for children, or £15.00 on the day. Families of two adults and two children can get tickets for £60, or £68.00 on the day. Children under three can go free.

Essential carers of disabled visitors can attend for free - the disabled visitor pays the normal admission fee.

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