BeWILDerwood’s Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade!
Since Florence was teeny tiny we’ve never missed the Glorious Glowing Lantern parade at BeWILDerwood for their October Halloween half term extravaganza. Even last year with a 3 week old Raffie and my slow recovery from a c-section and we still made it. We didn’t go until late in the day because the parade doesn’t start until after the sun goes down but we just had to make sure we were there for at least some of it! It was actually the first day trip Raffie ever went on, not that he knew anything about it being tucked up in his bassinet but I remember thinking that in a year’s time he’d be able to enjoy the swings and lights and have a little play in Toddlewood.
Fast forward in what was the fastest year of my life and here we are! Time once again for the Glorious Glowing Lantern parade, their great shebang and how BeWILDerwood bow out every year before opening again in February. We love BeWILDerwood, have been members for positively yonks and enjoy all the seasons (I mean summer is lovely here) but somehow this is the best time to visit as far as we’re concerned. It’s magical all year round, (it would be as the park is literally fairy tale books brought to life, author, owner and BeWILDerwood creator Tom Blofeld penned the stories that the park is based on) but there’s just a little added magical sparkle for October.
As well as all the amazing things that are forever on offer, zip wires (for all ages – even babies), amazing play equipment, mazes (both on the ground and in the sky), shows, face painting (all included in the entry ticket), crafting, awesome slides, treetop walkways, den building and much, much more there’s the building of your own lantern (all materials supplied but we have a top tip of taking our own Sellotape and scissors to save time waiting) which then, at the end of the day, is used to light your pathway out as everyone on park goes from the bottom to the top with all the characters of BeWILDerwood entertaining along the way. Pumpkins are carved and light the journey along with amazing firefly lights in the trees amongst the Twiggle and Boggle houses… It is GORGEOUS and amazing and fun. A whole day of fun and frolics and then the parade to finish off the magic before home!
We had a brilliant day as always and enjoyed every second with the children absolutely thrilled this year to be able to stay all day and not have a lunch time arrival as we did last year – I reckon they’d go back day after day after day if they could. They just love it! I also love it and find great enjoyment in simply watching their faces take in all the wonder. It really is a day out like no other with so much outdoor fun you go home ready to hit the sack immediately but would do it all again in a heart beat! I also adore how everything is included in the price and there are no hidden costs and that really makes me feel relaxed when out for the day so it was a great experience for us all. We went with friends this year who hadn’t been for Halloween before but I think they too will be back!
I have some top tips for visiting BeWILDerwood on my blog post about the wonderful annual passes you can buy for Norfolk attractions here but I also have some tips for visiting BeWILDerwood specifically at this time of year too – here’s my top ten:
- Layer up and take a Halloween costume to put over your clothes for the parade. It can get quite nippy especially as the close of the day comes but you really don’t want to miss out on any of the fun so remember gloves and hats! Wellies are also a must if the ground has been damp!
- Don’t bother with a picnic as the food is great and well worth the money. It’s great to warm up with one of their awesome hot chocolates and a hot dog which are delicious!
- I mentioned taking scissors and tape for your lantern making as they always seem to have only a few for everyone to use and then you end up waiting ages but if you really want to stand out you could take some extra things to decorate your lantern with!
- Take a boat ride at the beginning of the day – most people on most visits do this at the end and I ALWAYS say go at the beginning to avoid queues but this time of year is a must as you will be leaving the park on foot with the parade and you definitely don’t want to miss the beautiful boats!
- Take a flask of tea or coffee to warm you up!
- Take a torch to help you keep an eye on excited little ones as you leave the park with the parade!
- Don’t go into the middle at the start of the parade gathering. Stay entrance side of it and on the edges to make sure you’re not stuck at the back and waiting extra time to get to your car!
- Park on the edge at the top and this way you can make a get away immediately without being stuck behind cars – it’s always the busiest I ever see it for this half term week!
- Enter the competition – there’s a form to fill in and post in their box to win a family annual pass – I entered one year AND I won! Gotta be in it to win it!
- Check the board as you go in for times and locations of activities for the day – the leaflet is great but things change seasonally and this will be up to date for the day you visit. I always take a picture of it as we go in!
Hope you have as much fun as we did today and get in quick before the park closes to take advantage of all the Halloween fun they have on offer. The Glorious Glowing Lantern Parade is on at the park until October the 31st ad then BeWILDerwood will close until February!