Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review

 
This experience is brand new at Center Parcs for 2022 and available to all guests staying on site from 10 January - 27 February 2022. This experience was actually announced after we had booked our break so a lovely little extra. It is included at no additional cost, you don't need to book and you can visit as many times as you like during your stay. 

Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review

The Winter Forest Lights trail is pushchair friendly (I think it would be ok for wheelchairs too) and located just along from the outdoor crazy golf course next to the Sports Plaza. It is short enough for a toddler to walk too. 

You can walk through during the day but it's obviously much better in the evening with the lights and music. The lights / music are switched on from dusk - 9pm. Just pop down in the evening to enjoy. 


On check in, you are given your regular village map plus a map for the light trail. We visited with older kids and declined but if you have kids younger than us, you will be given activity sheets too. I think this is a little trail map with letters to find from the elf houses and the usual colouring etc..... 

Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - map

My kids are in secondary school and probably not the target audience for this but we thoroughly enjoyed it. It is hard to capture in a photos but as you walk amongst the trees, the lights in the forest dance to the music. They were playing tunes such as 'Shine' by Take That and 'Firework' by Katy Perry. 



There are little toadstool cabins around the trail which are cute to look at and read the story as you wander through. 

Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - toadstools





You will find lots of photo ops throughout too - don't forget your camera. 

Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - photo ops

I had such a nice time walking this trail. It is truly magical and something a little different to brighten up a winter's night. The lights are beautiful and it's been done to a very high standard. My photos just don't do it justice. 




Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - wishing tree

Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - walk through giant tree

At the start / end of the trail there is a little Forest Fayre wooden hut serving hot chocolates, waffles, bratwurst and various other drinks and snacks. We opted for a round of hot chocolates and they were delicious. No booking for this, just pop along, order, pay and enjoy straight away. Card / contactless only. 

Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - forest fayre menu


There is a tipi where you can enjoy your drinks or covered seating overlooking the lights. I would highly recommend stopping here and making the most of the display with a hot drink after walking around. 

Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - tipi

At the forest fayre stall you can also purchase a wristband for £5. These have a short battery life (should be ok for the duration of your stay) and are designed to be worn by children as they walk around the trail. They light up to the music. These have mixed reviews - some say their kids loved having a flashy wristband, others say they are expensive for what they are and are fiddly to attach to your child's wrist. 

Personally, I don't think I would buy these as there is plenty to look at around the trail itself. I wouldn't want to spend the whole time looking at my wrist. It might be an option if you decide to do the trail on a second or third night though to add something new. 

Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - flashing wristbands



Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - hot chocolates



I must reiterate, you don't need to book the trail itself and can enjoy as many times as you like during your stay. It's free and you just turn up and walk around. However Center Parcs being Center Parcs, they do have a few additional bookable experiences which compliment the trail and are available to book. 

The below are examples of what was available during our stay (in January). You book via the activities section of your booking online. At time of typing, activities are available to book from 59 days before your stay. You will get an email to let you know when you are able to book activities or if you look on your booking overview online, it will let you know the date you can book activiites. 

These are subject to change and may differ for your break, the below is designed to share an example of what's on offer. Please double check activity specifics and t&cs when you book direct with Center Parcs rather than using the info below. 


Winter Forest of Lights Bookable Experiences 


Who's Out in the Winter Forest Lights 

Ages 3-7, parent accompanied, £8 per child (one adult can accompany one child)

"Explore the magical winter forest lights trail with a guide whilst your little ones learn all about the wildlife in the woodland during the winter. Each child will receive a small momento of their adventure. "


Winter Lantern Workshop 

Ages 3-7, parent accompanied, £13 per child (one adult can accompany one child)

"A magical experience led by our joyful forest pixies and fairies, little ones will learn their best pixie tips and tricks to design their very own special wishlight winter lantern to help brighten up those dark and frosty nights. 

Children will decorate their glass lantern with stencils, stickers, sparkles and light before sitting down to enjoy an enchanting winter story and setting off back to the forst using their own lanterns to light up the way" 

FREE Winter Storytime 

Ages 2 years+, parent accompanied, FREE activity but it needs to be booked.

"Little ones will be delighted as the magical storytellers bring our Winter Lights characters to life in this free storytime session. 

Join Luminessa, Glowbud and Gleam as they go on an enchantin Center Parcs adventure" 


Winter Forest Treasure Trail 

Suitable for the whole family, cycles recommended, £5 per person 

"Our Winter Forest Treasure Trail is captivating fun for the whole family. Wrap up warm and weave your way through the enchanting winter woodland trails discovering a forest filled with magical lights and sparkling surprises as you work togehter to track down all of the clues and find the answers" 


Storybook Purchase 

You can purchase the Winter Forest Lights storybook from the supermarket for £8. 



Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs Whinfell - A Review  - storybook


As well as the Winter Forest Lights, there are lots of lights around the whole of the Center Parcs village at this time of year and it's lovely. Below are a few examples of the lights around the lake / Sports Plaza which we walked through on our way to the Winter Forest Lights. 










As mentioned at the start of this post, Winter Forest Lights at Center Parcs is available daily from 10 January - 27 February 2022 which means it is also included in February Half Term breaks. If you are staying at Center Parcs during this time, it's not to be missed! 

Find out more here.

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