This winter, more twinkling and fantastical than ever before, Christmas at Kew returns, inviting visitors to experience the nighttime beauty of a brand new trail, illuminated by over one million lights. The route will include some incredible showstoppers, such as the recently restored Temperate House – the largest surviving Victorian glasshouse in the world – which will form the canvas for a kaleidoscopic laser show. A must-do event in the London festive calendar, visitors can expect bursts of colour and enchanting optics as they explore Kew Gardens’ iconic landscape after dark. A roster of internationally acclaimed artists is set to adorn this newly plotted trail with a feast of art, light and music at every turn.

Myths and magic…

French creative Studio Pitaya is bringing Bifröst to Christmas at Kew, drawing inspiration from the bridge of light in Norse mythology connecting the realm of the living and the realm of gods. Set at the beginning of the trail, visitors can wander through the 20-metre-long tunnel of light arcades, the hypnotic animations bringing them through to the magical landscape beyond.

Further along the route, visitors can meander through a Fire Garden with enchanted ruby and emerald flames, as pyrotechnic artist Mike Jones brings his spellbinding work to Kew.

A tumbling waterfall and forest of vines…

The centrepiece of this year’s event, Brighton-based ITHACA will bring Waterfalls to Kew’s arboretum. With four spiralling columns of light cascading from the Treetop Walkway in the canopy above, the mesmerising 10 minute display will captivate visitors with dazzling reflections and a ‘Sea of Light’ at their feet.

In another mirroring of nature, Australian studio Mandylights returns to Christmas at Kew with Vines. A 30-metre-long promenade of LED vines that visitors can walk through, touch and interact with, each vine houses up to 8,000 individual colour-changing pixels, making for an otherworldly immersive experience.

Throughout the trail, Kew’s own natural splendours will feature prominently, highlighting the beauty of nature, and the importance of plants in all our lives. Trees along the route will be illuminated from different angles, allowing visitors to admire their striking winter forms. Branches will be wrapped with tiny blossom shaped lights to create a sparkling cherry tree walkway, and the Kew Horticulture team’s pea-light-festooned heritage tree will return in all its luminous glory.

The grand finale…

At the final stop, the renowned Palm House finale will await visitors with festive projections playing across a giant screen of water in the centre of the lake, and across the iconic glasshouse itself.

Extra features – Father Christmas, and the chance to try Kew’s new restaurant…

Santa and his helpers will be on hand to entertain youngsters, and a mini food village complete with fairground rides will be a perfect stop-off point for little ones. Sweet smells of mulled wine, mince pies and other festive treats will greet visitors from stalls along the trail, and the beautiful new Pavilion Bar and Grill will be open for dining. What’s more, the Botanical restaurant will be serving a special Christmas Dinner, which visitors can pre-book when purchasing tickets. 

Christmas at Kew admission:     

Tickets are on sale from 24 June: www.kew.org/christmas

Advance booking strongly recommended.

Advance Prices:

Adult                     from £18

Family                   from £52

Child 4 – 16          from £11

Under 4s free.

Transaction fee applies.

Open on the dates below:

Wednesday 20 November – Sunday 24 November

Wednesday 27 November – Sunday 1 December

Wednesday 4 December – Sunday 8 December

Wednesday 11 December – Tuesday 24 December

Thursday 26 December – Sunday 5 January

Book a timed ticket, entry every 20 minutes from 5pm. Last entry 8pm.

Choose your entry gate:

There are two entry gates. The main entrance is Victoria Gate. However, limited pre-paid parking (booked online in advance) is available at Kew’s Ferry Lane car park in conjunction with entry at Brentford Gate.