16 November 2022

Plan the perfect evening at Christmas at Kew

With a new route, new installations and tasty food and drink, there’s a lot to enjoy at Christmas at Kew this year.

By Ellen Reid

Cascades of white light forming a bright tunnel

Kew’s iconic winter light-trail is ten this year!

Here’s how to make the most of celebrating a decade of Christmas lights and wonder. 

In with the new

For 2022 Christmas at Kew will follow a new route to accentuate more of the 12,000 trees and other botanical treasures in the Gardens. Wander beneath colourful canopies and wonder at futuristic neon trees and branches illuminated with stars.

Enjoy five new installations along the way, including an incredible immersive animation at Holly Walk by NOVAK, and Illusion Hole by UxU Studio, a mesmerising optical illusion that plays with the fluidity of water on the lake.

Immersive animation of Christmas images
Holly Walk at Christmas at Kew, Jeff Eden © RBG Kew

Make a wish

Pick your wish about the world’s biodiversity and tie it to one of our wishing trees on the light trail. These will be taken by Kew Scientists to COP15 in Montreal this December, and will show the world how important immediate action on biodiversity is.

Old favourites

Combining the magic of colourful lights and music, Kew’s iconic Palm House and adjacent lake will be lit-up with a series of breathtaking projections set to a soundtrack of beloved Christmas classics.

Walk through our famous Christmas Cathedral filled with thousands of twinkling fairy lights: the perfect place for an Instagrammable selfie! There are plenty of other great photo opportunities at Christmas at Kew like the flickering flames of the fire garden and many other magical feasts for the eye (and lens).

Palm House lit up blue and purple, vertical fountains in foreground
Palm House during Christmas at Kew, Ines Stuart-Davidson © RBG Kew

Winter warmers

Warm up with a hot chocolate, mulled wine or spiced cider, or a tasty treat from independent street food vendors along the route.

Make the evening even more special with a delectable Christmas dinner at The Botanical Brasserie, available either before or after your ticket time.

Where to find food and drink at Christmas at Kew

A pair of food trays containing garnished halloumi fries
Halloumi fries at Christmas at Kew © KERB
Brownies, Christmas at Kew © KERB

Tick some gifts off your list

Christmas at Kew is a wonderful opportunity to buy presents for loved ones (or yourself!). Our shop at Victoria Plaza will have late opening hours or you can always browse and buy online.

With items ranging from books to toys, jewellery to homewares, fun online workshops and much, much more, there’s bound to be something to add some ho-ho-ho to your recipients.

Selection of gifts from Kew Shop
Gift from Kew Shop, Charlie Ghazi ⓒ RBG Kew

Appreciate the beauty of nature 

Admire the striking forms of our botanical treasures this winter. 

Majestic heritage trees along the route will be illuminated from different angles, with multicoloured neon swirls, dazzling stars and festive projections.

Take a moment to appreciate the beauty of nature and the importance of plants in all our lives.

Everything you need to know for Christmas at Kew

Family enjoying Christmas at Kew
Family enjoying Christmas at Kew, Jeff Eden © RBG Kew
Illuminated poppies in the trees
Floraison at Christmas at Kew, Jeff Eden © RBG Kew

Want more Christmas cheer?

Kew’s wild botanic garden in Sussex, Wakehurst, has its own enchanting lantern trail, Glow Wild, running selected evenings from November 24 to January 1.

Christmas at Kew

Book tickets for Christmas at Kew

Experience our magical trail, with a dazzling new route and a host of new installations.

Read & watch