News about the Omicron variant has cast yet more gloom and dismay and thrown Christmas plans into disarray for countless people.
The developments threaten to scupper arrangements made for the festive season.
But, thankfully, a couple of top Belgian tourist attractions are doing their bit to ensure that the much-awaited (and needed) holiday is not totally ruined.
From December 3 to January 16 two illuminated walks, from the creators of Antwerp’s famous “China Light”, will light up what are dark days in more ways than one.
One of the events takes place at Antwerp Zoo (open all year long) with the sixth edition of its ever popular “festival of lights”.
Every year, Antwerp Zoo forms the backdrop for a great light show and this year is no different.
This year the jamboree is dedicated to that kids’ favourite fairy tale, Alice in Wonderland. The enchanting story will be centre-stage of this year’s annual light show in Belgium’s 2nd city.
Visitors can take a fairy tale-like tour of what will be an illuminated zoo and, generally, have a fun time among the 320 characters and 18,000 lights on a beautiful evening stroll in the open air.
Even better news this year is that the lights festival takes place not just at one Belgian venue this year, but two.
A second, similar event – but this one with a touch of “adventure” – takes place at Planckendael Zoo in Mechelen, a venue which is owned by the same group.
For the very first time, the open air zoo, located just north of Brussels, is hosting its own lights festival, called Dinolights.
Visitors at Planckendael can look out for an illuminated Brontosaurus or follow the lights to a towering Tyrannosaurus Rex.
With the coronavirus pandemic still unfortunately very much with us, both venues are fully compliant with all the Belgian health regulations, including mask wearing.
People can start a visit somewhere between 5.30pm and 8pm. The venues close at 10pm. It is also worth mentioning that a Covid Safe Ticket is required and a mask is also mandatory outside during the walk in the park.
A spokesman for the company said, “These are still very difficult times for everyone but we hope that the return of the lights festival at not just one but two venues this year will, literally, bring a bit of light into the lives of people in Belgium.”