We got a sneak preview of the new Wonderlights trail and it really is WONDERful 3 years ago

We got a sneak preview of the new Wonderlights trail and it really is WONDERful

We oohed, we aahed, we squealed excitedly and took a million photos – and that was just the adults.

The new Wonderlights opens at Palmerstown House Estate in Kildare tonight, and it genuinely is a wondrous experience. HerFamily was lucky enough to get the chance to preview what's the 'multi-sensory trail' before the grand opening, and we loved it.

The 2km trail winds through the grounds of the five-star hotel, which is best known for its championship golf course. Wrapped up in hats, scarves and extra layers, we set out after dark (ie 6.30pm at this time of year!) into the woodland. The track itself is laid out with flooring, making it easy to navigate for buggies, wheelchairs and little ones.

The first thing we encountered was a giant swan, made from hundreds of tiny lights, with her cygnet tucked under her raised wings. As we posed for the first of many, many photos beside her, we glimpsed her real life counterparts bobbing gracefully on the lake behind us.

The swans are just two of a collection of native Irish creatures, replicated in 12ft lights, that appear along the trail. Each is more enchanting than the last.

But what makes Wonderlights a truly special experience are the things you aren't expecting, such as the lifelike holograms that dart through the woodlands delighting kids and adults alike. There's also artworks and clever light displays to see, as well as a seriously WOW water feature that plays out over the lake. No spoilers, but make sure that you stop there for a few minutes.


Proving that less can be more, coloured lights projected onto the Estate's beautiful trees while soft music plays in the background was one of my favourite parts of the evening.

You might be wary of the winter weather, but a shower of rain only added to the effect – reflecting the lights in millions of droplets on the trees and making the pathway shimmer under our feet.

After the tranquillity of the woods, the trail comes to an end in a mini funfair where kids can run off any energy they have left. Our 11-year-old proved braver than the three adults who were with her – she rode the waltzer twice while we meekly looked on.

All in all it was a great evening for young and old alike. Definitely recommended.

Wonderlights runs at Palmerstown House until November 10. Tickets are €18 for adults and €15 for children, with under 2s free.