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5 reasons to visit Connected by Light 2020 at Canary Wharf with kids

Connected by Light is taking the place of the Winter Lights festival for 2020 and brings a specially curated selection of light artworks to the Canary Wharf estate.

As the winter nights draw in, Connected by Light brings a splash of colour through some of the UK’s best light artists. The event is free and open for all – plus Canary Wharf are offering visitors three hours of free parking (when £10 is spent in any eateries or shops on site). So wrap up warm and check out our top five reasons we think you should go and visit.

It is outside and easy to socially distance

Tetra park by Mandylights at Westferry Circus

It is outside so the kids can get some much needed fresh air whilst taking in the lights in a Covid secure way. Although some installations can be viewed at any time of day (as you can see Tetra park enjoyed in the late afternoon by this young Londoner), others will only come to life after dark so, to experience the pieces dazzling at their best, we advise you visit after dusk. All installations will be switched off at 10pm daily.

It is magical and colourful

Artists Baker & Borowski have turned Crossrail Place Roof gardens into a magical neon wonderland that combines bright colours with lighting to magically playful effects. Explore a modern day version of Lewis Carroll’s much-loved Alice in Wonderland through this neon extravaganza. With plenty of selfie opportunities, giant sculptures and funny little details this space will bring some joy (and colour) to your life.

Let your imagination run wild

Brightly coloured neon flex transforms the tree’s bare branches into a dazzling display of light. Could it be snakes overtaking the branches, strings or neon spaghetti? Take your toddler along and listen to their creative interpretations. You can either visit in the day to see its subtle glow or visit at night to see the vibrant colours shine.

Relax to sound and music

There are also opportunities to get your zen on with pieces like Murmuration from Squidsoup which features several hundred networked orbs, each containing lights and speakers. Here you can visualise a swarm of networked data moving through real space and physically feel the sound travel through you. Murmuration was originally inspired by the flight patterns of flocks of starlings and here it has been transformed into digital form. Watch your little person marvel at the magic and take in some good vibes (we all need after the year that is 2020).

Use the city as your playground

Colour Cubed is a simple exploration of the beauty that comes from a single light source and it is incredibly playful as children can run around the geometric shapes, name the colours and delight in the shadows. While we are constantly surrounded by vibrant displays of constant technology, the artwork uses a single traditional lamp along with long-used coloured glass techniques to cast a display of coloured light just as brilliant, dominant and inspiring as any other artwork or object in our lives. This is a perfect example of where children can use the city as their playground. There are steps to climb, statues to explore and a bridge that leads to a variety of eateries nearby. SOLD!

Connected by Light is on until 27 February – more details and a map of all the artworks can be found on the Canary Wharf website here.