River of Light 2018: What’s on, where to watch & the best family dining deals

The countdown to River of Light 2018 is on and we’ve got all the info you need to plan a thrilling bonfire night on the waterfront. Watch above as Jay meets Robin Kemp from Culture Liverpool for all the info you need.

Both sides of the River Mersey will be lit up by fireworks on Sunday 4th November 2018 as River of Light: The Elements in association with Royal Liver Building 360 returns for its third year of wowing the crowds.

Brand new for 2018, The Elements, four specially commissioned artworks will light up waterfront buildings from Friday 2nd until Sunday 4th November adding another reason to enjoy a memorable night on the waterfront with all the family. Read on for more info.

Entertainment on the waterfront of Wirral and Liverpool begins from 5pm, with the sensational fireworks display kicking off at 6:30pm. Our advice is to make a day of it and claim your spec nice and early for the best view. With that in mind, we’ve brought together all the info you need to know to make your River of Light 2018 experience a truly memorable one.

Here’s our River of Light best vantage points, dining deals, treats for the kids and travel info…


The Elements

The Elements are four specially commissioned artworks that will light up parts of the water front from 5pm on Friday 2nd November. The installations will represent the elements which underpin Chinese philosophy: wood, water, earth and metal, with the fireworks themselves covering the fire element. From Mann Island Basin, The Royal Liver Building, The Strand and the Pier Head Canal, you can experience, Terra, Pool of Mirrors, Anahad and The Wave. More info here.


Street Entertainment

The Guide Liverpool

As with previous years, River of Light celebrations spill out across the waterfront. Keep your eyes peeled for fire artists and performers, a fire-breathing dragon at Royal Albert Dock and some ghostly pirates at the Black Pearl over in New Brighton. Our advice is to get down to the waterfront early and soak up the atmosphere and free entertainment.


The Best View

At 6:30pm fireworks will be set off from the water’s edge and huge barges floating on the Mersey, and will be accompanied by a soundtrack played from key areas and venues along the waterfront and…..there’s room for everyone. Click here for information on accessibility at Museum of Liverpool.

Liverpool

On the Liverpool side of the Mersey we suggest heading to the waterfront from Princes Parade and Pier Head to the Royal Albert Dock. We’ve also been told that if you can’t get into the city centre, there’s a pretty good view from Everton Brow and Crosby beach too.

Wirral

Wirral River of Light Fans can line the Mersey from New Brighton, right the way along the seafront to Seacombe.


Family Dining

We’ve lined up 5 of the best family-friendly and dock-side restaurants to pre-book your River of Light dinner. From light bites on the go to Italian feasts for all the family, here’s our top venues for bonfire night weekend…..

1- Wheeler’s of St James, Kings Dock

For a great value family dinner on the waterfront, head to Wheeler’s of St James’s at Kings Dock. Not only is it a fab location to watch the River of Light fireworks, but kids eat free too! More on menus and booking here. 

2 – Lock & Key, Hanover St

Lock & Key is the perfect place to carb load before the waterfront fireworks. Now serving up a Neapolitan Pizza menu, you can munch 6 different flavour combo’s fresh from the over from 4-10pm. Menu and more here. 

3 – Dockside Dining Club, Mann Island

If you can’t decide what you fancy ahead of the fireworks, head to Dockside Dining Club. Halloumi fries, delicious sushi, burgers, pulled pork, buttermilk chicken, fish n chips are all on offer under one dockside roof. Book your table here. 

4 – Santa Maluco, Castle St

There’s a double whammy of pizza and some of the city’s best coffee on offer at Castle Street’s Santa Maluco as they continue their collab with Bold St Coffee, perfect for getting warmed through post fireworks! Menu here. 

5 – Yard & Coop, Hanover St

We love a great value family dining deal and Yard & Coop have nailed this one. Kids eat free from 12-6pm and can feast on the best buttermilk chicken, fries and sides the city has to offer. Check out the menu here. 

6 – The Club House, Liverpool ONE

Dine in style at The Club House during the River of Light 2018 and tuck into the famous hanging kebabs, straight from the spit. We highly recommend ALL the desserts here too! Menus here. 

7 – Marino Lounge, Marine Point

Marino Lounge at Marine Point serves up everything from brunch to tapas, puddings and vegan/veggie delights with something for all the family. It’s also dog friendly! More info here. 

8 – Cabovino, Victoria Road

Cabovino has just added some tasty new additions to its Autumn menu. Pop in and get warmed through with tapas, freshly baked cakes and coffee. Menu here. 

9 – What’s Cooking

Since 1978 family fave, Whats Cooking has been flipping prime burgers, big old sharing boards and a kids menu bursting with flavour. Book your table on the dock here. 

10 – Ma Boyle’s Alehouse & Eatery

If it’s British classics you’re after, wander up to Ma Boyle’s Alehouse & Eatery on Sunday and order the lush fish and chips, or book a table and take on the Sunday Roast Fondue (complete with gravy lava!). Menus and more here. 


Travel

The Guide Liverpool

As with any city centre event, it’s going to get busy. We echo the advice from Cuture Liverpool and suggest using public transport for your journey. A family of 5 can travel by bus with Arriva North West (off-peak unlimited) for less than £12. Check out the journey planner here.

If you’re jumping on the train, Merseyrail offer service to more than 65 stations across Merseyside, meaning you can ditch the car and arrive at James St, Liverpool Central and of course, New Brighton stations without fuss. Download the Merseyrail app here.

Official travel advice and road closure information from Culture Liverpool can be found here.


Don’t forget to share your pics on social media using the official hashtag #RiverofLight and keep it locked to @TheGuideLpool on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram as we bring you all the waterfront action as it happens.

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