Last year, The Ice Village came to Manchester for the very first time. Nestled amongst the atmospheric Christmas markets, which are now officially open for their twentieth year, it made for an Instagram dream and added an extra layer of Christmas charm to our city.
Well, guess who’s back (back again) for 2019? Situated in Cathedral Gardens, The Ice Village is bigger and better than ever. I was lucky enough to get a sneak preview of what’s on offer at the press launch last night and it’s open to the public from today, Friday 8 November.
Grab your gloves and get your skates on before this magical realm leaves Manchester on 5 January 2020. Here’s what you can expect:
This family-friendly walkthrough cavern features enchanting ice sculptures created by world-famous ice artists, in the shape of a magnificent dragon, a unicorn, griffin and other mythical beasts, along with a fairytale element. I love that it’s a truly interactive experience; you can take as many selfies as you like before your lips begin to turn blue thanks to the -10 degree temperature, sit in the Ice Regal carriage and there’s even a mini-ice slide to enjoy (it’s meant to be aimed at children under 12 yrs old but I absolutely had to try it out for myself. Video evidence is here if you want a laugh at my expense).
It is even really Christmas time without a ‘Meet and Greet’ from the main man himself? The Ice Village Santa’s Grotto gives you the chance to take the kids along from Weds 20 November for a very merry traditional Christmas experience.
Skate Manchester Ice Rink
Boasting a handy transparent roof this year, the ice rink allows us to skate under the stars without having to worry about the notorious Manchester rain putting a dampener on the evening. No matter what your skill level, this attraction is one for all the family to get involved in and recreate some ‘Dancing On Ice’ moves (or you know, just cling onto the edge as you nervously ‘skate’ around, like yours truly).
Ice Tiki Bar
The Ice Tiki bar at The Ice Village is South-pacific themed, strictly for the grown-ups and you can enjoy a free drink upon arrival. Giving off some real Polynesian Christmas party vibes – and serving up some incredibly moreish tropical cocktails – I’m earmarking this for my own annual Christmas Jumper Night Out with friends.
If you’d like to plan your own trip to The Ice Village, you can find out more and buy tickets here: https://icevillage.co.uk/buy-tickets/