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MANCHESTER’S much-anticipated Ice Village has finally opened as the Christmas Markets were officially launched.
The village, the first of its kind in Britain, is in Cathedral Gardens and features an Ice Cavern displaying hundreds of intricate ice sculptures, from animals and elves to a giant steam train.
In fact 250 tonnes of ice have been used to create everything from a yeti and a polar bear, to Christmas toys and, of course, Father Christmas and Rudolph. But as well as the cavern, which is home to the cool-looking Ice Bar, there’s an ice rink, Santa’s grotto, a stage offering a daily programme of festive activities and entertainment, and free craft and pottery sessions for the kids.
The Ice Village itself is free to enter and there are some free activities, but tickets are needed for the Ice Cavern, grotto and ice rink and there are some paid-for games too.
There are lots of photo opportunities, like the ice reindeer ice block and you can take a seat on one of two frozen ‘fireside’ thrones at Santa’s Workshop, where you’ll also find his trusty Rudolph.
The Ice Cavern is an interactive experience - you can touch the ice, but parents will need to watch their little ones around the intricate statues.
Slots can be booked for the Ice Cavern, with new sessions starting every 15 minutes, and you can spend as long as you like inside.
Tickets cost £9 for adults and £7 for children (up to the age of 15). A family ticket, for either two adults and two children, or an adult and three children, costs £28. Children aged three and under go free but still need a ticket. A £1 booking fee applies per transaction.
Some of the impressive ice sculptures on show at the Ice Village in Catherdral Gardens