thiS chRiSt­maS iS go­ing to BE... chiLLED

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS - By EMMA GILL news­desk@men-news.co.uk @fam­i­ly­manc

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

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