It may only September, but plans for Manchester’s Christmas Markets are already well underway.
Manchester’s Cathedral Gardens will be transformed into an Ice Village this Christmas, complete with ice sculpture cave, ice bar, ice rink, Santa’s grotto and even a steam train!
The train (made entirely from ice!) will take visitors on a tour the village, while the star of the show will be the ice cave, an immersive walk-through experience with a chilled ice bar and a menu of special festive drinks and cocktails.
The cave will be decorated with hundreds of hand-carved ice sculptures including mischievous elves, enchanted toys, snow foxes and polar bears all set against a factory backdrop of ice cogs and pistons to pay tribute to Manchester’s industrial heritage.
The story of Manchester will be woven throughout the cave, with ice sculptures referencing famous local figures from history including a nod to suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, as well as other legendary Mancunian symbols of football, music and Manchester’s worker bee.
And set amidst a grove of snow-covered trees and twinkling fairy lights, will be a Woodland Market, with stalls selling souvenirs, Christmas gifts and food and drink. Of course, you can’t have an Ice Village without an ice rink, perfect for those wanting to demonstrate their ice skating prowess as well as winter games and activities.
Opening on November 9, the Ice Village has been designed by Hamilton Ice Sculptors, creators of London Hyde Park’s Winter Wonderland Magical Ice Kingdom.
Cllr Pat Karney, Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesperson, said:
“The capital of Christmas just raised the festive bar once again. The Ice Village is the first-of-its-kind attraction in the UK that will transform our family-friendly area in Cathedral Gardens.
“The Ice Village will complement our world-famous Christmas Markets that will see more than 300 stalls spread across the city centre squares, bringing the festive season to life in Manchester.
“We’ve been waiting months to announce this incredible event and I can’t wait to be transported to a magical land of ice when it opens in November!”
Tickets will be available here from September 27.