Cathedral Gardens in Manchester city centre is soon to become the location of Britain’s first ever Ice Village.
The Ice Village will house a range of ‘breath taking ice attractions’, including a bar, a frozen toy factory, and even Santa’s Grotto.
The ‘unforgettable journey’ will begin with a ride on a steam train made entirely from ice, which will deliver you to the frozen toy factory where Santa’s helpers can be found crafting Christmas gifts and presents.
The Ice Village will be set against a factory backdrop, in recognition of Manchester’s industrial past. Throughout the experience well-known figures and symbols will make an appearance, including a suffragette train driver, footballers, musicians and the worker bee emblem.
Everything from the delicate ice robin structures to Santa’s frozen throne is carved from 250 tonnes of solid ice, which will be kept in a freezer until a few days before the event.
The company responsible for the Ice Village, Hamilton Ice Sculptors, said it is their ‘most ambitious undertaking to date’ following the Magical Ice Kingdom (a centrepiece of Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park and the biggest ice exhibition of its kind worldwide). The artists have already begun hand-carving hundreds of intricate sculptures which can be seen during the immersive walk-through experience.
There will be daily programmes of festive activities, many of which will be delivered on stage, including craft sessions and live choir performances.
In amongst snowy trees and sparkly fairy lights, the Woodland Market hosts winter games and will offer plenty of food, drink and Christmas souvenirs. But don’t forget to keep an eye out for mischievous elves wondering the village, magical toys and Arctic animals.
Expect rustic log benches at the Polar Bar on which to sip hot chocolate or mulled wine, and snug chalets for families or work gatherings to reserve.
The Ice Village is an addition to the popular Christmas Markets found in Albert Square and will also provide an ice rink.
Manchester City Council’s Christmas spokesman commented: ‘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.”
The Ice Village is free to enter, however there will be a charge for the ice sculpture exhibition, Santa’s Grotto and ice rink, which will be available to buy from the 27th September by visiting www.icevillage.co.uk
Opening times: 11am-9pm daily from Friday 9th November till Saturday 5th January (excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Years Day).