Chestnuts are roasting on an open fire, snow is falling all around us, we’re hanging up our stockings on the wall… Now it’s December, the calendar of Christmas events is in full swing, so there’s really no excuse not to soak up the cinnamon-scented festive spirit in your free time. But which iQ cities are pulling out all the stops this year? Let’s see where the mulled wine is in full flow this month.
One of the highlights of winter in Lincoln is the annual Christmas Market. This historic city is the perfect setting to enjoy atmospheric evenings at the market in the run-up to the big day. As well as stalls serving tasty Christmas treats and street entertainment, there’s a fun fair and big wheel which offers fine views over the city – it looks extra-magical when lit up at night. This is considered to be one of the best Christmas markets in the UK, so it gets busy, but it’s a must-see.
It’s the most wonderful time of the year to attempt to ice skate and fall flat on your face, because lots of other people will be doing the same thing. In Manchester this year, you can head to the Ice Village at Cathedral Gardens, apparently the UK’s biggest-ever ice attraction, and do just that. In addition, there’s an Arctic Bar, Santa’s Grotto and Ice Cavern with ice sculptures – and you can even get together with some friends and hire a cosy Arctic Hut for a couple of hours, if it gets a little too icy for your liking.
At last, a train you might actually want to catch – the Polar Express is coming to Birmingham this Christmas. You’ll find the famed locomotive at Platform 4 of Moor Street Station and, once aboard, the experience of the book and movie is brought to life with dancing chefs and waiters, hot chocolate and cookies, and a visit from Santa. Guests are encouraged to wear pyjamas (which we assume will make sense if you’ve seen the film).
A huge indoor fun fair named after Scotland’s national beverage, the Irn Bru Carnival returns to the SECC in Glasgow this Christmas. A great place to go on one of those quiet days between Christmas and New Year, it runs from 20th Dec all the way until 13th Jan and features a host of thrill rides including new additions Rotor and Airmaxx 360 – as well as some less dramatic attractions like skittles, a coconut shy and hook-a-duck. Quack quack!
The ever-popular Winter Wonderland returns to London’s Hyde Park this Christmas, with a range of attractions including a fun fair, circus shows and a Bavarian village full of cosy places to eat, drink and be entertained. New for 2018, you can also enjoy an immersive cinema experience based on ‘The Snowman’, a comedy club, and a Christmas show from the Teletubbies, where you can dress up as your favourite. OK, they haven’t suggested it, but you could.
If you want a taste of what Christmas was like back in the day, York Castle Museum’s Victorian street has gone festive for the season. With glowing Christmas trees, carols and original Victorian gifts to discover in its beautifully dressed shop windows, all the sights, sounds and smells will conjure up a vision of Christmas as it was 150 years ago. Even Father Christmas himself will be stopping by from time to time, so if you haven’t been good this year, you’d better have a good reason.
These are just a few of the festive happenings around the country – if you find one near you, post a pic on social media and tag it with #MyiQLife. We’d love to see what you get up to this Christmas. Now, who’s for a mince pie?
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