For the second time, Cathedral Gardens in Manchester will be transformed into the Ice Village as part of the award-winning Manchester Christmas Markets.

The Ice Village will include Santa’s Grotto and an ice rink with a clear ceiling so guests can skate under the stars whatever the weather. The Village will also feature traditional and festive market stalls selling gifts, as well as food and drink.

The main attraction of this year’s Ice Village will be the Ice Cavern – a temporary structure containing an ice sculpture carved out of 250 tonnes of solid ice. The cavern itself will be maintained at an interior temperature of minus ten degrees, to ensure that all visitors can view the sculpture.

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Last year’s ice sculpture was of Father Christmas’s toy shop, but in 2019 the attraction will be ‘a land of snow and ice, inhabited by mythical beasts such as unicorns, griffins and even a monstrous dragon’.

Manchester Christmas Markets’ statement reads: “The spectacle does not end with these beasts, however – they are guarding the gates of a frozen castle, entirely made from ice. The castle itself contains even more fantastical elements, such as a meeting with a prince and princess, and an icy royal carriage that visitors can actually step inside.”

The Ice Cavern will also contain a larger-than-ever ice bar, with a Tiki theme. The Ice Bar itself will contain ‘Moai’ ice sculptures, tropical cocktails served in ice cups. The Ice Cavern will also contain a mini ice slide for children to play on.

Work on the Ice Cavern and the vision inside started as early as June, to ensure it would be ready when the Ice Village opened.

Manchester’s Christmas spokesperson, councillor Pat Karney, said: “The Ice Cavern was a magical addition to Manchester’s renowned festive celebrations last year and their fantastical plans for this Christmas surpass all our expectations. I know that visitors will be blown away by this mythical creation and I for one can’t wait for it to open and to visit this brand new ice experience.”

The Manchester Christmas Markets will be open from 8 November 2019 – 5 January 2020. Find out more at: