Posted: Thu 27th Oct 2016

Cardiff ‘Hofficially’ Steps Into Christmas /
This article is old - Published: Thursday, Oct 27th, 2016

What do the Gruffalo, Santa Claus, outdoor ice-skating and David Hasselhoff all have in common? They’re all part of this year’s fun-filled festive season in Cardiff which makes the Welsh capital the place to be for Christmas. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

It all starts on Thursday 10 November from 4:30 pm with the ‘Step Into Christmas’ street festival. See the city centre undergo a spectacular transformation with an array of Christmas characters, music, lights and entertainment including appearances from children’s favourite The Gruffalo and a parade of beautiful Cairngorm Reindeer pulling Santa’s sleigh through the city centre. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cabinet Member for Community Development, Co-operatives and Social Enterprise, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: “Along with our partners we are aiming to give the people of Cardiff a festive season to remember and attract national and international visitors to enjoy some of our world-class programme of events. It is a magical time of the year for adults and children alike and one thing is for sure – this Christmas there’s something for everybody in Cardiff.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

On the same evening Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland with Admiral Ice Rink will open on City Hall lawn, and this year there will be the addition of a roof over the ice rink, allowing skaters to enjoy the open air experience come rain or shine. Attraction favourites such as the Alpine Village, a Helter Skelter, and the Giant Wheel are also back by popular demand this year, along with a programme of entertainment throughout the season. Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland is operated by Sayers Amusements. Owner Norman Sayers said: “It’s great to be a focal point once again for the city’s festivities and this year we have the addition of a roof to ensure that people get the maximum out of this outdoor attraction.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Santa will be taking up residence in the Black Tower of Cardiff Castle from December 3 until December 23 and will be waiting by the fireside of his Grotto for all good boys and girls who deserve an additional present before Christmas. Meanwhile in the Castle’s Undercroft lessons on making the perfect Christmas decorations will be taking place on December 4 and a feast of festive screenings will be shown in the Underground Cinema on the 18th and 19th of December. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

For those who fancy more of an adrenaline rush this Christmas, Cardiff International White Water in Cardiff Bay offers the perfect gift – a voucher to try white water rafting, air trail and indoor surfing. Whilst down in Cardiff Bay get in the festive mood by visiting one of the many bars and restaurants on Mermaid Quay or sample the family entertainment available in the Red Dragon Centre. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Enjoy a ‘Practically Perfect’ festive treat as Disney and Cameron Mackintosh multi award-winning musical Mary Poppins come to the Wales Millennium Centre. The magical story of the world’s favourite nanny arriving on Cherry Tree Lane has been triumphantly and spectacularly brought to the stage with dazzling choreography, incredible effects and unforgettable songs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Other unmissable performances this season include The Russian Ballet Festival at St. David’s Hall whilst over at The New Theatre Baywatch star David Hasselhoff is playing the lead role of Captain Hook in this year’s pantomime at the New Theatre – Peter Pan. Tickets are now ‘hofficially’ on sale for the panto which runs from December 10, 2016 to January 8, 2017 and also stars comedian Mike Doyle. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

This year the Christmas Market in the Festive Quarter will be the largest ever seen in the capital with 200 stall holders over the 43 days leading up to Christmas Eve. Visit the alpine-style wooden chalet stalls and fill your stockings with festive foods and hand-crafted gifts then treat yourself to some street food including traditional bratwurst and mulled wine. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Chair of Cardiff Retailers Association, Simon Phillips said: “This Christmas promises to be hugely memorable and successful thanks to the events and attractions on offer which includes the Christmas Markets in the Festive Quarter. Cardiff offers a unique combination of designer brands, high street names as well as individual and independent shops so there is definitely plenty of choice this Christmas.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

With so much on offer across the city centre visitors are encouraged to take time to enjoy all the attractions at their leisure by taking advantage of the fast and frequent Christmas Shoppers Park and Ride service with day tickets from £4 per person or groups from £5 (includes bus travel). ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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