ONE of the highlights of Cardiff’s calendar, Winter Wonderland, opens on Thursday (November 12) outside City Hall.
A new feature this year is the Ice Kingdom, a hall of Welsh-themed sculptures carved from blocks of ice and kept at a temperature of -8 degrees. Also, the regular ice rink, funfair and food stalls are back.
Last year was challenging for Winter Wonderland, as poor weather forced it to close for several days and a broken ride caused problems. This year, however, the site is looking to entertain even more people over its 51-day opening period.
Ice skating sessions run from the morning until 10pm every night, and beginners and experts are welcome.
The Alpine village sells festive food and drink, including favourites like mulled wine and bratwurst. There are cosy chalet-style bars and indoor seating in which to enjoy your snacks and warm up after a skating session.
If Winter Wonderland is not your thing, here are some other events coming up over the next few weeks.
DANCE: If you’re a fan of Strictly Come Dancing, then the inaugural Cardiff Dance Festival should be right up your street.
A wide rang of events, from performances to workshops and masterclasses are taking place all over the city until November 22.
Welsh artists, such as National Dance Company Wales, and international stars like Belgian choreographer Jan Martens, are involved in productions.
Hotly-tipped performances include Canadian star Dana Michel’s work Yellow Towel which explores themes of race and identity, and I Loved You and I Loved You by Sweetshop Revolution.
This piece was commissioned by Coreo Cymru and combines music and dance to explore the life of Morfydd Owen, an extraordinarily talented musician.
Venues include the Millennium Centre, Chapter Arts, and Dance House.
THEATRE: For an original theatre experience, go to Hijinx Theatre’s production of The Silent Toy Soldier next month (December).
This adaptation of festive favourite The Nutcracker will feature a cast including actors from Hijinx’s community theatre group and pupils from Woodlands High School.
Music will be provided by students from University of South Wales students, and will update Tchaikovsky’s famous score for a more contemporary production.
The show will be performed at the Weston Studio in the Millennium Centre on December 3, 4 and 5. Tickets cost £8.
RUNNING: If you want to do something sporty for a good cause this Christmas, Welsh Hearts are putting on the Great Cardiff Bay Santa & Elf Dash on December 6.
The 5km run will raise money and awareness for heart health this Christmas. Last year over 1,000 people took part, many of them in costume.