The official start to Christmas in Cardiff begins on Thursday 15, November as the city’s impressive calendar of festivities bursts onto the streets with Step into Christmas.
This unique street festival sees the city centre undergo a spectacular transformation with a wealth of Christmassy characters, music, lights and entertainment. Join the merriment and watch some truly magical festive performances in various locations across the city centre. The evening also marks the start of late-night shopping and the opening of Cardiff's Winter Wonderland with Admiral Ice Rink on City Hall Lawn which runs until Sunday 6 January 2018.
Cardiff Bus will be offering a reduced family ticket from 3pm (Thursday 15th November only) so visitors are encouraged to leave their cars at home and travel into the city centre for just £5.30 in Cardiff and Penarth zone or £7.50 in Cardiff & Barry zone (terms and conditions apply – see www.cardiffbus.com/family-travel for details)
Cabinet Member for Culture and Leisure, Cllr Peter Bradbury said: "Cardiff heralds the start of the festive season with Step into Christmas, a magical must-see event for all the family. This much-loved event is a firm favourite in the festive calendar and marks the start of the lead up to Christmas in the Welsh Capital.
“Cardiff prides itself on being an excellent city to visit at Christmas for residents and visitors alike. First-class shopping, Christmas Markets, entertainment and of course Winter Wonderland all go towards creating a festive atmosphere that you wouldn’t want to miss.”
From 15 November – 23 December, the Festive Quarter arrives as St John Street, Working Street, The Hayes, Trinity Street and Hills Street become home to over 80 beautifully decorated wooden stalls. Over 200 talented artists, crafts people and food and alcohol producers from across Wales offer an array of gifts such as Welsh slate, crafted candles, tasty cheeses, fruit wines and liqueurs, flavoured vodkas and gins, silver and enamel jewellery, pottery and original artwork. You will be able to find something for everyone on your Christmas gifts list whilst enjoying a cup of hot mulled wine as you browse.
New for 2018, Capitol Shopping Centre will host a range of indoor gift and activity stands. Run by Creative Cardiff, shoppers can enjoy a range of stalls from designing and making their own baubles, paint-your-own pottery and other gift making, all whilst listening to a live Christmas choir. For more information please go to https://www.facebook.com/cardiffcreativeshop
Widely acknowledged as one of Europe’s best outdoor ice rinks, this first-class attraction returns to city hall lawn with an even larger rink set under a sparkling starlit roof, meaning skating sessions can take place whatever the weather. Take in terrific views of the city and beyond from the Drop Tower, a new attraction for 2018 which takes riders breath away with a 90m drop from the skies and enjoy all the food and drink on offer in the authentic Sur La Piste, an impressive two-storey bar which can accommodate 400 Christmas revellers along with gondola style seating booths. Visitors can also enjoy the Alpine Village and the cosy, atmospheric Bier Keller.
Cardiff has Access Accreditation, allowing even more wheelchair users onto the ice.
Cardiff's number one visitor attraction offers festive fun throughout December. Visitors can expect to see Santa in residence, spectacular surroundings, beautiful decorations, magnificent banquets and wonderful entertainment. Don't miss the city's Christmas tree which has been kindly sponsored by Sayers Amusements and takes pride of place outside the castle gates, and the beautiful decorative reindeer adding a touch of added sparkle to this iconic landmark.
Tickets and further information: www.cardiffcastle.com
Cardiff's Central Market is worth a visit, a great place to get a taste of the city all under one roof. The impressive Victorian structure offers a unique shopping experience in the heart of a modern, bustling city and you'll find a wealth of products ranging from fresh baked bread and Welsh Cakes, flowers to records and sweets and hardware to pet supplies and fresh fish. Cardiff Market has been trading in one form or another since the 1700s. It has occupied the same site for over 100 years and although you will no longer find livestock tethered and penned outside its doors, some of the old features remain to this day.
On the 15 November we welcome Father Christmas as he takes up residence in a beautiful wooden chalet on Queen Street. Come and hear Rudolph sing and wish Santa and his friendly elves a Merry Christmas, bringing sparkle and wonder to any child's festive season.
When you’re all shopped out why not sit back and enjoy one of our seasonal shows. This year Beauty and the Beast is on the bill at the historical New Theatre. Lisa Riley, Gareth Thomas, Ben Richards, Mike Doyle, Danny Bayne, Adam C Booth and Stephanie Webber will bring Wales' No.1 pantomime to life with an abundance of comedy and music, sensational dance numbers, fabulous costumes and stunning scenery. Expect lots of laughter and quality entertainment for all the family and we join Belle on her spell-binding adventure. Will she see beyond the monster and fall in love with her captor before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose?
This breath-taking season from the Russian State Ballet & Orchestra of Siberia starts with Snow Maiden (19 -20 December) Protected from the outside world by Father Frost, the exquisite Snow Maiden plays innocently amongst the dancing snowflakes in the enchanted Land of Frost. Then get ready to be swept off to a mysterious place where nothing is quite as it seems in The Nutcracker (21-24 December). Watch with astonishment as toys spring to life, and the treacherous Mouse King battles the handsome Nutcracker Prince.
The greatest romantic ballet of all time, Swan Lake (27-31 December), features Tchaikovsky’s haunting score. From the majesty of the palace ballroom to moonlit lakes, this compelling tale of tragic romance has it all.
The series climaxes with world’s favourite rags to riches fairy-tale, Cinderella
(30 - 31 December) is an enchanting mix of Prokofiev’s energetic score, lively choreography and colourful costumes.
Seen by over 7 million people and the winner of over 85 international awards, it is the multi-award winning musical from the Royal Shakespeare Company, inspired by the beloved book by the incomparable Roald Dahl. Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a clever mind, is determined to change her own destiny, even if it means being a little bit naughty.
For more information go to www.visitcardiff.com
Cardiff Council Press Officer Danni Janssens Tel: 029 20872965