Nottingham City Council is proud to announce this year’s city centre Christmas attractions will be the largest ever staged, helping to maintain the accolade of being one of the top UK Christmas destinations as well as one of the best Christmas market trips in Europe (European Best destinations 2019).
Winter Wonderland will open in the Old Market Square on Friday 15 November; offering seven weeks of family festive fun in the city, right up to New Year’s Eve.
Alongside the traditional mix of over 70 wooden chalet market stalls, new for this year will be a uniquely laid out enlarged 1100 square metre ice rink – making it the largest in the East Midlands and including a dedicated children’s area. People will also be able to skate along an ice path around the Old Market Square fountains.
Returning will be the ever-popular après ski bar Sur La Piste where people can enjoy hot mulled wine and other food and drink in cosy surroundings. The Altitude glass lounge bar will also be back giving people the opportunity to relax with a cocktail whilst enjoying the panoramic views of the city. There will be a new ice bar too which this year has an Alpine theme and the Helter Skelter bar returns to Long Row.
The thrilling Ice Mountain toboggan slide is making a return visit too giving people the opportunity to whizz down King Street into Old Market Square. There will be classic fairground rides including the popular carousel and traditional Christmas food and drink stalls for people to enjoy.
Trinity Square will have a new festive offering this year in the shape of THOR’S tipi* bar – a Christmas pop-up bar with a difference. A canvas tipi forms the bar, festooned with lighting. Inside, the bar is decked out with wooden tables and benches, cosy furs and a real fire pit, around which customers can soak up the Viking ‘hygge’ – (a Danish word for cosy, charming or special)
To accommodate these new attractions and to address restrictions on space, the opening of the Winter Wonderland will be celebrated with a smaller traditional tree lighting ceremony. This will be staged just after sunset with performances from ice-dance skaters from the National Ice Centre. The Sheriff and Lord Mayor of Nottingham will then switch on the tree lights, signalling the opening of the attractions all across the square.
The public is welcome to attend, but those who cannot make the late afternoon scheduling will have the opportunity to watch the ceremony via social media. Families are encouraged to come down that evening and over the opening weekend so that they are the first to experience the seasonal attractions of the wider Winter Wonderland.
Traditional neighbourhood switch on events are unaffected and the public is welcome to attend. Those confirmed at present are Bramcote Lane shops, Wollaton Friday 29 November; Sycamore Primary School Field, Emmanuel Church and the Chase Neighbourhood Centre, Monday 2nd of December; Bulwell Market, Monday 2 December; Dales Library Wednesday 4 December; and Bridgeway Shopping Centre, Thursday 5 December.
Plans are also in place for New Year’s Eve. With Nottingham Castle currently closed for redevelopment, last year’s event in Old Market Square saw 8-10,000 people gather for the first time in front of the Council House to bring in the New Year. Having listened carefully to event feedback, organisers plan to invest the fireworks funding used previously at the switch on event to enhance the quality of the midnight fireworks on New Year’s Eve. Families and groups of friends can see in the new decade with a free street party featuring Nottingham DJ’s, a midnight countdown and pyrotechnic display.
Cllr Dave Trimble, Portfolio Holder for Leisure and Culture at Nottingham City Council said: “We are proud of the quality Nottingham has to offer residents and visitors at Christmas in the city centre and I’m sure the new skating layout will be a real hit this year. We have listened to feedback from last year about the switch on event and have adjusted the timing and programme as we want visitors to have a great experience. The whole experience will have something to entertain and delight people of any age. The tree lighting ceremony will also be a memorable start to the extended Christmas programme for 2019.”
Edward Mellors – Mellors Group Events Director said: “We are really looking forward to getting Christmas underway with Nottingham’s Winter Wonderland which this year, with the new attractions, will be bigger and better than previous years. There will be something for everyone to enjoy and we hope visitors to the city and residents enjoy the festive season here in Nottingham.”
Richard Johal, a director of Nottingham Business Improvement District (BID), said: “It is great to see Nottingham’s Christmas offering going from strength to strength and with the expansion of activities to Trinity Square, it encourages people to visit other parts of the city. The Ice Rink is always a fantastic offering and the enhancements to that this year are welcomed. We’re really pleased to see more investment going into delivering a spectacular, enjoyable event in the heart of the city to celebrate the New Year too.”
* Thor’s Tipi Bar is subject to license