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Ice rink to open in Reading for Christmas

A REAL ice rink in Forbury Gardens is set to be the centre piece of an exciting programme of festivities in Reading’s town centre.

The ice rink, Reading Winter on Ice, will operate from 9 December to 4 January and will cap the town centre’s festive programme. The Christmas period starts on Saturday 15 November with the switching-on of the Christmas lights in the town centre, the Oracle and Broad Street Mall.

The Lighting Up Reading events will be followed later in November by Reading Christmas Food and Craft Fair in Town Hall Square from 27 November to 7 December and a beautiful pop-up gallery and shop, Make Reading, in the Town Hall, which will offer unique handmade gifts from Reading-based artists over the same period.

Other special events include the Civic Carol Service on 18 December, special shopping evenings, a Santa Run for charity on 14 December and of course the Hexagon’s Pantomime, Cinderella, which runs from 6 December to 4 January. There will also be plenty of opportunities for younger visitors to let Santa Claus know what they want for Christmas in the run up to Christmas as his hectic schedule takes him to Reading Winter on Ice, Broad Street Mall, Make Reading and John Lewis.

From 9th December to 4th January, the purpose built real ice rink, Reading Winter on Ice, measuring 30m x 12m and with a capacity of 120 skaters per session will take pride of place beneath the Maiwand Lion. Other activities will include a magical Santa’s Grotto, themed Christmas rides and - for the more adventurous - a thrilling 50 metre zip wire. Festive chalets will sell a range of seasonal gifts, and daily entertainment comes from local bands and carol singers.

“The ice rink and the other attractions at Forbury Gardens and throughout the town centre will make this year’s town centre festivities a real treat for residents and visitors alike. A trip to Reading’s Winter on Ice promises to be a fun, family-friendly night out with plenty to do see and do.”

– Cllr Paul Gittings, Reading’s Lead Member for Culture, Sport and Consumer Services

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Winchester gets festive

Christmas is arriving in Winchester today with the official opening of the Cathedral's ice rink.

The opening event will include Japanese drummers, skating polar bears, the blessing of the Christmas Tree, a formal welcome and opening by The Mayor of Winchester and even some fireworks.

Olympic champion and Dancing on Ice judge, Robin Cousins will help get the skating underway.