Top photo credit: Delinquent
Escaping Hong Kong to seek snowy climes abroad is the way many get their wintry fix over the holidays, but now you can travel as close as Macau to get your snow on. Cotai Strip has created a unique Christmas atmosphere with its Ice World, ice rink, winter markets, ice sculpting, Santa Claus and a themed Christmas feast. It’s enough to make you almost feel like you’re actually cold.
A World of Ice
In the Ice World, you really will feel the chill – inside the Cotai Expo, they’ve dropped the temperature to minus eight degrees. This ice sculpture exhibition features the carvings of renowned Harbin Ice Festival artists who have used their skills to whip up all the characters from DreamWorks animated films as well as a few of Macau’s iconic landmarks. Shrek, The Croods, Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon all appear within the freezing depths. There’s also as a Madagascar-themed slide made of ice that’ll send you hurtling down its slippery slope. Visitors will be all bundled up in their snuggly puffer coats, thoughtfully provided at the entrance to Ice World. There are plenty of fun photo opportunities around every corner and you’ll hear shrieks of delight from chilly children echoing throughout the halls.
Madagascar slide at Ice World
The whole Shrek family made of ice!
Outside, The Venetian has been doused with a healthy heaping of the white stuff and – yes – it’s snow! Perhaps not the frozen kind, but close enough to give the fun appearance of a fluffy spattering of wintry weather. With icicle décor and stilted Christmas trees walking around, the winter markets on Cotai Strip feel almost Arctic. Small shops selling Christmassy treats and trinkets, as well as an outdoor café, are the perfect places to watch the “Seasons of Wonder” 3-D light and sound show that is projected onto the exterior of The Venetian. You can even take a moonlit gondola ride on the lagoon and be transported to Venice through the gondoliers’ operatic Italian songs. An outdoor ice rink also adds to the atmosphere, so you can get your skates on and try your legs on the slippery stuff for a spin round the pond. To truly make it a holiday event, Old St Nick will be paying a visit to St Mark’s Square in The Venetian from the beginning of December right up until the 25th, so kidlets can ask for their annual wishes and get their photos taken.
Christmas Feast with DreamWorks Gang
On the back of their popular Shrekfast with the DreamWorks Gang (a themed buffet breakfast), just in time for the holidays, Sands Cotai Central are offering a Christmas feast with the DreamWorks Gang on 25 and 26 December. Not only will children and their parents get to meet all their favourite animated film stars in person, but they will also get to enjoy the themed supper, with dishes such as Dragon Warrior’s noodles, Po’s dim sum, Favourites of the Furious Five and Far Far Away Kingdom pastries. Kids will get to spend time with each character as they make their way around the ballroom, stopping at each table to shake hands, hug and pose for pictures with delighted youngsters (and their parents! I mean, who doesn’t want a hug from a big green ogre?). The delicious food is innovatively decorated with clever touches, from the dim sum dumplings with panda faces to the creative names for each and every dish.
Shrekfast with Po and Tigress
Shrekfast with Puss in Boots
Macau might not be the first place to come to mind when thinking of a wintry destination for your Christmas holidays this year, but it’s certainly giving Norway a run for its money with all the snowy fun and kidtastic activities.