Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

WHO'S IN THE MARKET FOR CHRISTMAS FAMILY FUN? ; amid the Hustle and Bustle of the City Centre's Seasonal Spectacular, a Child-Friendly Entertainment Space Has Been Carved out in Cathedral Gardens. amid the Hustle and Bustle of the City Centre's Seasonal Spectacular, a Child-Friendly Entertainment Space Has Been Carved out in Cathedral Gardens.M.E.N. Parent Writer EMMA GILL Visits Manchester's Christmas Markets with Her Two Young Children - Chloe, Seven, and Luke, Five - as the First Family Section Is Launched at Cathedral Gardens

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

WHO'S IN THE MARKET FOR CHRISTMAS FAMILY FUN? ; amid the Hustle and Bustle of the City Centre's Seasonal Spectacular, a Child-Friendly Entertainment Space Has Been Carved out in Cathedral Gardens. amid the Hustle and Bustle of the City Centre's Seasonal Spectacular, a Child-Friendly Entertainment Space Has Been Carved out in Cathedral Gardens.M.E.N. Parent Writer EMMA GILL Visits Manchester's Christmas Markets with Her Two Young Children - Chloe, Seven, and Luke, Five - as the First Family Section Is Launched at Cathedral Gardens

Article excerpt

SCARRED from an experience fighting my way through the crowds at Albert Square with a pushchair a few years back, I was a little hesitant in returning to Manchester's Christmas Markets. For many people the markets are synonymous with enjoying a night time drink - getting merry on a mug of mulled wine or supping a pint of German beer. With little ones in tow, it's a completely different ball game and even the thought of heading there can be a bit daunting in itself. But with the promise of a new family zone for 2015 and armed with the knowledge that Sunday morning is one of the quietest times to go, even the looming downpour wasn't going to deter us from giving it a go this year.

Aiming to arrive at 10am sharp, we did of course arrive at 11. Following a sign for a car park in Bury Street, off Chapel Street, it was a nice surprise to be able to park at the side of the road for free - a perk of parking in Salford - and not face too much of a trek into the city centre with the little legs. Within 10 minutes we were at the heart of the family zone in Cathedral Gardens, greeted by the smell of sizzling sausages and the whirring of the children's rides.

A vintage fairground has been set up within the gardens offering four rides: the Santa Convoy and Polar Express rides for Pounds 2 each and the vintage carousel and Ferris wheel costing Pounds 2.50 each.

There is a kiosk where tickets for the rides need to be bought in advance.

Children can't go on the wheel alone, so it's an extra Pounds 2.50 for an adult, but if you only splash out on one ride I'd say this is worth it to see the city getting festive from on high.

The length of the ride depends on how busy it is at the time - yet another reason to head along first thing or on a weekday when the place is less crowded.

It was soon time to sample some of the food on offer.

Thankfully my children like sausages and one Pounds 4.50 hot dog was big enough for them to share.

If your kids aren't sausage fans then other stalls are selling burgers and vegetable spears - with lots more available in huts just round the corner in Exchange Square.

And if you want to head inside to eat, Cathedral Gardens is home to Byron, where kids can get a main, side and a drink for Pounds 6. …

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