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Clifton and Bristol at Christmas

PUBLISHED: 11:44 13 November 2007 | UPDATED: 14:55 20 February 2013

Lights on Clifton Suspension Bridge

Lights on Clifton Suspension Bridge

Clifton, that chic and elegant outpost of Bristol, will be going to town on lavish and sophisticated window displays throughout December, while a children's fair is planned for 1 December. But for the area's most comprehensive...

Clifton, that chic and elegant outpost of Bristol, will be going to town on lavish and sophisticated window displays throughout December, while a children's fair is planned for 1 December. But for the area's most comprehensive and exciting festive programme - complete with animals - head straight for Bristol Zoo up on Clifton Downs. The team there have put together a fabulous seasonal feast and have already unveiled their spectacular outdoor ice-skating rink. Either combine your skating session with a day out at the Zoo or take to the ice for an 'after-hours' ice rink only experience, where you can skate under the stars to the accompanying sound of the roaring of lions! With a background of festive twinkling lights and activities - all under a giant Christmas tree in the heart of the award-winning gardens - this unique opportunity will make for a truly memorable and magical experience.


You can also be part of the big Christmas launch at Bristol Zoo on 1 December. There is free child entry between 9am and 12 noon with a paying adult, if you take a home-made tree decoration for the Zoo's giant Christmas tree. The tree will be decorated throughout the day ready for the big switch-on at dusk. Santa opens his grotto at 11am and will be switching the Christmas lights on as night falls. You can also get into the festive spirit at the Zoo's Gardens by joining the chorus at one of the annual carol-singing evenings. Three animal houses will be open late and Santa will be in his grotto each evening between 6pm and 8pm. Winter warmers include mulled wine, hot chocolate and Santa snacks.


It's not only the elegant shops of Clifton Village and Whiteladies Road that will be going to town this Christmas. Head for Broadmead, Park Street and its environs for more Christmas retail therapy; and in inclement weather take the chill off in the Malls at Broadmead and Cribbs Causeway. Santa is already ensconced in his grotto at both Malls so there's no time to lose!


WHAT'S ON


1 December: Clifton Children's Fair


1 December: Tree Decoration and Switch-on of Lights by Santa. Bristol Zoo, tel 0117 974 7399, www.bristolzoo.org.uk


1, 2, 8, 9, 15-23 December: Santa's Grotto at Bristol Zoo


8 December: Christmas Fair. Bristol's City Museum and Art Gallery, 10.30am-4pm, tel 0117 922 3571


8 December: Christmas in the time of Elizabeth I. Red Lodge, 10am-4pm, tel 0117 921 360


18, 19, 20 December: Carol-singing at Bristol Zoo. 6pm-8pm, book early to guarantee a session tel 0871 472 0418, www.bristolzoo.org.uk.


Visit Bristol: tel 0906 711 2191 (50p/min), www.visitbristol.co.uk


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