This Christmas Riverside Ice and Leisure Centre will again be transformed into a magical winter wonderland.

Each weekend in December, starting on Saturday 2, the massive 56m by 26m ice rink will be adorned with Christmas decorations and a snow machines to create an extra special wintry feel for skaters to skate in the snow. The wonderland includes a Santa's Grotto, his elves and special appearances by Pop the Penguin.

Councillor Julia Jeapes, portfolio holder for Leisure at Chelmsford City Council, is looking forward to the festive season in Chelmsford. She says: "We're very fortunate to have such a good ice rink in the city and it's wonderful that we can transform Riverside again this December to create the perfect winter wonderland not just for the people of Chelmsford, but also for those from all over Essex to come and skate here." Councillor Jeapes continued: "Although the Riverside redevelopment is well under way, the ice rink and leisure centre are still open and continue to provide excellent facilities for everyone."

The winter wonderland will also be open for non-skaters to soak up the seasonal atmosphere and enjoy a mince pie and glass of mulled wine.

The Winter Wonderland will be open every weekend in December including Christmas Eve (2/3, 9/10, 16/17 and 23/24). Santa's Grotto will be open 10am to noon and 2.30pm to 5pm and will cost £5.20 for skaters and £8.70 for non-skaters. Weekend skate sessions will be £7.80 for Leisure Card holders and £8.80 for non-card holders, whilst family skate sessions will be £23.10 for Leisure Card holders and £26.10 for non-card holders. Under-fives are free, if they are visiting the grotto.

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