Brussels, Belgium is a winter wonderland, this Christmas season, with a variety of brand new activities to enjoy over the holidays.
We’ve given you plenty of ideas to get in the holiday spirit in Belgium, with Christmas Markets in Bruges, Ypres, Ghent, and the Grottes de Wonck. But this year, in addition to Brussels’ spectacular Winter Wonders Christmas Market, there are a few good reasons to stay in the city. The best part is most of them are on going well into the New Year.
The Brussels Ice Magic Festival
We’ve long been fans of the ice sculpture festival in Bruges. When Brussels announced its own icy wonderland, we had to check it out. We didn’t have far to go. Ice Magic is located in a giant temporary building in front of the Palace.
Put on your mittens (it’s -6°C inside) and step inside an icy ode to comic strips. Twenty ice artists, from around the world, have sculpted 420 tonnes of ice into your favourite comic heroes. You’ll see Belgian favourites like Tintin, the Smurfs, Asterix and Le Chat, as well as superheroes like Spiderman, Wolverine and Captain America.
Some of the ice sculptures are even interactive – You can step inside an ice Smurf house, relax in an icy hotel room, or grab a drink at the ice bar. You can even take a turn on the giant ice slide, like Andrew did.
Warm your hands with a hot drink at the Royal Café in its own (much warmer) building, just outside the ice sculpture festival.
Brussels Ice Magic Tickets cost €15.00 for adults, €13.00 for students and seniors, €11.00 for children up to 12 years and free for kids under four. You can also buy a family ticket (max 4 people) for €44.00. For more information and to order, check out the website.
The Brussels Skyliner
To catch a view of Brussels, unlike any other, climb on board the Brussels Skyliner. This 85m steel tower offers views (on a clear day) of up to 12km over central Brussels.
The Skyliner rotates while you climb, so there are no bad seats. (It is pretty tricky to take photos through the glass at night, with all of the reflections, though!)
The Skyliner costs €8.00 for adults and €5.00 for children. You can book your tickets on-line.
The Brussels Skyliner and Ice Magic festival run until February 9, 2014.
On the newly renovated Place de la Monnaie, you’ll discover a new addition to the Brussels Winter Wonders Festival. The Iceberg is an interactive installation meant to evoke the sounds and colours of a real Iceberg.
Visitors are part of the installation. As you walk through the Iceberg, lights and tones change – more people inside means more sounds and colours. It’s a unique and fun addition to the square.
Grand Place Light Show
After last year’s debacle controversy with modernising the Christmas tree, Grand Place is rocking Christmas ‘old school’ this year. There’s a big real tree, with plenty of twinkly lights and the light show is more conservative as well.
This year there are no elaborate projections on the Town Hall building, but instead, a colourful symphonic light display. We particularly enjoyed the rainbow colours at the end of the presentation.
However you spend your holidays in Brussels (and around the world), we wish you all the best for the New Year.
Looking for even more festive ideas? Don’t miss our Christmas Markets in Belgium and Europe page – compete with a Christmas Market schedule.
We’d like to thank Visit Brussels for inviting us to check out the Ice Magic and Brussels Skyliner and for their continued support in 2013.