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Eat, drink, shop, be merry

By Zhou Wenting ( Shanghai Star ) Updated: 2014-12-19 09:54:53

Eat, drink, shop, be merry

There are a number of Christmas fairs operating throughout the festive season. [Photo by lu ping/shanghai star]

Getting in the mood for the holiday season is easy when surrounded by the festive cheer of a Christmas market. Zhou Wenting visits the city's hubs of yuletide cheer.

Christmas trees and neon lights are strung up in celebration of the happiest season. If you don't have any travel plans this year, there are many options in the city to enjoy Christmas. Several theme parks and Christmas fairs offer great opportunities for revelers to select gifts and enjoy typical Western delicacies for the festive celebration in a romantic atmosphere. Come join the carnival and make this Christmas one to remember.

WHERE TO GO

European Christmas Town

A Christmas town in European style will operate for two weeks covering an area as big as nearly three soccer fields. Visitors will enjoy the nice snowy view surrounded by elegant European buildings, huge Christmas trees and a fancy merry-go-round.

The town boasts 60 distinctive booths selling traditional pastry, such as French muffins, macaroons, and some delicacies specially provided for the party, including wine, gingerbread, and cookies.

Open: from Dec 13 to Dec 26, 3 pm to 9 pm from Monday to Friday and 10 am to 10 pm on weekends

Venue: Hongkou Natatorium, 500 East Jiangwan Road, Hongkou district 虹口游泳馆 虹口区东江湾路500号

Ticket: 50 yuan ($8) on workdays, 70 yuan on weekends, and 100 yuan from Dec 24 to 26

Ice Town

China's first-ever themed ice town will let you fulfill your childhood dream of making a snowman and throwing snowballs.

This fancy ice and snow world is divided into four sections: a Christmas market, simulated Poles, an ice and snow park, and a restaurant in snow view. Visitors will enjoy a huge maze made with ice blocks and experience Eskimos' ice hubs in the simulated Poles.

There is a bar made entirely from ice. The tables, chairs and even wineglasses are made from ice. Every customer needs to put on special coat and gloves as the room temperature is maintained at -5 C.

Open: from Dec 20 to March 8, 11 am to 8 pm

Venue: Shanghai Italian Center, 2095 Expo Avenue, Pudong New Area 浦东新区世博大道2095号

Ticket: 100 yuan on workdays, 130 yuan on weekends and holidays

Jinjiang Park

Shanghai's oldest amusement park will be open in the evening for two weeks during the Christmas season. All the facilities, including the city's tallest ferris wheel, the largest double-decker merry-go-round and the roller coaster, will be operational.

Delicate dishes from Michelin-starred restaurants will be served on the ferris wheel for an extra charge. A couple can enjoy the night view and the food for 90 minutes on the romantic ferris wheel.

Open: from Dec 12 to Dec 25, 5 pm to 9 pm on workdays, 10 am to 9 pm on weekends, holidays, Christmas Eve and Christmas

Venue: Jinjiang Park, 201 Hongmei Road, Minhang district 闵行区虹梅路201号

Ticket: 30 yuan per person

German Christmas Carnival

This is the first time that a complex of more than 100 German-style cabins has been set up in the city. Children and adults will experience a Christmas of traditional European flavor with Santa Claus, merry-go-round, inflatable castles and creative handiwork.

Visitors can also try the traditional German sausages, pork shank and black beer, dessert, and various festive foods from all over the world.

Open: Now to Dec 24, 1 pm to 9 pm on workdays and 11 am to 10 pm on weekends.

Venue: Xuhui Riverside, at the intersection of Longteng Avenue and Dong'an Road 龙腾大道东安路

Ticket: 30 yuan on workdays, 60 yuan on weekends and 100 yuan on Christmas Eve

Expo Origin

This is the city's first-ever indoor Christmas market. Santa Claus, reindeers and well-decorated carriages will be there to welcome you in the 3,000-square-meter English-style Christmas town. Typical street scenes and large snow-making machines will create a dreamlike atmosphere. There is a playground for children.

Open: from Dec 13 to 25, 4 pm to 10 pm on workdays and 10 am to 10 pm on weekends.

Venue: Zone 5 at the Expo Origin, 1368 Expo Avenue, Pudong New Area浦东新区世博大道1368号

Ticket: 60 yuan per person

Japanese Gourmet Food Carnival

Dozens of traditional Japanese delicacies, including dorayaki cake and matcha cheese cake, will be available at this nearly 4,000-square-meter gourmet food carnival. Visitors will also enjoy shows by popular stars, taiko performance (Japanese drum) and be greeted by Santa Claus and show girls.

When: from Dec 20 to Jan 3

Venue: the Bund Beach 上海老码头阳光沙滩

Address: 421 Waima Road, Huangpu district 黄浦区外马路421号

Ticket: 20 yuan on workdays, 40 yuan on weekends, and 100 yuan on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve

WHERE TO shop

L' Avenue

This UGG boot-shaped luxury shopping mall will light up the holiday with the first French Christmas fair, Les Lumières de L'Avenue, which brings to life a chic Christmas market with a series of unique European lifestyle brands. Vendors sell a mix of delicacies, handicraft gifts, Christmas and home decoration and children's products. Shoppers can rejoice in the holiday season with activities on every floor, from gift with purchase to limited time only privileges.

Duration: now through Jan 5

Address: 99 Xianxia Road, Changning district 长宁区仙霞路99号

Jing'an Kerry Center

Exquisite wooden toys and various signature delicacies for this season are on offer. There will be a Santa Claus that you can pose for photos with and balloon making courses on Dec 20 and 21, and choir singing on Christmas Eve and Day and a New Year countdown show on Dec 31.

Duration: now through Jan 4, 2015

Address: 1515 West Nanjing Road, Jing'an district 静安区南京西路1515号

Xintiandi Christmas Bazzar

You'll be embraced by the happiness of being surrounded with piles of gifts when walking through the bazzar. Along bustling Madang Road, the stalls will satisfy your fantasy of traditional and modern gifts and fulfill your dream of walking in a Christmas market together with your pets.

Open: every weekend this month, noon to 8 pm

Venue: Xintiandi Style, 245 Madang Road, Huangpu district 黄浦区马当路 245 号

Jiuguang Department Store

Visitors can select Christmas and New Year gifts for people of all age groups from a variety of designer labels in this Christmas market. Signature Western delicacies season will also be available.

When: now through Jan 3

Venue: the outdoor pedestrian street at Jiuguang Department Store, 1618 West Nanjing Road, Jing'an district 静安区南京西路1618号

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