Get your mittens, bobble-hats and fur-lined coats ready…
So here we are, on the cusp of a new year and a new decade and while Egypt's surprisingly biting winter has begun to take its toll, we have the perfect remedy in what is one of the most unique winter experiences on the planet.
Giving Cairenes an authentic taste of this most festive of seasons, 'ZED Park Presents Winter Wonderland Cairo' has taken over Sheikh Zayed’s most spectacular new space, with select guests getting a little sneak peek of what's to come with a soft opening last weekend. The 60-acre paradise of greenery has been transformed into, well, quite literally a winter wonderland – one that boasts a whole host of rides, attractions, games, events and that intangible seasonal spirit that seems to rear its jolly head at this time of the year.
Now, ZED Park can’t make it snow, but it has brought the next best thing – a full-blown, 800 sqm ice rink. It’s one of several main attractions taking centre stage alongside a gravity-defying swing and the kind of cheery, intricately-bedecked carousel you thought only existed in movies, as well as the piece de resistance: a sky-high, 50-metre-plus Ferris wheel that will be unveiled later this month.
These attractions anchor separate zones that the park is divided into (The Funfair, Rush, Snow Land and Picnic Plateau, as well as the Kids’ Zone), where tens of other rides and games will be available for all to frolic through, including everything from 24 classic carnival games, to a mega trampoline, tea cups, bumper cars, a footpark and a suitably spooky horror house, while world famous toy store and general factory of fun, Hamley's will also be setting up shop.
There's plenty to sink your teeth into (literally), with food and beverage stalls aplenty - from the hearty dishes of Butchers Burger and Kazouza, to the sweet-tooth-satisfying delights of Cinnabon and Coldstone, to the warm embrace of Brown Nose Coffee and Lebanese Roastery, there's certainly no shortage of variety to make this a giant stocking-full of fun.
This is all just the tip of the iceberg, however, and live music and entertainment are set to play a huge part in Winter Wonderland. So much so, in fact, that a music extravaganza by the name of MEME (Middle East Music Event, pronounced meh-mey) is serving up three days of non-stop music between January 9th and 11th - and when we say non-stop, we literally mean non-stop. Shaping up to be something truly memorable, the three-day, two-stage spectacular will see the Middle East's biggest acts come together under one roof, setting the tone for ZED Park's positioning as a uniquely all-purpose location that keeps top-notch live entertainment at its heart. It also sets up a series of stand-alone concerts at ZED Park that are bringing several huge names to the table - but we've been sworn to secrecy...
What we can tell you, though, is that Winter Wonderland Cairo is going to be nothing short of epic, thanks in part to this coming as a collaboration between ZED-Sheikh Zayed and prolific international entertainment & event management agency, Alchemy Project, the leading entertainment and event management company in the region. 'Tis the season to be jolly, indeed.