Christmas fun at Winter Wonderland Manchester – A Review
With Christmas fast approaching and the countdown to the end of term coming, we have been looking forward to some Christmas family fun times. The first being a night at Winter Wonderland Manchester at the Event City which is an indoor winter theme park for people of all ages. We had heard really good things about this last year and with NOM now turning 3, we thought she was now at an age that she could start appreciating the different attractions it had to offer.
We arrived at Event City just as they had started opening the over flow car park so we were expecting it to be extremely busy which wasn’t the case at all (although I can imagine it being a lot busier at weekends and busy chopping time what with being just round the corner from the Trafford Centre). A quick queue to collect tickets and then to get through the main entrance and off we went. We were greeted by an array of attractions and NOM’s face just highlighted to us that she very much approved of what she was seeing!
Santa was the first to be visited as we thought he might get busy. The Meet and Greet Santa is free but if you wanted a gift included then you had to purchase a token which cost £3 so we decided it was worth this. We were gambling a bit really with this as we knew already that NOM became really shy when going to see him before. When we got the the front of the queue and met the friendly elves manning the booth, we knew by her reaction that seeing Santa was not going to go down well. Funnily enough we were right and although we didn’t get a photo of them together, she enjoyed seeing the reindeer afterwards and was excited about the elephant toy she got to pick herself – so for me, the £3 was definitely worth it. If you wanted a photo, it was an additional £7 per copy.
It was then onto trying some of the rides that Winter Wonderland had to offer. There were many to choose from and they had a great selection that would cater for a range of ages. NOM could go on most of the rides and with L only being 8 months, he was quite happy just looking at all the lovely colours and laughing at his sister. NOM decided to try various little rides such as the merry go rounds, an elephant ride that went up and down, the caterpillar roller coaster and the runaway mine train just to name a few. I also found watching the bunking bronco ride hilarious whilst I waited for NOM and daddy to come off one of the rides – it looked liked lots of fun and lots of calamity to be had on that ride! There were also other older rides such as the bumper cars and waltzers for older children and classics such as the haunted house – a great selection for kids young and old!
There were also a handful of eateries to try which served festive burgers and food along with the usual contenders such as chips, nuggets, hot dogs which I am such would cater for most taste buds. But be prepared to pay £4 per burger and as we came after tea, we cannot comment on the tastiness of the food although it did look and smell good! For the grown ups there is also a lovely festive bar serving alcoholic drinks so if you fancied a festive tipple then this would be the place to visit.
Now one of the main attractions we knew NOM would love would be the Sooty Show so we made sure we didn’t miss it. We were able to get a seat easily and they had even made a nice section at the front of the stage for the younger children to sit so that they could see better. NOM refused to sit there but sat on daddy’s knee throughout the show. It was fun to watch and NOM was in her element dancing and watching her beloved Sooty! Definitely one part of Winter Wonderland any little one would love. We also knew that there was a Christmas Circus event too but alas we were unable to make this as well as Sooty as NOM wanted time on the rides. The evening went by so quickly and before we knew it, 9pm had arrived and NOM was getting extremely tired so after a quick bouncy castle visit (it would be rude not to!) we decided to make our way home.
Tickets for Winter Wonderland Manchester cost £18.50 per adult and child who are 3 and over, but you can also get a family ticket for £60 (valid for 2 adult, 2 children or 1 adult 3 children). This may seem a bit steep but all attractions are included in this price which I think this price is relative with going to a theme park. We found that as sessions are limited to 4 hours long, the rides weren’t really busy so you had a fast turnover of getting on each, and the place didn’t seem too over crowded. They do two sessions a day so there is a time to suit most families and the event is on from the 13th December to the 4th January which is ideal as it’s the Christmas holidays! Please do check their website for specific times and dates and where you can book tickets directly for your chosen slot.
For us it was a great Christmas time day out for all the family with us all having an enjoyable time but just make sure you plan your session well so as not to miss out on any of the rides and events Winter Wonderland have to offer!
*Please note that in order for me to write this review I was provided with tickets for Winter Wonderland Manchester free of charge but all my views are my own*