Winter Wonderland is back for its second year at Event City in Manchester. We went last year and loved it, and I was delighted to be given the chance to review it again this year. Winter Wonderland is based indoors, right next to the Trafford Centre in Manchester. It’s open from 13th December to the 4th January, so plenty of time still to visit. Tickets can be booked online, and the price for a family ticket is £60.00. This will give you 4 hours inside Winter Wonderland, and they typically run 2 sessions most days. All the sessions available can be viewed on their website. You can also turn up and purchase tickets on the day, but bear in mind they do have a limit as to how many people they let in.
We decided to book for the 11am till 3pm session on a Sunday. Once you are inside, all the rides, Sooty Show, Circus and the meet and greet with Santa are included in the admission price. This is fantastic as you are not reaching for your purse every 5 minutes with shouts of ‘can we go on that ride mum please’.
We got to Event City at 11.15am and there was a short queue at the box office to collect our tickets. There was a separate queue for people who had already booked online. We were given a map and directed to the cloakroom (£1.00 per item) and also where the lost children hut was. When we entered we were told the bigger rides were towards the back. Winter Wonderland is HUGE and you are met with fairground rides and bright lights in every direction. We decided to head towards the back as instructed, and the children were soon on the rides and having fun. There is a good mixture of rides for all ages, and I remember reading that it is most suited for children up to age 12. I would say this is about right as my son is this age.
Winter Wonderland was busier than when we visited last year, but the children had to wait no more than a few minutes for rides which was good. The ride attendants were all friendly, and were strict about the height restrictions which was good to see. There are plenty of food stalls dotted around, and we stopped for lunch which was burgers and hot dogs. We did have to queue for about 10 minutes for food, but we did eat at 12pm which I am guessing is peak time. There were plenty of game stalls too which you could pay to have a go. We played on 2 games which were £1.00 a go. I also saw a stall offering Princess make overs and sweet stalls around the arena.
We didn’t see the Sooty Show but it looked popular. They have moved it from last year and is now more towards the edge rather than in the middle of the arena. Don’t worry though as there are signs directing you to the likes of Sooty, Circus and the toilets. There are also plenty of staff on hand if you need directing anywhere.
So after nearly 4 hours of the children being twirled and bounced up and down, it was time to leave. There are balloon sellers on the way out, and my 8 year old was looking for a gift shop at the exit ! I am guessing that is down to her visiting Alton Towers alot.
We had a great time at Winter Wonderland and found the staff helpful and the place clean and tidy. Oh and you HAVE to go on the Rodeo bulls. Or should I say watch as your husband hangs on for dear life on one. Must say this gave us the biggest laugh of the day watching him on that ride !!!
Thank you to Winter Wonderland for providing us with a family ticket for the purpose of this review