Winter Wonderland Manchester – 2014



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’.

Winter Wonderland Manchester

Winter Wonderland Manchester

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.

Winter Wonderland Manchester

Winter Wonderland Manchester

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.

Winter Wonderland Manchester

Winter Wonderland Manchester

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

Winter Wonderland Manchester

Winter Wonderland Manchester





Christmas Day at Centerparcs

CP Xmas 2 years ago we were lucky enough to spend the Christmas break at Centerparcs. We had been 4 times around the Christmas period for their Winter Wonderland, but never for Christmas Day itself. We only booked the break at the beginning of December, and after deliberating about it for weeks, a stressful day at work for my hubby gave me the YES love you can book it.

The next few weeks were a blur of excitement and mild panic. Panic from my daughter as to how Father Christmas would find us. As we were booked to see Father Christmas on Christmas Eve, I suggested we let him know our lodge number. Panic number 2, how an earth do you transport all the presents without the kids seeing anything. Luckily we had a HUGE suitcase which did the trick. And panic number 3, how would we fit everything in the car including our own Christmas tree which we were taking.

Thankfully everything fitted in, including the kids and the all important Christmas booze, and we were soon heading off up to The Lakes to visit wonderful Whinfell. We were soon checked in and found our lodge, which was behind the Sports Plaza. The tree was soon up and we were off to our night time swim which we always do on the first night.

The next day was Christmas Eve and we were off to see Father Christmas at 4pm. This was so magical seeing the man himself before he set off on his travels around the world clocks off until next year. Bedtime came for the kids, and I remember putting all the presents under the tree and settling down to a large baileys infront of the roaring fire. I was beyond happy.

Christmas Day was spent opening presents, watching the kids play with their new toys, and a ride around the forest on their new scooters. All this whilst being enveloped by the beautiful forest. We had the traditional Christmas Day dinner, and in the evening we went to the main centre where there was a disco. My best friend was also staying, and it was great to meet up with her family.

The rest of the break was spent relaxing, eating, drinking and walking around the forest. It really was a perfect Christmas break, and we are so glad we did it.

Do you prefer to spend Christmas at home or get away and enjoy it ?

CP Xmas 3