On Saturday (13th December) me and the three took a trip to The Winter Wonderland event at Event City in Manchester. It's a yearly festive event which is hosted by the Bill Elms company and it wad our first visit there.
Tickets need to be booked online as it obvious,t sells out quickly. The event opened on Saturday and will run until January 4th so plenty of time to arrange a visit. The event is aimed towards families with children under 12 years. It is operated on a session basis and each session is for 4 hours this is to avoid huge queues and crowding, it was very busy when we went on Saturday.
The best way to describe the event is like a massive winter fun fair indoors. There are so many rides and I don't think we got round every single one. The rides vary from ones for the toddlers and younger children to small roller coasters for the older braver ones. All of them have height restrictions and some of them allow parents to ride with children. I wad relieved that every queue was minimal, hardly any waiting for any of the rides. This was quite surprising considering how many people were there.
The arena was magically decorated and lit up with Christmas trees, lights and festive decorations. Character elves were walking about and we even saw some very cute little baby reindeers near the entrance.
As well as the many rides there are also a few shows and attractions to watch at various intervals. First a Meet and Greet Elsa and Anna from Frozen. This is a short show with songs from the famous movie and afterwards the children can get photographs and meet the Princesses. This got very very packed to a point where it was very warm and we could barely move. We did not do the meet and greet afterwards as the queue got fairly long.
The Sooty show was amazing with the real puppets and Richard straight from the TV show, lots of fun, games and music. Izebella loved it as you can see here.
Unfortunately we just did not have time to visit the circus but I hear it's really good, maybe next year!
Of course no Christmas event would be complete without a visit to see the big guy (Father Christmas) himself and there is a grotto right near the entrance. I made sure we did the Santa visit first before anything else and I'm glad I did as when we came out the queue was huge. Visiting Santa is free but to receive a gift is £3 per child. A photograph is taken too by an elf and there is an option to buy either a photo, key ring or snow globe. Santa does not give the gifts his self, instead children can pick their own from a stall just outside the grotto. I'm undecided as to which option works best with Santa visits but my children all picked something they wanted and seemed pretty happy. The choices include various cuddly toys, teddies, cars and a few other things.
There are many places to get food and drinks. Prices are what I would expect at a normal outside fairground, not cheap but not ridiculously expensive. It's £3.50 for either a burger or hotdog and I think it was £2.50 for chips. Dinner for 4 of us with drinks came to just less than £15. Finding a table to sit is impossible but there is a carpeted flooring area to sit in too. The queue for the food was long and probably took over 10 minutes until I was served.
Just like a fairground there are lots of prize stalls everywhere. These cost extra and include hook a duck and ring toss.
We had an amazing day despite all 3 of my children feeling a little unwell, they all enjoyed it and it seemed to cheer us all up. It felt very festive and Christmassy. Lots of things to do and we even saw the snow.
I was so tired when I got home and it was freezing outside but well worth the visit if only to see my children so happy.
Four hours just wasn't enough for us. There were a few odd rides which we missed including the snow globe. We also did not have time for the circus.
Jordanna went missing whilst we were there. She had walked off whilst Izebella was on a ride. The staff were amazing and security guards raced around trying to find her. Luckily we found her safe and well thanks to the staff acting very quickly.
Tickets for Winter Wonderland cost £18.50 each for adults and children and children under 3 years go free. A family ticket for 4 costs £60.00. Tickets can be booked here and more information can also be found about the event along with images.
It's well worth a visit if you live in the North West. Event City is located next to the Trafford Centre.