If you are looking for the ultimate family Christmas experience this festive period then let me recommend Winter Funland in Manchester. Held at Event city it is one of the biggest indoor festive attractions aimed at families from age 3 plus (although under 3’s are also welcome) and for just the one entrance price you get 4 hours of all inclusive fun.
During your visit you can choose to do all or some of the following:
Visit Santa in his grotto
No festive attraction is complete without a grotto and a trip to see the big man himself. This year the grotto has been set up next to the main entrance and is open 30 minutes before each session begins which means you can visit Santa before your four hours start. I think this is a brilliant idea as the last thing you want to do is spend too much of your allocated time queuing up or deciding to miss out altogether. There is also the option to purchase a fast-pass ticket which will allow your family to have a guaranteed visit with Santa within a 15 minute dedicated time slot. These are limited but if you wish to take advantage you can purchase them when you book your tickets.
Enjoy fair ground rides a plenty
There are lots of different rides and you and your family can ride them as many times as you want. As there are limited tickets sold for each session and so much to do you should find that the queues are relatively short and move quickly. We found that there was a brilliant mix of rides that catered for all heights, ages and adrenaline levels. Our favourites included the fun house, the swings, the bucking bronco style ride and a total wipe out’esq inflatable activity. Whether you have young children or teenagers there are rides for everyone.
Go ice skating for as long as you wish
Despite being inside amongst so many other attractions the ice rink is still a really reasonable size and can fit plenty of people on at any time. Not only is the skating included in the price but so is the skate hire and you can also leave your shoes and belongings in the lockers nearby.
Watch a circus
The circus was great. It lasted about 30 minutes ad consisted of 4 different acts as well as a clown who initiated audience participation on a couple of occasions between the big acts, so if you dot want to end up in the ring sit at the back! The acts included a rollerblading duo, 3 very talented acrobats who can do impressive things with a skipping rope, a beautiful young lady who is suspended from a chandelier and 2 motor bikes riding extremely close to each other in a cage. I was amazed at how much they managed to fit in to a small time slot and a relatively small space compared to your average circus but all efforts have been put in to make sure this feels like you are inside a big top at one of the best circus’s.
Watch a Christmas Show
On our visit we managed to do everything except watch the Christmas show so I am unable to comment on that but if the circus is anything to go by I am sure it is fantastic.
This was our second visit to Winter Funland as we were lucky enough to go last year too and I can honestly say it is such good fun and although it may appear to be expensive (£89 for a family ticket) you do get an awful lot for your money and unless you want to you don’t need to spend anything else whilst you are there.
1.Arrive early as you may need to queue to get in and although parking is free and there are plenty of spaces the car park will be busy just before and after the sessions.
2.Decide what you and your family want to do and try and make a plan, especially if you want to watch one or both of the shows as they are on at certain times.
3.Think about food and drink in advance. You can buy food and drink in the fair but if you are not wanting to spend any additional money whilst in there then think about timings and whether you need to feed the children before you go in or have a plan for after.
4.Take cash, there is a cash point on site but some of the games and food stalls such as the ice cream van require cash only.
Winter Funland in Manchester is now open until 5th January and they also have sessions that are autism friendly too so check out which session is best for you and your family and grab those tickets before they all sell out.
(We were gifted tickets in exchange for a review. All opinions and top tips are my own).