It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…. Well that is certainly true for the transformed space Event City at Trafford Park. Winter wonderland is back for its fourth year at Event City and with live theatre, a circus big top, more fun fair rides than I have ever seen in an indoor venue before and of course Father Christmas there is literally something for everyone. For the grown-ups, there is also a well-stocked German bar, which has a great range of wines and beers to enjoy whilst soaking up the Christmas atmosphere.
From the moment, you enter the holding space at Event City you are greeted with a stunning nutcracker themed area with stilt walking ice characters and Santa’s Elves circulating and welcoming the people on arrival. Whilst waiting for tonight’s opening of the event, (as it was guest list only) and whilst the invited celebrities were photographed and welcomed, the rest of us was entertained by some very talented local performers. The Ash Dance troupe wowed us with their slick routines then they accompanied Amy Turne, Hattie Cane and Chloe Rose whilst they each sang their latest songs to a very excited crowd of youngsters.
Once the Head Elf to Santa gave the crowd the details of what to expect at the Event the grand red velvet curtains opened to reveal an amazing array of colours, Christmas smells, balloons, and music, and as we walked through a shower of snow it was truly breath-taking to see how many rides and attractions this venue held.
There was a Christmas Circus in its very own big top, that showcased jugglers, unicycle riders and a little bit of magic. Ice Princesses live on stage, Basil Brush, Jedi Training and a Cinderella panto so there is no shortage of live performances to keep the little ones (and some big ones) occupied.
The scale of this event is absolutely huge, Winter Wonerland is billed as the UK’s largest indoor Christmas theme park, and quite rightly so. Although despite the scale of this event we never had to queue for a ride or an attraction and it didn’t in the least feel cramped or over attended. There are literally too many stalls, rides, arcade attractions to count let alone list but I have to say it’s well worth going seeing them for yourself.
The rides however appear to be more aimed at the younger visitors with height limits strictly enforced on attractions such as inflatables. But that is not to say there aren’t any adult rides, and if you are feeling brave enough there are plenty of fast paced adrenaline rides to terrify and thrill.
There is an abundance of stalls selling food and sweet treats to satisfy most palates. This year Winter wonderland has included a mini make over section that seemed very popular with the little princesses that were there. My favourite additions to this year’s event was the ‘Beach’ section and ‘baby chill-out zone’ for the tiny ones, as not all visitors like the rides and this was a perfect alternative for those children (including mine) that like to sit and play quietly for a while.
Winter Wonderland wouldn’t be complete without Father Christmas and his helpers. Children young and old can visit his grotto and get a picture with the big man himself until the 24th December but after that then he will be gone as I believe he has a rather important job to do delivering presents to all the good children.
With each session lasting 4 hours the time flies by and with everything included in the admission fee apart from food, drink and various other additional items. This is amazing value for money and a perfect day out for the family to soak up the Christmas spirit.
Winter Wonderland is open at Event City next to the Trafford Centre daily (except Christmas Day) with various sessions each day until the 3rd January 2016. Full details including session times and booking information can be found at www.winterwonderlandmanchester.com
Reviewer: Victoria Wilmot
Reviewed: 12th December 2016
North West End Rating: ★★★★★