We escape the cold and rain for indoor Christmas fun at EventCity in Manchester
Winter Funland 2019
Where is it?
EventCity, opposite the Trafford Centre in Manchester
What is it?
The biggest indoor Christmas event in the UK. It includes a pantomime, ice rink, circus, Santa and huge funfair.
It replaced Winter Wonderland in 2018, which was at the site previously.
When is it?
Before and after Christmas – it runs for a month until January 4, 2020.
How long does it last?
Visits are in sessions of four hours.
What did we think?
It was good value for money compared to other Christmas events as it is mostly all free once you are inside including the fair rides, ice skating and two shows.
Plus it was a relief to know we’d be warm and dry whatever the weather after knowing plenty of people who have got soaked through after paying a lot of money for outdoor festive treats.
It perhaps lacked a big Christmas feel and would have benefited from more staff dressed up or more festive decorations.
But if your children love rides, you are on to a winner.
*The funfair with lots of rides suitable for young children up to about 10, including carousels, mini coasters and dodgems. There were queues for most things but not horrendously long. It was a lot quieter in the last hour.
*An ice rink for ages four and up. It is fairly small and was not too busy when we went. There were several penguin supports for children.
*The circus – there are three performance times you can choose from in each session. You sit around a smallish round stage being amazed by a series of performers including a couple on rollerboots, two motorcyclists inside a sphere and acrobats.
*The pantomime/Christmas show – this was in the same area as the circus. It wasn’t quite as good as the circus and a few people walked out of our session. The four actors tried their best but the show wasn’t particularly Christmassy and two of them were in slightly scary alien costumes!
*Santa – this year’s grotto is next to the entrance and is open half an hour before session times so you don’t have to lose any of your four hours waiting to see Father Christmas. Queues to see him close an hour before the end of each session.
Fastpass tickets are available to visit Father Christmas to cut queuing time and give you an allocated 15-minute timeslot. Book when you buy your tickets.
Facilities for parents
*There is plenty of space to park prams and buggies.
*There is a quiet breastfeeding area and baby changing facilities.
*There is a baby chill-out zone where little ones can be out of their prams.
You are not supposed to take your own food and drink inside.
There are stalls selling food and drink including pizza, carvery baps, chips, donuts, popcorn and candyfloss, plus plenty of tables to sit at to eat. There is also a bar.
All-inclusive tickets are £23.50 per person, under 3s and carers are free. It is £89 for a family of four — two adults and two children or one adult and three children. Children are aged up to and including 16. Tickets available via www.winterfunland.co.uk
Tickets can be printed off or displayed on the screen of your phone/tablet etc.
Parking is included in the cost.
What is not included in the cost
Food and drink, a present from Santa (this can be paid for before if wanted) and photo opportunities.
There is also a cloakroom charged at £1 per item.
Children aged three to 10.
Access and restrictions:
The venue is fully wheelchair accessible but check which rides can be accessed. There is disabled parking and disabled toilets.
EventCity, opposite the Trafford Centre in Manchester.
Winter Funland Manchester postcode for satnavs is M17 8AS.