CITYLIFELOCAL SKATING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND
HERE’S WHERE YOU CAN GET YOUR ICE SKATES ON THIS CHRISTMAS IN MANCHESTER AND BEYOND
THERE’S nothing like having a skate on the ice to get you in the festive spirit and there are plenty of places you can give it a whirl in Manchester this Christmas.
If you’ve got kids, that’s OK. Some of the rinks are offering special family sessions to take the little ones along to - with penguins to keep them steady as they make their way round. Manchester Christmas Markets, Cathedral Gardens
The rink forms part of this year’s muchanticipated Ice Village, which has brought an Ice Cavern, Santa’s grotto and more to Cathedral Gardens.
The rink is open now, with 45-minute sessions running daily from 11am to 8pm. Tickets cost £11 for adults, £9 for children (aged four to 16), or £35 for a family. There’s a 45p booking fee per ticket. Anyone under 12 must be accompanied on the rink by someone over 18. Manchester Ice Rink at First Street
Manchester’s First Street development is home to an outdoor ice rink again this winter, as well as a series of pop-up markets.
The ice rink used to be a regular at Spinningfields, taking a brief stint at London Road Fire Station before moving to First Street last year.
The 15m by 20m rink is open now and will be there until January 6, in the square outside HOME theatre, which is screening classic Christmas films and hosting family theatre shows throughout the festive season.
The pop-up market stalls will be selling everything from jewellery to Christmas decorations, arts and crafts to food.
The rink is open every weekday from 3pm, with final sessions at 8pm. At weekends it is open from 10am onwards.
Tickets are £13 for adults and £11 for children under 12 and available through manchestericerink.co.uk, or you can call 0161 820 9718 to book your spot. Penguins or seal skating aids are free and available on a first come, first served basis for kids up to the age of eight. Winter Funland, Event City, Trafford
An ice rink will form part of the entertainment at Winter Funland this Christmas. The festive extravaganza is coming to EventCity in Trafford between December 7 and January 1.
Organisers say the new-look ‘immersive event’ will play host to ‘the UK’s largest indoor theme park’ and will feature fairground attractions including waltzers, a Helter Skelter and an ornate Victorian Carousel.
With rides, entertainment, an ice rink and a new 1,000-seater auditorium, there’ll be live shows from a line-up including CBBC star Andy Day with his Odd Socks band, performances from Frozen, and a festival circus. There will also be rides outside, too.
Families book on a four-hour session at the event - there are two each day - and can book time on the ice rink on arrival. There’ll be penguin skate aids for children who need a helping hand.
Tickets cost £22.50 each, plus booking fee and can be booked online. A family ticket costs £85. Under-threes go free. Planet Ice, Altrincham
If it’s indoor skating you’re after then you could always head to Planet Ice in Altrincham.
The rebranded Silver Blades is hosting loads of Christmas events this year, including skating with Santa sessions.
Kids get to meet Santa in his grotto first before having an afternoon of fun on the ice with the big man and his elves, while singing along to all the Christmas classics.
All children must be accompanied by at least one parent or guardian who can attend the ‘Skate With Santa’ for free as a spectator, or can get a pass if they want to skate.
Sessions are running every weekend in December and then every day from Friday, December 21 until Christmas Eve, from noon until 4pm. They cost from £13 and can be booked online. Bolton Winter Festival
A covered ice rink once again forms part of Bolton’s Winter Festival.
The town centre’s Victoria Square is hosting a covered rink so that families can skate whatever the weather. With enough room for 180 skaters, it will host the popular parent and child Penguin Club for kids under eight.
The festival starts on Saturday, December 8 and will be open daily until Sunday, January 6, except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Opening hours are 9am to 8.30pm, although some times vary and there may be private bookings so check when booking.
Penguin Club runs from 9am to 10am at weekends, plus daily from December 20 to January 6, excluding the days it’s closed.
Ice skating will cost £4 for children, £7.50 for adults and £21 for a family ticket. The Penguin Club costs £3.50.
Snowman and penguin skating aids cost £2 each.
This year’s festival is just one of many fun-packed events taking place in Bolton over the Christmas period. For more details on the festival visit www. boltonwinterfestival.com to buy tickets, or buy them on the day from the box office in Victoria Square. For more family content follow Manchester Family on Facebook at www. facebook.com/ familymanchester or on Twitter and Instagram @ familymanc.