Review: Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland 2017

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Along with the pantomime, sob-inducing school nativity play and visit to Santa, a trip to Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland has become a non-negotiable part of our Christmas at Little Vikings HQ. We headed over to York Designer Outlet on opening weekend for our annual outing on the ice, and to see what’s on offer this year.

A car park might not seem like the most festive of places, but the team behind Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland have done a great job of making this corner of the Outlet feel Christmassy. The Santa’s Grotto area in particular is lovely, and we’d definitely have paid him a visit if we weren’t already seeing him elsewhere. Once again there’s a selection of vintage fairground rides and hook-a-duck if you fancy some old-fashioned fun, but we had one thing on our minds: wobbling around on the ice.

This year, there’s more space to wobble – or twirl elaborately, if you’re more skilled than we are – as the rink is bigger than ever. Given that 12 months have passed since we last strapped on our skates, we spent a while clinging to the edge and/or trying to use the kids’ penguin skating aids without them noticing. But before long, we all got back into the swing of it and enjoyed circling around the beautiful tree in the centre of the rink and listening to the Christmas tunes. Even our three year old got into it, with the little skates that strapped on over her inappropriate summer shoes (she’s a northern girl who doesn’t feel the cold). It was a lovely family thing to do on a beautiful, crisp winter day. Amazingly, we all managed to stay upright, but it was great to see that the staff were quick to help anyone who did take a tumble. In fact, all the staff – from the ticket office to the boot hire and the rink itself – were cheerful, friendly and professional.

After an hour on the ice, there was only one thing to do: drink hot chocolate. We headed to Papa Kitchen – the cosy rink-side restaurant that sells hot and cold food and drink – and warmed up with one of their cream and marshmallow-topped extravaganzas. This year’s trip to Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland confirmed what we suspected: children + skating + hot chocolate = pure festive happiness.

Good to know

  • Younger children might feel more confident with a skating aid, which are available to hire at an extra charge
  • Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland run birthday parties; visit the website for details
  • Children might prefer a quieter rink, so consider booking an early time slot which might be less busy than weekend afternoons
  • Parking is free, but it gets very busy with Christmas shoppers so allow plenty of time to find a space!
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland runs at York Designer Outlet until Sunday 7th January 2018. Visit the Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland website to book

Thank you to Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland for inviting us to skate with them. As always, our review is entirely honest and we will only ever recommend something that we have genuinely enjoyed.

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