Nothing says ‘It’s Christmas!’ quite like bruised bottoms, soggy gloves and sore feet. We’re just home from our annual trip to Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland, slightly the worse for wear but feeling festive for the first time this year. A visit to Yorkshire’s largest ice rink has long been a Christmas tradition for our family, so we were very happy to be invited along to the launch of this year’s event.
What to expect at Winter Wonderland 2019
Nestled in a corner of the car park at York Designer Outlet is Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland: a dazzling ice rink, fairground, The Chalet bar and cafe and Santa’s grotto. We couldn’t wait to get our skates on and try to remember how to navigate the rink without falling over.
There’s a huge selection of skate sizes, with younger children having the option of skates that strap on over their shoes. Their philosophy is that if you can walk, you can skate, and we’d agree: our youngest has been joining the annual family skate since she was two and she loves it. Now five, she refuses to use a penguin or snowman skating aid (available to hire at an extra cost) and prefers just to hold a hand instead. While none of our family is likely to appear on Dancing on Ice anytime soon, it really doesn’t matter: we embraced our terrible skating skills and loved it anyway. With the 30 foot tree sparkling away in the centre of the rink and the best Christmas tunes in the background, it’s a lovely way to kick off the festive season as a family.
Warming up in The Chalet
After all that activity, the warm and cosy Chalet cafe bar looked more appealing than ever. Decked out in alpine style, it’s the perfect place to warm up with a hot chocolate or even a mulled wine for those who aren’t the designated driver. Worked up an appetite? Tuck into a hot dog, toastie or even a vegan sausage roll! We enjoyed hot chocolates with all the trimmings before heading home happy, soggy bottoms and all.
Good to know
Winter babies often get a raw deal when it comes to birthday parties, so why not book a birthday party on the ice? Various packages are available, as are group discounts for Cub groups and so on. The ice rink is ideally located for some Christmas shopping at the Designer Outlet while you’re there, if you’re brave enough to shop with children in tow.
Take gloves for everyone! Thick socks are a good idea too. And make sure that you allow enough time to find a parking space – it’s the busiest time of year and the car park gets very full.
Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland runs at York Designer Outlet until 5th January 2020. Find more information about this year’s Yorkshire’s Winter Wonderland on their website.