Frequently Asked Questions – Ice rink

The ice rink is open from Saturday 8th December until Sunday 6th January (excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).

Opening hours are: 9am to 8.30pm (last skate session 7pm) however, sessions and times vary day to day.

Penguin Club: 9am to 10am

Public skate sessions: 11am to 8.30pm (last skate session 7pm)

Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

Christmas Eve: 9am – 5pm

Boxing Day: 9am – 5pm

New Year’s Eve: 9am – 5pm

Please note there will be school only sessions each week day between 10th and 18th December (ask at your school for details).

Ticket information

Each session lasts for one hour, which includes 45 minutes skating time. Children aged eight years and under must be accompanied by an adult on the ice (maximum of five children per adult), children over eight and up to 13 years must have an adult present. Specialist skating aids are available to hire at an additional cost. Wheel chairs, with wheel covers, are able to come onto the ice (please let us know at the time of booking if bringing a wheel chair).

Adult £7.50

Child £4 (14s and under)

Concession £5 (over 60s/students)

Family ticket £21 (2 adults, 2 children)

Penguin club £3.50 per person

Bookings can be made either online and by phone (in advance) or in person at the box office on Victoria Square from 8th December.  We also have a box office in Bolton Central Library every Saturday until the start of the festival.

Online bookings:

Tickets can be electronically downloaded for free or sent via post for a small additional fee.

Telephone:  0843 208 1854

Mon- Sat: 9.30am – 8pm

Sun: 10am – 8pm

For all sessions the minimum age for children to skate is 18 months old providing they can walk. All 18 month to 8 year olds must be accompanied onto the ice by an adult (18 years old and above) in skates. There is a maximum of five children per adult. Children over 8 years and under the age of 13 must be accompanied by an adult (the adult need not be skating).

Penguin club

These sessions are aimed at parents and guardians of children aged 8 years and under, and offer a safe and fun environment to learn to skate! At just £3.50 per person they’re fantastic value too! Please note there is a maximum of three tickets per booking (one of which must be the parent / guardian).

When you arrive at the ice rink, present your ticket to the counter and exchange for your skates. Please note on busier sessions you may have to queue so ensure you arrive in time to get your skates for the required session. (Your session includes the time it takes to change into and out of your skates) Please ensure you read and abide by the safety rules and regulations of the ice rink. If you are unsure or need advice please do not hesitate to contact a member of staff who will be pleased to help you.

To make your visit as enjoyable as possible we recommend warm, comfortable, outdoor clothing suitable to the weather conditions on the day. For example: long socks not trainer socks; trousers or tracksuit bottoms; thin layers of clothing under a thick jumper or sweatshirt and a waterproof jacket. Gloves, hats and scarves are also recommended; please ensure the scarf is tucked in securely.

Our ice rink is covered, keeping you sheltered from the rain! The rink can operate in nearly all weather conditions, rain on the surface of the rink will not affect your skating and doesn’t make it unsafe. Please wear suitable outdoor clothing and dress according to the weather on the day of your visit.

Skate hire

Hire of skate’s is included in the price of your ticket and our sizes range from child size 9 through to adult size 15. Take your ticket to the skate hire area where you can collect your skates. The session times include the time it takes to change into and out of your skates.

Safety equipment

·       Helmets

For extra protection, we can provide helmets for hire at £1 each. These are not pre-bookable, please collect these in the skate hire area.

·       Penguins

To help your toddler/young child gain confidence on the ice we have special ice shoes, as well as our stabiliser penguin skating aides available for hire. These are not pre-bookable and are sold on a first come first served basis, at a cost of £2 per session. If your child can walk, we can get them skating!

Where possible please keep your personal belongings to a minimum. Any items left behind at the skate hire or in lockers are left at the owners risk (please note there is an additional cost for these).

No bags or rucksacks are allowed on the ice. We do not accept responsibility for any items which are left unattended.

Wheelchair users are also able to access the ice rink and join in the fun in their own wheelchair. Their wheels must have wheel-covers and they must be accompanied by a responsible person in skates at all times when on the ice.

This also includes motorised wheelchair users. Normal charges apply for the assisting skater and the wheelchair user goes free. Please ensure you mention that you are a wheelchair user when booking your ticket.

Wheelchair access is at the discretion of the management in the interests of health and safety for all users. Access for wheelchair users will be facilitated by staff at the rink, upon arrival a member of our staff will assist you and your companion onto the ice via ramped access.

There is a first aid point within the skate hire area. In the unlikely event that you or a member of your party should need first aid assistance, please alert a member of the skate staff.

A first aid qualified member of staff will be available at all times during operating hours.

There’s free parking in Deane Road, Topp Way and The Octagon NCP multi-storey car parks (after 3pm each weekday and all day Saturday and Sunday and bank holidays) up to 6th January.

Town Centre Car Parks, Map, Opening Times, Fees
Street Parking Locations and Charges
Town Centre Coach Parking

Ice skating can be great fun, but like all sports a little care is needed and we ask that everyone reads the following simple “Do’s and Don’ts” of our rink etiquette.

The following code for ice rink users will also be displayed at the main entrance point and skate hire area. It will also be made available to customers via leaflets at the rink reception point.


Do put your skates on in the skate change area – use seating provided

Do make sure your skates are correctly fitted and fastened

Do wear gloves and suitable attire for outdoor skating

Do make sure you skate in an anti-clockwise direction

Do obey instructions given by the Ice Marshals / Management

Do keep away from the ice area when resurfacing is taking place

Do put litter in bins provided

Do try to keep noise levels to a an acceptable level (i.e. no screaming)

Do report any accidents to a member of staff


Don’t sit or climb on or over the safety barrier

Don’t go on the ice without skates

Don’t chip, throw or spray ice

Don’t skate at excessive speed

Don’t play tag or any other games on the ice

Don’t skate across the ice or against the flow of other skaters

Don’t smoke, drink or eat on the ice

Don’t drop litter on the ice

Don’t take bags, cameras, phones or personal entertainment systems on the ice

Don’t carry young babies or infants on the ice

Don’t skate in chains of more than two people

Don’t wear hats, hoods, scarves or long coats on the ice

Refrain from instigating or becoming involved in any type of altercations with any other skater or spectator and engaging in abusive, abrasive or disorderly conduct

Frequently Asked Questions – Santa’s Grotto

Father Christmas grotto will be located within the Albert Halls

Opening times

Opens daily from Saturday 8th December to Monday 24th December

Times vary by day so please click through to look at days and sessions

Tickets can be purchased online or at:
Winter festival box office
Bolton Town Centre
Victoria Square

Booking office: 0843 208 1854

£4 per child