Faq's - Bolton Winter Festival
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Frequently Asked Questions – Ice rink

What time and on what days can I skate?

The ice rink is open from Saturday 2nd December until Sunday 7th January (excluding Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).


Opening hours are: Mon – Fri 9am to 8.30pm (last skate session 7pm) 9am to 10am


Penguin Club from 21st December Sat – Sun 9am to 10am


Penguin Club 11am to 8pm public skate (last skate session 7pm) (Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, with shorter operating hours on Christmas Eve: 9am – 5pm,


Boxing Day: 9am – 5pm and New Year’s Eve: 9am – 5pm) * Please note there will be school only sessions each week day between 4th and 20th 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).

How much are the tickets?

Adult £7.50 Child £3.50 (14s and under)

Concession £5 (over 60s/students)

Family ticket £20 (2 adults, 2 children)

Penguin club £3.50 per person

How do I get tickets?

Booking can be made either online and by phone in advance or in person at the box office on Victoria Square from 2nd December.

Online bookings: www.boltonwinterfestival.com

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


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).

Is there a minimum age restriction / adult supervision requirement?

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).

What do I do on arrival?

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.

What do I need to wear?

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.

What equipment do you have?

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!

What happens if it’s raining?

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.

Can wheelchair users take part?

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.

Is there anywhere to put my personal belongings whilst 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.

Is there first aid at the rink?

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.

Where can I park?

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 7th January.


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

Refund policy

In the unlikely event that the Event Manager deems it necessary to close the ice rink, alternative sessions will be offered for skating, subject to availability

Our Ice rink etiquette

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 – Giant snow slide

What time and on what days can I go on the snow slide?

The Snow Slide is open from Saturday 2nd December until Sunday 7th January (excluding Christmas Day, New Year’s Day).

Mon – Wed

Thu – Sat



*10am – 8pm

10am – 5pm


(Closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day

*Tuesday 26th December 10am-5pm

*Saturday 2 December 10am-7pm


Ticket Information

Booking can be made either online and by phone in advance or in person at the box office on Victoria Square from 2nd December onwards.


Online bookings: www.boltonwinterfestival.com

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

Telephone:   0844 815 4874

Mon – Sat: 9.30am – 8pm

Sun: 10am – 8pm


All tickets must be purchased in advance and ticket holders may need to queue at the ride before carrying their own ‘snow tube’ up to the top of the slide.

How much are the tickets?

1 ride £2
3 rides £5

Is there a minimum age or height restriction?

To ride the snow slide individually, you must be above 1.1m in height, the ride is not recommended for children under 2 years of age

Parents / Guardians may descend with younger children at their discretion, ensuring they are sitting securely in the snow tube with the child sitting firmly within their lap.

Can I ride with a friend?

A maximum of 2 ‘snow tubes’ can descend at the same time but both participants must hold on to the handle of the other ‘snow tube’ until they come to a complete halt at the base of the snow slide.

Can wheelchair users access the ride?

Unfortunately due to the nature of the ride wheelchair users are unable to use the snow slide, however, they are more than welcome to participate in the ice skating.

Is there anywhere to put my personal belongings?

Personal belongings can be taken with you onto the ride, please make sure all loose items are secure. However, handbags cannot be taken on and must be left with the rest of your party, as we are unable to offer a secure area in which to store them.

How does it work?

As directed by staff, participants position the ‘snow tube’ at the edge of the top of the slope so that it is easy to start the descent.

Participants then sit securely in the ‘snow tube’, ensuring that their hands and the towing strap and handle are kept in the tube at all times.

As soon as the first wave of ‘snow tubers’ has gone, the next ones should be getting into position as directed by staff.

Once a slide is completed, the snow tube is handed to the next person in the queue.

As our tickets offer multiple rides (2 per ticket), ticket holders will re-join the queue to ensure it keeps moving and allows everyone to participate without excessive waiting.

Snow slide etiquette

We hope you enjoy your ride on the snow slide but please do take note of our “Do’s and Don’ts” of the ride.

The following code for snow slide users will also be displayed at the main entrance point.



Do remain seated in the tube until you come to a complete stop

Do obey instructions given by the snow slide staff

Do put litter in bins provided

Do report any accidents to a member of staff



Don’t stand in the tube when in motion

Don’t smoke, drink or eat on the slide

Don’t spoil everyone’s day by acting inconsiderately

Frequently Asked Questions – Santa’s Grotto

Where is the grotto located?

Father Christmas grotto will be located on Oxford Street (near to Costa coffee)

What times will it open?

Opening times


Opens daily from Saturday 2 December to Sunday 24 December



Saturday and Sundays: 10am – 6pm

Mondays: 12noon-3pm

Tuesdays and Wednesday 6th /13th: 12noon-6pm

Wednesday 20 December: 10am-6pm

Thursday 7th / 14th December: 12noon -7pm

Thursday 21 December: 10am-7pm

Friday 8th / 15th December: 12noon- 6pm

Friday 22 December: 10am – 6pm

Christmas Eve: 10am – 1pm



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


Booking office: 0843 208 1854



Frequently Asked Questions – Free parking

Free Parking

To lighten the load, and help your money go further this Christmas we’ve teamed up with NCP carparks to offer free parking every weekend, and after 3pm on weekdays and all day on Christmas Eve and New Year’s Day in Bolton Town Centre.

The offer is available now at NCP Multi-storey car parks: Deane Road, Topp Way and The Octagon.

Market Place Shopping Centre: Park for free for your first 90 minutes, and for free every evening after 5pm at Market Place Shopping Centre.