Saturday, 17 November 2012

Winter wonder is back

Below is my “Big Day Out” column from the Saturday, November 17, 2012, Swansea edition of the South Wales Evening Post.

Winter wonder is back
A big day out! 
RICHARD THOMAS heads to Waterfront Winterland in Swansea.
WHY? This weekend Swansea’s premier winter attraction featuring two fantastic ice-skating rinks, a family funfair, Santa’s Grotto, and stalls selling delicious hot food and drinks returns, as the city starts to get into the Christmas spirit.
WHAT’S THE BUZZ? For the seventh year running Museum Park in Swansea has been transformed into a Christmas playground and ice-skating park. There are two excellent ice rinks at Waterfront Winterland, the main Admiral Rink and the children friendly Rocky’s Rink, where little ones can get used to ice skating and gain in confidence before moving to the big rink. For non-skaters there’s lots more to see at the park, including their fantastic family funfair with rides like the Mad Mouse, Snow Storm ride and the nostalgic carousel to enjoy. It is the attraction’s gigantic Ferris wheel that steals the show, however. Standing at 44m, the Miles Hire Giant Wheel is largest touring attraction of its kind in the UK and offers spectacular views of the Swansea Bay area. There are also lots of festive treats, hot chocolate and lots more to warm you up during your visit, which you can enjoy in the undercover spectator area.
ANY HISTORY? The annual festive attraction first opened in 2006 and since then an impressive 536,000 people have visited the park.
WHAT TO TAKE? If you have young children that haven’t been on the ice before then you will need to book tickets for them to use the children’s Rocky's Rink. There is a charge to use both the children’s rink and main ice-skating rink. Monday to Friday until Thursday 20 December sessions starting before 5pm only cost £5.50 for all categories. From Friday 21 December, every weekend and all sessions after 5pm the rink prices are: £7.50 for adults (16 and over), £6.50 for OAPs and students, and £5.50 for children (15 and under) and skaters with a Swansea Passport to Leisure. There are also special promotions for lunchtime and evening skates, including money off a hot chocolate with every ticket purchased for skating sessions between 12pm and 2pm.
LOOK OUT FOR? Tomorrow Father Christmas himself will arrive in Swansea to switch on the city’s Christmas lights. After starring in Swansea's annual Christmas Parade, Santa will be at Waterfront Winterland in his Grotto. Children can meet Father Christmas for £4 and for an extra £1 have a photo taken with the big man.
WHEN TO GO? The Christmas attraction will be open daily until 6 January 2013. The opening hours are 12pm to 10pm on weekdays and 10am to 10pm on weekends. Santa’s Grotto is open until 23 December.
TELL ME MORE: Waterfront Winterland is located in Museum Park, Swansea, just outside the LC and Swansea Museum. For more information go to or call on 01792 637300.