Published: Friday, 16th Dec 2022

The Christmas Festival is in full glory as the roller-skating rink has been officially opened.

Tipi bar 2022Roller Rink 2022Local celebrities from tv and sport last night joined councillors and invited guests to be the first to enjoy the new attraction. 

Jazmine Franks and Anya Laurence (who play Esther Bloom and Vicky Grant in Hollyoaks), Mollie Winnard (who played Kayla Clifton in Coronation Street) and wheelchair Rugby star Ayaz Bhuta were all in attendance.

In addition to the tipi bar opening last week, visitors can now enjoy everything the Christmas Festival has to offer in the run up to the big day. 

The pop-up roller skating rink is being held in the former BHS store and the space has been transformed into a roller disco arena from 15 December to 8 January. 

With music and a live DJ, visitors will be suited and booted in a protective helmet and padding ready for a fun 45 minute session. The rink is also wheelchair accessible 

Tickets are £5 per child, £7 per adult, £16 for a family ticket (2 adults 2 children).

Find out more about book your session on the festival’s website. Pre-booking is essential, and a booking fee may apply.   

Cllr Hilary Fairclough, Deputy Leader of Bolton Council said:

“The roller rink is an exciting new addition to this year’s festival.

“It’s a great chance for family and friends to get together and do something active.”

“The bonus of the roller rink being indoors is you can beat the cold whilst enjoying some festive fun.”

“ As we’re now in the final countdown to Christmas, I hope everyone will come to the town centre and enjoy all that we have on offer.”    

A reminder about what else is on offer at this year’s festival:

Santa’s Grotto – based in Crompton Place now open every day until Christmas Eve. Tickets are £5 per child or £14 for a family ticket (max 3 children, adults free max 2 adults per ticket). Find out more and book your visit on the festival’s website. Pre-booking is essential, and a booking fee may apply. You can also purchase tickets from the Albert Halls bar Wednesday - Sunday.    

Festive tipi – until January 8, featuring seating areas and a performance space. The tipi will host a variety of performances, from local bands and artists to community choirs and carol singing. Keep checking the festival website for the latest acts confirmed.   

The Tipi will also be home to Bolton FM’s “Bolton’s Got Talent” competition with the winning act earning a place on stage of the 2023 Bolton Food and Drink Festival.

Christmas Market – now open in Victoria Square until December 18 chalet-style stalls offering a wide range of gifts.

Traditional fairground rides – until January 8, stretching from Newport Street to Deansgate.

Festival visitors can take advantage of free parking as the council has reopened the car park at Crompton Place Shopping Centre with an introductory free parking offer will be available until the new year.

The Bolton Christmas Festival 2022 is supported by main sponsor Step Places as well as partners Warburtons and Crompton Place Shopping Centre.

Harinder Dhaliwal, Managing Director of Step Places, said:

“Step Places are proud to be sponsors of Boltons Christmas Festival.

“We are place makers specialising in high quality and sustainable new homes.

“We are passionate about ‘creating places people love’, we are incredibly excited to be breathing life back into the former bus depot at Moor Lane.

“We will be delivering a variety of new homes, including 44 three-bedroom, low energy townhouses available for sale in early 2023 as well as artisan retail and great apartments for rent.”

Brett Warburton, Executive Director at Warburtons said:

“At Warburtons, family values are at the heart of everything we do.

“We are proud Bolton based bakers which has been in the Warburtons family for five generations.

“As partners of Bolton’s Christmas Festival, we are delighted to add our support to the Christmas activities across the town as it helps bring people and families closer together at this magical time of the year.

“We wish everyone in Bolton a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!”.

Bolton’s Free Holiday Activities and Food programme is back for Christmas

The programme is for children from Bolton families that are eligible for free school meals and activities include sports clubs, trampoline parks, outdoor adventure centres, forest schools and football matches, and there’s the pantomime at the Albert Hall’s followed by a three-course meal and free Bolton Christmas Festival tickets.

Find out more at

Also, all children can also drop into the Family Fun Zone during the Christmas Festival at Crompton Place and take part in the free activities including arcade games, giant inflatable archery, festive giant board games, indoor volleyball, giant screen Wii and write letters to Santa.

Family fun zone is open:

Saturday 17 December 

Sunday 18 December

Saturday 24 December

Wednesday 28 – Friday 30 December

Tuesday 3 – Sunday 8 January 2023

Timings will be 10am to 5pm apart from Sunday 18 December 11am to 5pm, Christmas Eve 10am to 3pm, and Sunday 8 January 11am to 5pm.