Published: Friday, 2nd Nov 2018

An annual family favourite is set to return this year as tickets go on sale for Bolton’s spectacular Winter Festival.

Ice rinkAn annual family favourite is set to return this year as tickets go on sale for Bolton’s spectacular Winter Festival.

This highlight of the festive calendar will once again see the town centre filled with yuletide entertainment and seasonal attractions.

The festival will welcome its first visitors on Saturday, December 8 and will be open every day until Sunday, January 6 (except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).

By popular demand, this year will see the return of the covered ice rink with enough room for 180 skaters.

Ice rink prices start at £4 for children, £7.50 for adults and £21 for a family ticket. Various discounts are available including the parent and child Penguin Club (under-8s), midday madness and happy hour and half.   

Traditional favourite Santa’s Grotto will once again form part of this year’s Winter Festival.

Santa will be setting up home is his new magical grotto inside Bolton Albert Halls.

Each child will receive a festive children’s activity pack including a colouring book, stickers, foam animal puzzle and colouring pencils to take home. Visits cost £4, per child, opening times vary.

Tickets will officially go on sale at 9am on Saturday, November 3.

Visit for more information on the attractions and to buy tickets.

This year’s festival is just one of many fun-packed events that are taking place over the Christmas period.

Actor Alan Halsall, who plays Tyrone Dobbs in Coronation Street, will kick off Bolton’s festive proceedings on November 22 when he turns on the town’s Christmas lights.

The show, sponsored by Market Place Shopping Centre, will start at 5pm and feature a variety of musical acts before Alan pushes the button at 7pm. This will be followed by a fireworks finale over the town hall.

The switch-on will feature the cast from this year’s pantomime, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, who will be delighting audiences at the Albert Halls from December 1 to 30.

Albert Halls will also host the Mayor’s Christmas Fair, which this year will coincide with the opening day of the Winter Festival (December 8).

The event is a fantastic chance to support the Mayor’s charities and get some Christmas shopping done - visitors can browse dozens of stalls selling gifts, crafts and more from 10am to 2pm.

Last-minute shoppers will have extra time to grab wonderful gifts and festive treats at the award-winning Bolton Market, thanks to two additional trading days on Sunday, December 23 and Christmas Eve.

Leader of Bolton Council, Cllr Linda Thomas, said: “Starting with the lights switch-on and continuing with the Winter Festival, there really will be something for everyone this year.

“With such a packed schedule of events, everything is ready for a magical festive season. It’s all part of Christmas in Bolton.”

As well as ongoing free weekend and bank holiday parking, town centre visitors can also enjoy free parking at Topp Way, Deane Road and The Octagon car parks after 3pm on weekdays, from November 22 to January 3.

Keep an eye on social media at “Bolton Winter Festival” on Facebook and @BoltonWinterFes on Twitter for updates and more.