Rainton Arena Winter Wonderland Review

AD - This post has been written by Grace Porter who attended Rainton Winter Wonderland in November 2021 with their family. Please always double check info with attraction direct when making plans / before heading out. Over to Grace....... 

The Winter Wonderland is hailed as the largest Christmas attraction in the North East with 45 fairground rides and stalls, a pantomime, live entertainment and Santas’s Grotto. It has become an annual tradition at Rainton, offering fun for all ages, both indoors and outside so we were looking forward to seeing for ourselves!

Rainton Arena Winter Wonderland Review

The excitement began before we arrived as the kids spotted all the colourful lights from a distance! Full of energy and eager to get on all the rides we arrived, finding the location really easily and managing to park in the free onsite parking fairly quickly. The car park is undergoing quite a bit of work so I’d advise you stay on the allocated pathway as you walk round to the entrance.

As we headed in you could hear the #Christmas songs bellowing out which created a lovely festive atmosphere on a chilly night in November! We were met with ride after ride, the kids couldn’t believe it!

We started at the Crooked Cottage, it was one of those fun houses you get at such fairs. The kids ran in, a few minutes later two little heads peered over a fence above us and the kids were yelling Mum, look Mum!

After negotiating the higgledy-piggledy stairs and slides, we moved on to the Flying Planes, these were £2.50 per person and were designed as Children’s films – our gang chose Shrek and Trolls! This was a nice ride for both the younger two (aged 2 and 5) and the older two (both 7). The planes went up and down and round and round which they all enjoyed. 

Another usual ride for the fair was the vehicles ride, the boys hopped on a double decker bus – top floor of course, while the girls opted for the train! Again, nothing too fast or vigorous and great for all ages. This one was also £2.50 per person. 

Time for some speed! One of my favourites – well the fair isn’t just for the kids, the Waltzers were £3 per person. You could fit five in a carriage, so I was nominated parent with the four kids. The music was blaring and as the speed picked up the kids were thrown round with much delight.

I forgot how fast you actually go on waltzers and nearly lost my phone to gravity as we flew round and round. The staff made sure we had a great time and kept spinning us and the kids shrieked and laughed! Stumbling off the Waltzers, we headed for the ice rink! 

The ice rink is real ice, and surrounded by the lights and music, it really made you feel like Christmas was coming! Children under 8 years must be accompanied on the ice by an adult, over 8 years – you’re able to watch from the side-lines or get on and enjoy the ice yourself.

Rainton Arena Winter Wonderland Review  - ice skating

There are lockers to store belongings, which was really handy as the girls had brought a teddy or two along for an adventure! I made sure the kids had thick socks on as I knew the skates wouldn’t be the comfiest.

One of the team asked us if we’d like a polar bear skating aid to use, four polar bears, four kids and two adults and off we went. The youngest was not amused, but it was so cute watching her try to push her little polar bear. Second youngest was really confident and despite a few little falls, got back up and carried on no problem.

The two older ones were like ducks to water – no fear and skating round slowly but confidently. I’ll not comment on the two adults, let’s just say it’d be nil poi for us! 

Rainton Arena Winter Wonderland Review - ice rink
Credit : Rainton Arena 

In terms of prices, it was £10.50 for an adult, £8.50 for a child and an additional £6 for a polar bear. The sessions were 60 minutes long, although we didn’t stay on that long as little ones feet were tired. I did see some older girls skating round happily and trying a few twists and turns so this could be a great activity for older ones. You can book ice skating sessions in advance or just turn up. 

Next stop was food!! It was really chilly so hotdogs for the kids and cheese burgers for the adults was perfect! There was quite a few food stations including, bratwurst, loaded fries, noodles, chips etc. All very much what you’d expect to see at the fair! Price wise – again, very similar to other events, a burger was £5 and chips were £3.50. 

Rainton Arena Winter Wonderland Review  - food prices

The kids spotted the sweets stalls from about 2 miles away so of course we headed there afterwards. There was lots to choose from with dummy lollies, tubs of jelly sweets, candy floss and toffee apples among the treats. I indulged in some fresh sugar donuts – which I enjoyed all to myself!! And a hot chocolate with all the trimmings. Well why not! There was also fresh crepes with a variety of toppings available. 

Rainton Arena Winter Wonderland Review - hot chocolate

I did spot three very festive looking tipis, with their cosy fires, baileys and mulled wine (among other drinks of offer) and live entertainment! We continued on our rides mission and I made a mental note to book a tipi visit in with the girls one night before Christmas when we are all child free!).

Rainton Arena Winter Wonderland Review  - tipi
Credit : Rainton Arena 

Next was Jungle Madness, another quirky house type of ride but this time you travelled in a carriage, this was followed by another fast ride which required an adult to sit with any little ones understandably. All four also went on the hot air balloon ride which went round vertically, it was cute seeing their little hands sticking out waving as us below.

There was all sorts of stalls with games and activities on including hook a duck where every player gets a prize and a beanbag game where every player also gets a prize. 

We didn’t quite make it to Santa’s Grotto unfortunately but the kids didn’t seem to mind! We’d spent 2 hours going from ride to ride and munching treats galore so I think they were more than happy with that. Hats, scarves and gloves were a must as the majority is outdoor and it’s rather cold on a night now. During the day might not be as bad. 

Credit. :Rainton Arena 

It was a really lovely night out, something a little different on an evening and lots of fun to be had. The kids slept on the way home – which was dangerous but a sign of a good trip out! 

There are some relaxed sessions taking place on 20 and 22 December from 11am – 12pm. This will include quieter music on the ice rink and a more relaxed atmosphere around the park. There is also disabled access across the park. 

The Winter Wonderland is now open daily from 11am (from 11am most days, 4pm on some occasions, do double check the website before setting off) until late until 2 January 2022. Entry in to the Wonderland is FREE, but you do need to pay for Santa and for the ice rink as well as per ride on the attractions. 

They have a few additional events and surprises coming up too including character meet and greets on 26, 27 and 28 November. Checkout their Facebook and Instagram for more information. 

Rainton Arena Winter Wonderland Review  - map and location

You can find the Winter Wonderland at Rainton Arena, Houghton-Le-Spring, DH4 5PH. If you have any queries visit raintonarean.co.uk or call 0191 584 8630. 

Have a great time! 


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