Ocean Beach South Shields Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating Review

Ad - thanks to my friend Vicci who attended Ocean Beach Winter Wonderland as their guest this week and took the photos in this post for us. They had a fab time! 

South Shields Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating Review

This year, Ocean Beach is hosting their very own Winter Wonderland in South Shields. Entry is FREE and the event takes place at Ocean Beach Pleasure Beach Park on South Shields Seafront.

You can check opening hours here. You do not need to book - simply turn up. The exception to this is ice skating where I would recommend booking in advance (find the booking link in the ice skating section). 

Please always check Ocean Beach Social Media before heading out, as in bad weather they do have to partially / fully close and this can sometimes be at the last minute. 


Visitors can expect: 

  • Outdoor rides and indoor arcades (check Ocean Beach FB page for operating times) 
  • A range of Winter Wonderland food and drink available from kiosks
  • A festive bar serving mulled wine, festive beers and more 
  • Seasonal decorations and music across the park 
  • Ice skating in a a festively decorated marquee complete with festive music and lights 

South Shields Ocean Beach Winter Wonderland | Festive Fun 

Ocean Beach South Shields Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating Review  - Elsa and Anna
Dreams and Smarty Events 

Ocean Beach Pleasure Beach has been transformed and is feeling very festive. Expect Christmas music, lots of lights, selfie stations and walkabout acts. 

There will be characters walking around and posing for photos on the following dates between 1-4pm: 

  • 28 November (1-3pm) - Santa Claus 
  • 4 December - Anna & Kristoff
  • 5 December - Elsa & Olaf 
  • 11 December - Micky & Minnie 
  • 12 December - Belle & Cinderella 
  • 18 December - Elsa & Kristoff 
  • 19 December - Anna & Olaf 
  • 20-24 December - Cheeky elves 

Obviously, these dates/timings may change so double check to avoid disappointment. There may be a couple of pop up surprise appearances too....... 

South Shields Ocean Beach Winter Wonderland | Ice Skating 

When it comes to value, Ocean Beach ranked as a mid-range option when it comes to value when I compared ice skating prices. Skating should be booked in advance where possible, sometimes walk ups may be available depending on capacity. 

Find out more and book here. 

Ocean Beach South Shields Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating Review  - price list

Regular ice skating sessions last for 1 hour and include skate hire, or you are welcome to bring your own skates if you wish. 

Children aged 3-7 need to be accompanied on the ice by a (paying) adult and children aged 8-13 need to be accompanied by an adult spectator. 

The ice rink is REAL ice and outdoors but it is under a decorated marquee with festive lights and music. Spectators can watch from the side. 

Skating aids are available to hire for £5 each. 

Ocean Beach South Shields Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating Review  - skating aids

Vicci noted that the ice rink staff were exceptional and really took the time to keep everyone safe and teach the kids some moves / tricks on the ice too which is a nice little touch I think. 

 South Shields Ocean Beach Winter Wonderland | Bar, Food & Stalls 

Ocean Beach South Shields Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating Review  - food stalls

There is a festive food court and licensed bar available. These can get busy though and do expect to queue in peak times. You can expect: 

  • Yorkshire pudding wraps (Vegetarian Yorkshire Pudding wraps are planned too)
  • Hot Christmas sandwiches 
  • Pigs in Blankets 
  • Christmas ft long sausages with cranberry sauce 
  • Churros 
  • Hot chocolates 
  • & more.......

There are a couple of festive market stalls available too (but not loads so don't get too excited). 

There is various outdoor seating and a couple of firepits around the park but we would very much recommend wrapping up warmly. 

Ocean Beach South Shields Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating Review  - fire pit

Vicci commented that the food was exactly how you'd expect at this kind of event. It hit the spot but obviously isn't gourmet cuisine. Prices are similar to the usual fairground stall prices. 

South Shields Ocean Beach Winter Wonderland Rides 

Ocean Beach run a cashless system for their fairground rides. Most of the rides are open during Winter Wonderland but there are a couple of exceptions which are managed by third party operators and closed for the season. 

If you have not visited Ocean Beach before, you will need to buy a fun card from one of the machines on site. I recommend downloading the Ocean Beach app to keep track of your balance/top up. There was a 50p charge for fun cards if you were preloading with less than £10 credit when we bought ours in the summer. 

Ocean Beach South Shields Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating Review  - buy fun card

Once you have purchased your fun card, you can top up at the machines or online and then you just tap into the ride with your card as you enter and credits are taken from your balance. You can see how many credits are required per ride here. 

As a general rule, £10 should get a 10 year old on 4 rides. One credit is £1 each. 

Find out more about the fun card system here. 

If you have more than one child who generally like to go on the same rides, I would recommend buying one card to share as the more you top up, the more 'bonus' credits you are given (see here for info). It's pretty easy to pass the same card back and use it twice to tap in. 

If your children tend to go on different rides, I would recommend buying a card each. 

Top tip - make sure your kids are wearing a coat / trousers with zipped pockets to keep their card safe. It is also possible for kids to pass their fun card back to their parents after they have tapped in. 

Any unused credit stays on your card for next time. 

This system works so well and it's really easy to use plus who wants to fumble around with cash and tickets in the winter? Not me!

The rides at Winter Wonderland are varied and there is something for all ages. Obviously the dodgems are a real hit. There are also various side stalls dotted about the park which adds to the atmosphere. 

Vicci noted that her boys had an absolute blast on the rides and didn't want to leave. In fact they stayed until closing. I agree, we always have a fun time at Ocean Beach and there is something for everyone. 

If you need to warm up, there are indoor arcades and laserforce (call 0191 455 3885 to book laserforce) plus of course the Dune complex with ten pin bowling and soft play too. 

South Shields Ocean Beach Winter Wonderland | Travel & Nearby 

You can't miss Ocean Beach Winter Wonderland. It's right on the sea front (postcode NE33 2LD) and an easy 10 minute walk down Ocean Road from South Shields Metro Station. 

We usually park on the sea front - there are plenty of carparks and we never have any bother finding a space. Use postcode NE33 2NL and you will see the car parks along the sea front. You generally have to pay for parking right up until 8pm in these car parks and you can usually pay by card/phone/cash. 

On the sea front you can expect to pay around £1.60 for two hours parking / £5 all day. If you don't mind a little walk. Free parking is available at several spots closer to the town centre. 

Ocean Beach South Shields Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating Review  - parking

We absolutely love visiting South Shields and there is loads to keep you occupied if you wish to make a day of it. 

If you wish to warm up, I highly recommend South Shields Museum which is free to visit with no booking and a short walk from Winter Wonderland (check their opening hours though). Why not combine Winter Wonderland with this Elfin' Around Christmas Experience? It looks brill (book for this one). 

The Word which is a little further along/close to the ferry port and has a FREE Investigating Detectives interactive exhibition running at the moment too (again, check opening hours if planning a trip). 

We nearly always dine at Colmans Seafood Temple when visiting South Shields. It is SO nice with gorgeous food (including a kids menu), beautiful sea views and fab staff. I recommend booking in advance as it does get busy. It's easy to walk along from Ocean Beach to Colman's Seafood Temple. 

Check out my full guide to visiting South Shields here. 

Overall, South Shields Winter Wonderland looks brilliant and lovely and festive. It is one of those places where you could spend an absolute fortune or just enjoy the atmosphere, a few rides and a hot chocolate and keep spending to a minimum. It looks ideal for older kids too which I know can be a tricky age for finding christmassy things to do. 

Vicci and her boys had a brilliant evening here and would definitely recommend. Just maybe consider setting a budget before heading out. 

A huge thanks again to Vicci for providing some of the photos and info in this post. 


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