BOLTON town centre will be transformed into a winter wonderland this Christmas.

As well as the family favourites ­— a giant covered ice rink and a teepee bar ­— a new festive family zone will open in the old BHS shop in Crompton Place Shopping Centre.

This will be the new home for Santa' Grotto and provide free family entertainment throughout the festival, including air hockey and table football arcade games, and visitors can have a go at snow cross and alpine racer computer games.

The festival will also feature a packed programme of free entertainment across the four weeks including street performances, reindeer and donkey visits, carol singing as well as children’s fair rides.

Mayor of Bolton, Cllr Hilary Fairclough, said: “A Bolton Christmas is about family and friends, and we want to help make it a special time for all.

“We are sure the Festival will bring thousands of people into the town centre. There really will be something for everyone this year with such a packed schedule of events, everything is ready for a magical festive season."

Executive Director at Warburtons, Brett Warburtons, added: “We’re a proud Bolton company, delighted to be supporting the council with the Winter Festival. Our company was born and bred in this town and it is wonderful to be involved.”

The ice-rink will be open 10am and cost is from £4.50 for children, £8 for adults and £24 for a family ticket. Various discounts are available too. The Teepee café bar is back on Victoria Square where families can warm up from the cold, grab a hot chocolate, a bite to eat and sit back, relax and enjoy listening to some great local entertainment on the live music stage. It is open daily from 11am. The festival will welcome its first visitors on Saturday, December 7 and will be open every day until Sunday, January 5 ­—except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and New Year’s Day. Tickets for the ice rink and Santa’s Grotto can be bought at and for more information.