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Review Unreal Xmas Ice Rink Trafford Centre And What To Expect

A blue tunnel light at Unreal Xmas Ice Rink

The Unreal Xmas ice rink has opened at Barton Square at the Trafford Centre you can check out our review here. 

The new Manchester Christmas event Unreal Xmas has now opened at Barton Square at the Trafford Centre. 

Running until 3rd January 2022, Unreal Xmas features both an ice rink on the ground floor and a craft market with Maker Market stalls on the second floor ideal for festive fun. Unreal Xmas itself is free to enter and you only need tickets if you would like to ice skate and it is recommended that you book online beforehand to avoid disappointment.

Edit – We Understand that the Makers Marker Stalls Craft Market will no longer be running for the final four weekends of the event see here. 

We were kindly invited along to Unreal Xmas for their opening night headed along with two friends our 9 and 12-year-old.  

Located at Barton Square at the Trafford Centre which boasts a large free car park and the event itself is situated at the far end of Barton Square (opposite end to the car park) near Primark. You can also enter through the tunnel from the main Trafford Centre building which will take you to the craft market on the second floor.  

We entered through the ground floor and instantly spotted the ice rink and I won’t lie, it was not what I expected, looking completely different to the images I had seen on their website. Not wanting to judge on first impressions and made our way to the box office huts which are located on the other side of the escalators to collect our tickets. 

We had arrived earlier than our skating slots so headed straight to the second floor to check out the craft market. Here we were greeted by lots of stalls selling a wide range of products from ornaments to prints and lots more. There was also lots of colourful decorations hanging from the ceiling, huge including inflatable toadstools and some cute picture opportunities. 

Review Unreal Xmas Ice Rink photo opertunities

There was also food stalls dotted around including Burritos Bar selling delights such as fajitas, nacho’s tacos and more from £9.00; Bento Safari offering Japanese Fried Chicken, Curry and Japanese Pancakes (from £5.00); a Tapas stall with a Spanish style burger, paella, churros and more and an Italian dessert stand offering a selection of Tiramisu and Cannoli’s starting at £4.00. 

We had eaten before we arrived so didn’t try any of the food but it all looked and smelt delicious. There was also a bar selling a selection of festive drinks and hot chocolate. 

Review Unreal Xmas market

Some of the stalls around the outside of the market are only open until 7.00pm with those in the centre including the food stalls are open until 10.00pm

Before we knew it, our time to skate had arrived. After showing our ticket we were directed to get our skates. Unlike other ice rinks, we have visited the ice skates are help yourself although there was an attended on hand if needed. The skates were arranged in sizes which were in ranges such as kids 12 to 2, 3 to 6 etc.

My 9-year-old is usually a size 2 1/2 and so fell into the 3 to 6 skate size – the same and me and her brother. I did worry that these would be too big but once on and fastened ( we had a little help from the staff) there was no problem at all. 

We had pre-booked a skate aid – a cute little seal, which we collected just before heading on the ice. 

Review Unreal Xmas Ice Rink skate aid

The ice rink is separated into two parts a small traditional rink where you can skate around in circles and a short ice trail. The ice trail takes you along an ice path where we found Christmas scenes on either side some of the way through, colourful draping above the way is lit up with blue and red lights in the ice and there is a lovely light tunnel towards the end. 

There is also a huge white tree with a carved face at the begging and end of the trail, lit up with colourful lights which made for a nice picture. 

Review Unreal Xmas Ice Rink Christmas Scene

Review Unreal Xmas Ice Rink tree

The session lasted for an hour by which time we were all ready for a little rest. 

What We Thought About Unreal Xmas Ice Rink? 

Review Unreal Xmas Ice Rink skating

We all enjoyed our time at Unreal Xmas. The craft market was lovely and if we were to visit again we would definitely try the food on offer. 

As mentioned early the Unreal Xmas Ice Rink didn’t look as expected, the scenery and props were cute, and the kids really enjoyed trying to follow the lights in ice, along the Christmas elf scenes.

As the ice trail also has wooden fencing on both sides of the path it is great less confident skaters to hold on to and a perfect starter ice rink. 

All in all the Unreal Xmas Ice Rink path design was a nice change to other ice rinks we had tried and we did have a lovely time. However, if you planning to visit on the basis of the pre-images you have seen on their website, expectations may need to be managed. 

You can check out a video of the Unreal Xmas Ice Rink on our Insta Reels here and don’t forget to follow us for more sneak peaks of Manchester events. 

Please Note We Understand that the Makers Marker Stalls Craft Market will no longer be running for the final four weekends of the event see here. 

Tickets to the Unreal Ice Rink? 

For more information and how to book tickets to the Unreal Xmas Ice Rink see here. 


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