The cost of Christmas: Shocking prices to ice-skate at Winter Wonderland

In 10 years, a child’s ticket has doubled and a family pass would take four and a half hours to earn on minimum wage

A FAMILY ice-skating ticket in Cardiff’s Winter Wonderland is equivalent to over four and a half of hours of national minimum wage work. 

For many families this a financially daunting time. Many will be saving every penny to provide their children with Christmas treats. 

As parents know, it is almost impossible to take a child to Winter Wonderland without being asked to ride, play, and eat everything in sight. 

Unfortunately, many parents will leave feeling sick of saying the word “no”. 

But just how expensive is a family day out at Winter Wonderland? The short answer: very. 

A family of four ice-skating ticket (including booking fees) costs between £42.82 to £53.66, depending on whether the children require penguin skate aids. 

To put the ticket prices into perspective we compared them against the national minimum wage. 

Since 2012, the price of a child’s ice-skating ticket (excluding booking fees), has increased by 92%, whereas national minimum wage has only gone up by 53%. 

Today, if a single child wants to go ice-skating and requires a skate aid it costs £17.89 (including booking fees). This is equivalent to almost two hours of minimum wage work.  

This year, if you want to go for a ride on the big wheel, it will cost you £6 per person. In 2012, £6 would have bought you a child’s ice-skating ticket. 

To ride the big wheel, a family of four could pay as much as £24, depending on the height of their children. 

So, to ride for less than 20 minutes, a parent working on minimum wage could have to work 150 minutes to pay for their family. 

Cardiff Winter Wonderland’s sweet stall 2022

If you have a sweet tooth, the bus-themed sweet stall sells 100g of sweets for £2.79. If a family of four were to share 200g of sweets this would cost them £5.58. 

For the same price you could go to Tesco and buy five bags of Haribo Tangfastics, weighing 875g. 

Even in 2012, it was rare to see an average family bounce from Winter Wonderland ride to ride or stall to stall without financially feeling it the next day. 

However, with prices increasing much faster than national minimum wage, how many parents will be able to afford to take their children ice-skating over the next few Christmasses?

A spokespersone for Winter Wonderland said: “Our prices are in line with similar events around the country of a similar standard and quality. We have kept prices as low as possible even with the massive increases in our costs, from energy and fuel through to staffing expenses.”