'Mud bath' Crystal Palace Winterfest Christmas fair shuts as furious families brand it a 'disappointment'

Fiona Simpson
The Christmas pop-up was called a "joke" by disappointed families: Bizarro's Theme Park Photography

A “mud bath” Christmas fair in south London has been forced to close after being branded a “disappointment” and a “joke”.

Winterfest was planned to bring magic to Crystal Palace Park from December 8 until January 2.

However, the site mysteriously closed on Tuesday, just six days after opening.

Furious attendees had slammed the festive fair, planned to feature rides, an ice rink and Father Christmas, on social media.

Wintefest was planned to run until January 2. (Bizarro's Theme Park Photography)

One woman described her disastrous visit to Winterfest on Facebook, calling it a "joke" and claimed the ice rink was melted.

Another woman claimed Santa had been unable to travel to the event due to snow and added that the ice rink was closed “because it was too slippery”.

She wrote in an online rant: “Santa's Grotto: Not there today as he lives in Nottingham and couldn't get down due to the snow on the motorway, they haven't booked another Santa for the rest of the time in case this happens again.

The Winterfest closed down this week. (Bizarro's Theme Park Photography)

“Ice skating: closed today due to the weather, not their fault it's for health and safety reasons it's very slippery, any tickets booked will be refunded. No seating for spectators outside.

“Giant observation wheel: As you may know couldn't be put up due to high winds previously but will be delivered Monday ready for Wednesday.

The site closed on Tuesday in mysterious circumstances. (Bizarro's Theme Park Photography)

“Lots of fun fair rides for the kids, yes it's pricey between £1-3 a ride but that's probably what you would pay anywhere at Christmas.”

Other parents branded the site a “mud bath” and said they had been unable to manoeuvre young children around the site.

Michael Curran wrote on Facebook: “'It's really poor, popped up there Sunday afternoon, minimum investment!

“Difficult to walk around the place without getting covered in mud! God knows how you would cope with young children or with a buggy!!”

Silvia Oliveira said she was “super disappointed” after arriving at the event to find there was “no Santa’s grotto”.

Russell Turner described the ice rink as “rutted and bumpy” but added a few hardened festive fans had “attempted to skate”.

Adrian Miah wrote: “Honestly it was a joke, we walked miles and miles across the park in the snow to find that the ice rink was melted and there was no Father Christmas!

“There were like two rides and two stalls was an absolute joke!!!”

Bromley Council, which runs Crystal Palace Park, told the Standard: “We are aware that the organisers have decided not to pursue this event and idverde, our parks and greenspaces management contractor, are in contact with them to discuss this matter further.”

A message posted on the event’s website read: “Crystal Palace Winterfest has taken the decision to permanently close.

“All bookings and token purchases will be refunded within the next 7 working days.”

A spokesman for WinterFest told the Standard: "WinterFest made the decision to close due to the adverse weather conditions and the impact it had on the event as a whole."