DISCLOSURE – THIS EXPERIENCE WAS GIFTED TO THE REVIEWER AND GUEST/S FOR THE PURPOSES OF WRITING THE REVIEW.
Reviewed by Sian Manning
The ice rink is in the BIC, for anyone that knows the BIC it is not in through the front entrance, but instead up round the back. Quite a walk from the front – if like us you go to the wrong part of the building to start with.
We were booked in for the 4pm session, the rink is open at 4 and the session starts 15 minutes earlier ready for you to check in and get your skates on. The doors didn’t actually open until 15.50, so I think they happened to be running a little late, we were just glad the rain had stopped and we weren’t soaked!
When you go in I would strongly suggest that you visit the toilets, as once you have your skates on you aren’t able to visit them.
Tickets booked online have a QR code that was quickly and easily scanned by the reception staff and then you pass through to the skate desk. Here you swap your shoes for your ice skates and get ready to put them on.
There is also a list of skating etiquette rules as you go through, handy for those that have not skated before and don’t know what to expect.
You can also hire a skate aid penguin for £5 however these can only be used by children under 120cm, so if you have an older but not so confident little one they may struggle and be a side dweller like my children!
The ice had been freshly resurfaced when we got there which made for a nice clean slate and a smooth surface ready for the crowds of skaters to get on the ice.
The whole rink and entrance is nicely decorated with trees, snow drifts, lights and drapes from the roof. There are plenty of photo opportunities and lots of benches to sit on, rest, eat at, put your skates on or leave your coat on. There are also Christmas songs playing which really does add to the atmosphere and gets you in the festive mood.
I have been ice skating quite a few times but my children (11,9 and 7) have never been, what I really liked about this rink is that there is a small practice or child size rink on the side. Perfect for anyone that doesn’t have the confidence to tackle the large space and people on the ice. This was particularly good for my small people to build up their confidence in a small area, with less people. My oldest decided he was going to be brave – crazy – fearless or a mix of all three we like to call cocky, he preceded to fall over numerous times as he thought he was a figure skater. He resembled Bambi on ice far more than Torvill and Dean, and ended up soaked from falling over quite so many times. My youngest decided she didn’t like being cold or wet so the second she fell she bounced straight back up like Tigger.
The nice thing about the rink being inside is that it is warm in there, no need for coats, thick hats and winter woollies. Just gloves if you prefer them, thick socks to protect your feet and you are good to go.
There is also a bar and food hut so you can buy pizzas (2 for £20), waffles from £3.95, sweet treats like cake and cookies and various hot and cold drinks including alcoholic ones should you wish, also just a cup of water – it is quite exhausting!
We had a brilliant time and would definitely go again, it was lovely to watch families having fun, learning something new together and really just enjoying their Christmas season together. Everyone was super friendly and happy and it was just a really lovely outing and social experience.
The rink is open now and until 18th February 2024.
Ice skating session times run from 9:00am until 8:45pm (times vary) 7 days a week. Each ice skating session will last 60 minutes with 15 minutes before to get your skates on and get ready to get on the ice.
Prices – for 1 hour: adults £13, children, students and seniors £12, family ticket (for 4) £44
For more information you can look on the cool coast ice rink website here.