If you are looking to have a fun evening out with the family, your first port of call should be Exchange Square, where the iconic Broadgate Ice Rink will offer ample amusement for all. Whether you showcase your skills or end up falling on your bum, you are sure to have a fantastic evening here, especially if you are staying at one of the hotels near Shoreditch.
Get your skates on
This ice rink is actually the longest-running temporary rink in London and it has become something of an institution. After being located in the middle of Broadgate Shopping Centre for 27 years, it finally moved to Exchange Square last year, and it was such a popular move that it has now stuck here.
Your little ones will be able to get their skates on, while mum and dad relax in the complementary pop-up bar, The Tasting Room. Here, you can sip on fruity cocktails, winter warmers and local craft beer, while there is also an outdoor terrace on which you can keep an eye on the action down below. The bar will also be serving food if you start feeling a tad peckish, such as gourmet doughnuts and freshly smoked dishes.
You don’t need to be of a specific age or ability to get on the rink, and with it open from 10am to 10pm, you can either take a lunch break from the city’s hustle and bustle or slide below the stars at night – either way, the rink will be open until February 26th 2015.
Be sure to also check on what may be on during your stay, as the ice rink will be hosting a variety of exciting performances, themes skate nights and free sessions – more information can be found on the official website.
Where is it?
As noted above, the rink will be located in Exchange Square, just a two-minute walk from Liverpool Street Station. As you will be extremely close to Spitalfields Market, and a whole range of shops, bars and restaurants, you can make a proper day of it here.
When you arrive at the station, look out for the signs of the ice rink and take the appropriate exit: Bishopsgate. Turn left along Bishopsgate and then turn left again at Primrose Street. The steps here should lead you to Exchange House and the ice rink will be directly ahead.
Learning the ropes
If you have little to no skating ability, fear not as there are special lessons and aids you can get involved in. Penguin skate aids will be on hand to offer assistance for kids and adults who can’t take to the ice easily. You can hire them for £5 per hour and they will be available on a first come first served basis. Even if it’s just to watch them waddling about, it’s certainly worth it!
For those who need more than aid, there will also be NISA qualified coaches on hand to give full skating lessons. You can learn a biellmann spin or just know how to stand on the ice, but there will be individual and group skating lessons for all levels.
All of these will be headed by lead skating coach Robert Burgerman, who has not only had years of experience as a competitive ice dancer, but he recently featured as a coach on ITV’s Dancing on Ice. Classes are for 30 minutes and start at £30.
You will need to book tickets for the event, and while they are available at the door, it is recommended you do them online or over the phone in advance to avoid any disappointment in case it’s really busy. Tickets cost £12 for adults, £8.50 for children aged four to 13, and concessions for £10. You can also buy a family ticket for two adults and two children, or one adult and three children, for £33.50. Note that if you will be in a large group, you can buy 10 tickets and get the 11th for free. If you are booking online, there is a £2.50 booking fee per transaction.
The ice rink will also be available on private hire for corporate bookings, parties and schools; the last of which will be welcome to special school sessions taking place on weekdays between 11am and 12pm, excluding school holidays.
For more information, follow the ice rink on Twitter and Facebook, while the official website has everything you need to plan a magical day out with the whole family.