It’s taken contractors Icescape three days and 65,000 litres of water to create the thick layers of ice for Leicester’s Christmas ice rink, but the popular city centre attraction is now ready to open to the public.
This year’s ice rink – which opens at 11am on Thursday (6 December) – will give skaters an even better experience than in 2017, with a much bigger skating area and a much-improved skating surface.
At 40m x 17m, the 2018 rink is 50% bigger than last year’s – and, this year, its surface will be kept in tip-top condition, thanks to a special smoothing machine that will take to the ice after busy sessions.
Skating aids for young children – in the shape of penguins and seals – are available again, but this year they can be booked in advance online, or hired on the day at the ice rink, subject to availability.
The real ice rink is at the heart of Leicester’s Christmas events, with the giant big wheel – the Wheel of Light – joining it in Jubilee Square once again.
City council festivals and events manager Maggie Shutt said: “This year we’re providing a much bigger ice rink with a much better skating surface, which we hope people of all ages and abilities will enjoy as part of a family outing or a Christmas night out.
“Look out for special events and theme nights at the ice rink, which will be fun for everyone – whether you’re an absolute beginner or an experienced skater.”
This year’s ice rink has been generously sponsored by DMULocal.
Tickets for adult skaters are £9 at off-peak times and £10 at peak-time sessions, with children’s tickets costing £7.50 at off-peak times or £8.50 at peak times.
Discounts are available for groups of four or more people, so a family of four will be able to skate for £30 (off-peak) or £34 at peak times.
Sessions start on the hour, with each session giving skaters 45 minutes on the ice.
Tickets can be bought at www.christmasinleicester.co.uk, from the Visit Leicester centre on Gallowtree Gate, or from the Jubilee Square ice rink ticket office at BBC Leicester (next to the ice rink).
The Jubilee Square ice rink will be open from 11am on Thursday 6 December until Sunday 6 January 2019 (closed Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).