Get Your Skates On: Top 10 outdoor ice skating rinks near you
It’s skating season! Now’s the perfect time to introduce your little one to the wonderful world of ice skating, so we’ve handpicked our favourite outdoor ice skating rinks for families.
Ice skating is a perfect winter day out; the whole family can get involved and it helps everyone get into the festive spirit. With so many magical outdoor ice skating rinks, which one will you choose?
We’ve got you all wrapped up this Christmas, from scarves and gloves, to ideas and inspiration for the Christmas days out (some even won't cost a thing!)- so get your skates on and head to one of the best outdoor ice skating rinks in the UK.
Natural History Museum, London26th October - 7th January
Skate beneath frosted trees and fairy lights at the Natural History Museum, London. Head to the capital this Christmas and skate in front of a pretty impressive background. With skate aids for kids, plus a stunning tree to skate around, it’s the ideal place to kickstart that festive feeling.
Best for: Family and friends - they can sit at the cafe bar with a bird's-eye view of the rink.
M&D’s, Motherwell18th November - 7th January
Skate at one of Scotland’s most well-known theme parks at M&D’s on Ice. Just because the roller coasters are closed it doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. This is the perfect location if your kids get bored easily, as there is a great Santa’s grotto for you to visit. If you’re still looking for a Santa’s Grotto near you we’ve got you covered!
Best for: Those looking to tick off Ice skating and Santa’s Grotto in one go.
Life Science Centre, Newcastle11th November - 18th February
Feel alive at the Life Science Centre, Newcastle. Fly around on an ice rink beside a modern science museum for kids. The centre says there’s no need to book if you’re a group of ten and under, so make your way to the centre and put on a pair of boots. If you’re a regular skater you should make the most of the 10 skates for the price of 5 deal.
Best for: Mini-scientists who want to know the freezing point of water.
Bath On Ice, Royal Victoria Park17th November - 2nd January
If you’re yet to find your feet on the ice, why not hire your own ice marshall at Royal Victoria Park? They will come at an extra cost, but it will be worth it when you see how happy your kids will be when they’ve finally cracked it. For a cheaper alternative skate aids are available too, and to make things even more exciting an extension was approved for this year, so the ice rink is bigger and better than ever before!
Best for: Those who skate more like Bambi than Torvill and Dean.
Royal Pavillion, Brighton4th November - 14th January
Skate by the sea at the Royal Pavilion Ice Rink in Brighton. As well as an enormous ice rink for adults there is a smaller rink for the not-so-confident skaters. The outdoor ice rink has off-peak prices just after school time, so this will be perfect for those looking for an after school treat.
Best for: Mini-skaters who need penguin skater aids.
Waterfront Wonderland, Swansea17th November - 7th January
Visit an ice rink specifically for younger children and their parents right next to the National Waterfront Museum. The ice rink here is great for younger children who are nervous to get on the ice. Just beside the rink there are some festive fun fair rides; On the Giant Wheel you’ll get to see what Swansea looks like from 100ft in the air!
Best for: Newcomers looking for their first skating session.
Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire20th November - 7th January
Glide around outside without the worry of being rained on at Winchester Cathedral, Hampshire. This ice rink has a clear roof above its outdoor ice rink, so no matter the weather, you’ll be skating under the stars. Surrounding the ice rink is a Christmas market, so after you’ve finished skating you can all indulge in some festive treats.
Best for: Gingerbread, mince pie and mulled wine lovers.
Tower of London17th November - 2nd January
Take your family to London’s most dramatic ice skating rink at the Tower of London. You won’t be admiring the tower from a distance, as you’ll be skating within the castle’s walls! New this year, you can try their early morning sessions - perfect for little skaters and families looking to avoid the crowds.
Best for: Getting your little one interested in history.
Dreamland, Margate1st December - 3rd January
Make your way to the Frosted Fairground at Dreamland for skating, Christmas rides and a magical day out. Hop aboard the scenic railway and witness the theme park in all of its Christmas glory. For this year they also have a family of four ticket, so a trip here won’t break the bank.
Best for: Those looking to get lost in a Christmas wonderland!
Stockeld Park, Wetherby1st December - 3rd January
Skate by the twinkling lights of an enchanted forest at Stockeld Park, Wetherby. Wrap up warm and discover this stunning outdoor ice rink in West Yorkshire. After you’ve visited the ice rink you can also visit the Nordic Ski Trail, at an extra cost, where your kids can breeze through a 1.2 km trail of fairy lights and illuminated sculptures.
Best for: People whose favourite thing about Christmas is the lights.
And one for luck...
Eden Project, Cornwall1st December - 18th February
Okay so this ice rink isn’t technically outdoors, but we couldn’t keep the Eden Project off our list! With penguin skating aids, parent and toddler ice-play sessions, and chilly junior sessions for 6-12-year-olds - there is something for the whole family at Eden.
Top tip: Ice rinks aren’t only for Christmas, so make sure to give them a visit before and after the festive season, with many open into January and beyond!
If you’re still on the lookout for a Santa’s Grotto then make sure to check out the best Santa’s Grottos near you. Or if you’ve already sorted your grotto have a look at our list of ideas on how to spend New Year's Eve with the kids and things to do in January.