Ice Skating in Leicester’s Jubilee Square
When we thought about ice skating, it took us a while to decide where to go. Both the National Ice Centre in Nottingham and the Snowdome in Tamworth off year round public skating sessions for around £9 for two hours. As winter was in full swing, we opted to go for the more festive ice rink in Leicester. At £9 for a fifty minute slot, is less value-for-money than the other two options, but was much easier to get to. If you are going with a group, there is some discount so make sure you check this out online!
The rink itself is actually covered, so that it remains open whatever the weather. There are lockers available for £2, but being cheapskates we didn’t bother, braving the cold weather in the hope that we’d warm up once skating! Turning up the recommended thirty minutes early meant we had plenty of time to faff with getting the correct size skate. We also got to witness as they “resurfaced” the ice for our session, which actually involved most of the staff members scraping the ice clean of any shavings – no ice machine as Ian was hoping for.
Ready, Steady, Skate!
Skates on, we were ready. The hard plastic skates come as part of the admission fee, and are uncomfortable to say the least. I waited impatiently at the entrance gate, watching my watch tick slowly past our get on time, as they wasted our “precious” time allowance perfecting their ice scraping routine. After what seemed like an age we were let on a few minutes past the hour. Several bambi-esque minutes later and we were skating with all the elegance of Torvill and Dean (or not!).
For those not so comfortable on their feet there was the option of penguins to hold on to – although these are really for children! At Leicester these were apparently £3 a go, but actually seemed freely available on the ice, unlike in Tamworth where they come at an eye-watering price of £6 a go! Also freely available were Seals, allowing child to sit on the aid and be pushed round by a willing parent.
The rink itself is pretty small, and with the maximum 150 people it does get a little crowded. This definitely makes the experience a little more interesting, but does limit the speed you can skate at and reduces the opportunities of any tricks to virtually nil. However, with the Christmas music blaring, you can’t help but have a good time.
Located next to the ring, is Leicester’s big wheel, and having finished skating we hopped on this for £5 each. This bought us three turns round, and a stop at the top on the first go. As a one off this was pretty fun, but a little expensive non the less.
Go if: You want some festive fun.
Don’t bother: You wan’t to race your mates, engage in tom foolery, or skate uninterrupted.