Friday, July 20, 2012

Day 1019 - Ice Skating

Where is it cold enough to ice-skate outdoors?

Canberra of course!

Deep Fried Fruit - Ice Skating in the City

Yesterday I took a fun bus (aka a KIA) load of kids into Canberra city for some outdoor ice skating.  What may be a fairly standard winter activity in other countries is definitely not the norm in Australia.  Being able to  slide around the ice at all is a novelty in our world, but being able to do it outside is unheard of.

Deep Fried Fruit - Skate in the City
Set up right in the middle of Garema Place the temporary Skate In The City rink runs for the month of July.  There are various 90 minute sessions during the day and night, plus there are special shows put on throughout the month such as the "Pirates of Garema", the "Spectacular Ice Show"  and fashion parades, each of which are followed by a round of public skating.  You can even choose a movie session which has an ice-skating themed movie playing in the background (eg The Might Ducks, Ice Princess, Blades of Glory). Sessions are $15 for adults or $12 for kids.  Tickets can be bought on site or you can do what I did and purchase them on-line and take a copy of the ticket with you.

Skate in the City - Kiddie push penguin
We chose the midday session yesterday which worked out perfectly with our sunny blue sky day.  The rink is fairly small and with the school holidays it was very crowded when we first got on.  95% of participants appeared to be first time skaters so it was a little hairy there in places.  In a world of self-preservation there were a few windmill style tumbles which included taking out the person next to you. There were also a lot of very small children on the ice with their safety penguins* who didn't fully understand the ice etiquette (ie don't cross in front of wobbly people, don't grab onto wobbly people, don't stop in front of wobbly people, don't go near wobbly people). But after about 45 minutes things started to thin out a bit as people either left due to injury, tantrum, pride or exhaustion, and the session was very manageable.

My crew had a great time and particularly liked it when the snow machines went off giving us a dusting of ice.  Out of seven kids only a couple retired early due to sore feet.  Balancing on a thin blade can put pressure on your foot, plus the big ol' boots can rub a bit.  I recommend long thick socks. All in all though they had a great time and if you are in Canberra over winter it's a must-do!  You can check it out here.

But that's enough of all things cold and ice from me today.  I'm on my way to Vegas where the temps are in the 40s.  Next time you hear from me will be from Sin City! The Twitter hash tag for that trip is #DFFVegas.

*There are safety penguins available for littlies to push along which gives them balance. Alternatively Mum or Dad can push the penguin and the kidlet can stand on the penguins feet and be pushed around the ice.  Clever idea. 


  1. It is a novelty here in Singapore too! So fun :)

    Ai @ Sakura Haruka

  2. We had outdoor ice skating set up near my house (Brisbane) in summer. It was awesome. Rachel x

  3. Looks like loads of fun!

    I think i would need a 'safety penguin' for my self lol

  4. how exciting to go ice skating. Once many years ago they made an ice skating rink in the local shopping center. It was so much fun. I live in the tropics so it was a pretty big deal at the time

  5. How awesome! Those penguins are a great idea, too. :-) I've only been ice skating once, it was on the Gold Coast and I was ten years old (I think). That was outdoors as well. Looking back, I have no idea how they did that on the Gold Coast, but I'm glad they did! :-D

  6. We have a similar thing going on in Perth.. and havent ventured there yet but my sister did and my nephews had a ball!

  7. Wish I could skate...unfortunately, I don't think I can balance! Looks like heaps of fun!

  8. Wow. There seems to be outdoor ice skating everywhere. Even Qld. Remarkable. Perhaps all you need to do is look. I look forward to hearing more ice skating stories. Thanks so much for sharing.
    (Written from international departure lounge in Sydney. Yes ... Bragging.)

  9. I grew up in Canberra! Was so nice to see piccies of good ol' Garema Place ;)
    We had a Winter Festival over here too. Can't wait till the twinlets are old enough to take them.
    Looks like you all had a lovely time! :) x

  10. The ice rink was set up in Brisbane last month and I know there are a few You Tube videos of a session of Roller Derby on ice that one of the local leagues did one night!
    Looks like it was fun though! :)

  11. Bondi - they ice skate in Bondi! We iceskate when we go overseas so my daughter loves to show off her little ice squiggles as she learns to go backwards. It's a hoot!♥

  12. I skated on a real forzen lake in Colorado about 25 years ago. That's still right up there with one of the best experiences of my life. I was hoping to get to the outdoor skating in Bondi, but didn't quite get there!

  13. So many outdoor ice skating stories. This was my first time. I would love to do a real frozen lake. Must definitely put that on my list ...

  14. One of my favorite sports is ice skating because it feels like I'm floating and flying at the same time. I also have my roller blades but ice skating gives me a more hyped feeling.


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