Nicola Harvey and her family don their skates for an afternoon visit skating in Bristol
It may be a fairly new tradition, but ice skating is fast becoming a fixture on lots of people’s Christmas calendar. We’ve enjoyed it several times now, but always in Bath, so we thought we’d give the ice rink at We The Curious (previously @Bristol) a go this year.
First thing to say is that it couldn’t be easier to access, despite being in the centre of Bristol. There’s parking at Millennium Square that takes you to within metres of the ice rink and, even though it was a busy Saturday in December, there was plenty of space. Many a trip is made or broken on the strength of the parking, so this was a great start.
We arrived a bit early. Again, no problem. There was a festive fairground by the ice rink and we spent a happy half hour there. We’d all recommend the doughnuts! Had we wanted to, we could easily have combined skating with a visit to We the Curious itself, but we decided to save that for another day.
The booking on process was smooth and everyone’s skates fitted well and easily. So far so good – now for the skating. As we’ve come to expect from outdoor, temporary rinks, the skating space wasn’t huge but plenty big enough for us. Rebecca (7) was taking to the ice for the first time without the aid of a penguin to push or banana to ride on (both readily available at an extra cost) and the space available wasn’t too daunting.
Neither was anyone tearing round too quickly, which helped everyone feel more confident. All three of our children including Noah (10) and Anna (13), plus Anna’s friend, quickly built up speed and confidence, and were able to let go of our hands. Had we not been on the ice, though, there were more than enough confidently skating staff members to help them if they were looking more Bambi on Ice than Torvill and Dean.
It’s always a little tricky when the weather is warmish (for December anyway!) and rainy because the ice did seem a little wetter than we’d like in places, but that really couldn’t be helped. Luckily, before each session started on the hour, there was enough time to sort out the ice before the 45 minute skating time. That 45 minutes, by the way, was plenty for everyone to have enjoyed lots of skating without getting too tired. I’d say it was just about perfect.
The verdict from all six of us was a huge thumbs up. In fact, Rebecca is so keen to do it again that she’s requested it for her birthday party. I don’t think I’ll break it to her yet that the ice rink won’t be there in July!
If you fancy a visit, the ice rink is open daily until January 7th. Book via the We the Curious website ￼www.wethecurious.org