The Winter Village: Ice-skating & Igloos in Adelaide – Review
An alpine-inspired wonderland has popped up in the heart of Adelaide in time for winter. Hit the rink, feast on delish food and drink, and meander through the twinkling igloo village, filled with catered private igloos.
by Carla Caruso
I’ve never been a ski bunny, but the term, après-ski, has always appealed. That being the social activities and entertainment that follows a day’s skiing.
And that’s what the vibe of The Winter Village at the city’s Torrens Parade Ground is all about. Although, there is also skiing!
Think snow showers, food and drink, a magical igloo village, music playing, plus, of course, getting your skates on. Nicely, it’s free to enter and open seven days a week, until 5 September 2021. It’s time to embrace winter!
Takeaway-style fare on-site includes giant pretzels, burgers (including a plant-based one), kranskies, mac ‘n’ cheese croquettes, ‘dirty’ loaded fries, ice cream sandwiches, and more. There’s also a ‘little rink rats’ menu for the kidlets. Plus, grown-ups can hit the Sip Bar for espresso martinis, hot toddies, beer, vino, and hot choccies.
Feel like being really fancy? You can also cosy up in one of 21 private igloos on-site, decked out with cushion-littered armchairs and sparkly fairy lights. It’s all your winter wonderland dreams come true. Indulge in a share-style feast, delivered straight to your igloo door. Igloos are bookable for 1 hour, 45-minute sessions, for groups of two to eight guests.
You can also book a Brunch & Skate package online, available on weekends at 10am. These include a 45-minute skate session, followed by brunch in a private igloo.
But onto the ice-skating… No matter whether you’re a first-timer or an Olympic aspirant, you can grab a skate session pass and hit the ice rink for some family fun. Skate passes include skate and helmet hire and are bookable for 45-minute sessions each day. The sessions run on the hour. Skating aid hire is $5 per child, and extra socks and protection packs can also be bought. A tub’s provided to put your valuables in nearby while you skate.
On Cheap-Skate Tuesdays, you can take advantage of two-for-one skate passes all day online. And on Sundays, bring the fam-bam down for a family skate pass (available for two adults and two kids for $74 – only if you book online.) Also on Sunday, there’s free kids’ entertainment, like face painting and balloon artistry, from 10am to 12pm.
While I attempted skating, I asked a staff member for some tips and he said, with it being a short session, “just focus on staying upright”. (My husband, meanwhile, lasted two minutes.) The kids did their best with the roo-shaped aids – sometimes ending up on their bottoms – but still had a blast.
Another highlight each day are the faux snow showers, which are a lot of fun for both the kids and adults. They also, of course, make for great photo opportunities. These occur daily at 12pm, 3pm, 6pm, and 9pm.
The Winter Village’s Opening Hours
- Monday – Thursday | 11am – 10pm
- Friday | 11am – 12am
- Saturday | 10am – 12am
- Sunday | 10am – 10pm
What we like about it:
- After the year that was, it’s fab to enjoy another big event in our city.
- Instead of feeling gloomy about the grey skies, you can embrace all that’s magical about the cooler months and relish some retro fun. You’ll feel like you’re in a Hallmark movie.
- If you can’t make it away for your usual skip trip this year, this is the next best thing.
Things to consider:
- If hitting the rink, make sure to wear thick socks as the hard, heavy boots can hurt your ankles. And don’t forget to rug up!
- Trying to strap on your skates – and the kids’ – can be a little tedious. Be patient. 🙂
- No child under the age of three is permitted on the rink. And kids between the ages of three and five are required to be accompanied by a parent or guardian on the rink at all times.
- All igloos are accessible; however, it’s recommended prams are parked out the front of them.
- Pre-bookings for the igloos are strongly recommended due to their popularity.
- In the event of extreme weather, skating sessions may be ‘rained out’ and need to be rescheduled.
- The Village is a cashless venue.
Coffee and food options nearby:
No need to leave The Village! There’s a pop-up kitchen and bar on-site for food and drinks, which you can order direct from your phone to your table.