Winter Wonderland Ice Skating at Glenelg | Review & Tips for Families

winter wonderland 2016 ice skating glenelg

Play & Go Review | July 2015

To give you a bit of an idea about Winter Wonderland 2016, read our Review from 2015 here:

The big white marquee in Moseley Square – Adelaide’s own Winter Wonderland by the beach – is back again in 2015 and as promised, it is bigger and better. Inside the atmosphere is just as beautiful this year with lots of twinkling lights above but it’s bigger – the rink this year is 2.5 times bigger than last year. Please note that we were there in the evening. During the day you will have views of Glenelg over the beach and straight down the Jetty as the marquee has glass windows all along the walls. If you want to experience the twinkling lights above then we would suggest booking a 4.30pm or 6.30pm session.

Be sure to rug up, especially if you are a spectator and not skating. Skaters are best to wear layers – that way you can remove some clothing once you are skating and getting warmer. The kids worked up a bit of a sweat in fact and ended up taking off their beanies, scarves and jackets.

ice skating glenelg skates

Some notes if you have little ones

An adult is required to accompany a child aged 2 to 5 years on the ice and will be required to pay admission. Children under 5 need to wear enclosed shoes for the learning skates. These are little skates that are velcroed onto the child’s normal shoes. Instead of one steel blade in the centre, they have 4 smaller blades, which is much easier for younger children to balance on. See pics below.

The smallest size shoe for children in the normal ice skating shoes is Children’s Size 12. All kids with feet smaller than this can wear these learning skates. Make sure your child wears enclosed footwear suitable for these. Last year our five year olds wore sneakers with these which were fine. This year Mr 6 graduated to the ‘real’ skates and although I was concerned it was going to be much harder for him, it took him no time at all to adjust. By the last half of the session he was skating without his penguin friend, wobbly and falling over at times, but determined and skating free most of the time.

Ice Skating Glenelg child skates

IcePal Penguins are available to hire for $5.00 to assist new skaters to learn how to skate. Please note there are a limited number of these available so we recommend pre-booking. Check out how cute they are below. They are very sturdy and just the right size for little ones.

Ice Skating Glenelg penguins

On the weekends you will also get to see some local talented ice skaters show off their skills. We got to see them in action and they were fabulous!

Ice Skating Glenelg skater girls

You can watch a little video to inspire you here:



  • As mentioned above, wear layers. That way you can take things off if you get too warm, which often happens after a bit of skating.
  • Wear a beanie/hat or hooded jacket/top; scarf and gloves.
  • Often your legs can get cold, so wearing a pair of tights under jeans or pants can help, fleecy pants for kids are a good idea too.
  • Gloves offer both warmth and protection. Remind kids to try and keep their fingers tucked into a fist quickly if they fall over, rather than having their fingers spread on the ice, just in case someone skates too close.
  • Ice skates are not comfortable to wear for long. Wear thick long socks and we’d even recommend wearing 2 pairs to prevent the skates from rubbing and causing blisters. Take a few bandaids with you in case of blisters – it can help reduce the whining and whingeing after (a lesson learnt from previous ice skating sessions). If you do wear thick or two pairs of socks you will likely need the next size up in skates.
  • Kids learning to skate will inevitably have a few falls. Therefore their clothes, particularly their pants will get wet. Take a change of clothes or at least pants, otherwise they will get very cold afterwards, and especially if you are considering going down Jetty Road for a meal or treat afterwards. A cold wintry wind and wet clothes will certainly get chilly.
  • Ice skates are not easy to get on or off. Most kids will need help getting them on, pulling them off and tying up laces for some eg my 10 year old still needs help with this.
  • Make sure you have enough Adults to adequately assist the number of children you have. The penguins are helpful but little ones may not feel confident going out on the rink by themselves with so many people on the ice whizzing around them. If you are not confident skating yourself, perhaps go with friends who can, so there are other adults who can help your child. Some older kids will not want to use the penguins but still need assistance until they feel more confident….maybe the whole time you are there.
  • Take coins for parking – there is some free street parking around, but along Colley Terrace (in front of the Beachouse) it’s meter parking and they only take coins (not credit card).
  • Public Toilets – you will find these on the other side of the big building to the left as you exit the marquee. Walk towards the Beachouse in front of the building and turn right.
  • Coffee or Food – Mamma Carmela is the first cafe just after the Stamford Grand Hotel, so very close by. It’s good for groups as they have larger tables at the back. We shared a delicious pizza and Miss 10 enjoyed her chicken schnitzel & chips children’s meal ($9). The hot chocolate and coffee was a nice winter warmer too. There are also plenty of other eating options along Jetty Road. We chose Mamma Carmela only because we had kids with sore feet and we didn’t want to walk far.

winter wonderland 2015 penguin

Even if you have a child who is a bit timid, and not overly brave with sporty things, like one of our Play & Go kids, they may still love it. Last year Mr L (5 yrs) absolutely loved the thrill of skating on the ice, and after spending some time with a penguin, was keen at the end to go solo. Kids seem to pick up these things so easily!

Winter Wonderland is a great initiative by the City of Holdfast Bay and the Jetty Road traders so why not support them by taking a stroll around Jetty Road – perhaps sharing a pizza or other meal before or after your session; have a coffee and snack; get an ice-cream (it’s never too cold for ice-cream according to most kids); browse the shops; maybe take the tram there and just enjoy this great part of Adelaide.

Our Play & Go Reviews are the opinions of the Editors.

At Play & Go Adelaide we make every effort to provide accurate information to the best of our knowledge at the time of publication. We recommend confirming times, dates and details directly before making any plans as details may be subject to change.

Want to get all the latest events and activities straight to your inbox?

Subscribe to our weekly email newsletter below to keep up to date with our latest posts and find out what’s on, where to go and what to do with the kids in and around Adelaide. Newsletters are only sent once a week, and you may even get the odd ‘special offer’ exclusively sent to our newsletter subscribers only!





Tags: ,

No comments yet.

Feel free to leave us a comment

Back to Top