Adelaide’s own Winter Wonderland by the beach is back again in 2017, and this year the marquee is a clear dome, bringing the outside in.
It feels so open like you are outside, but you are completely protected from the rain and wind. Inside the atmosphere is just as beautiful this year with lots of twinkling lights above. During the day you will have beautiful views of Glenelg over the beach and straight down the Jetty as the marquee has glass windows all along the walls too. If you want to experience the twinkling lights then we would suggest booking a 5.30pm or 7pm 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 always work up a bit of a sweat in fact and end up taking off their beanies, scarves and jackets.
We went to a 4pm session and even though it was pretty cold outside it didn’t feel overly cold inside.
As you can see, the view from the marquee is gorgeous. Imagine seeing it on a blue sky day or during the sunset in the evening.
Tobogganing is a new addition this year.
The slide is in a marquee adjacent to the ice skating marquee. When you buy your tickets for the slides they are not time allocated. Therefore you can slide at any time. We chose to slide after our ice skating session but you can do it before or come back later after a bite to eat even. When we were there, at 5pm, it was quiet so there wasn’t any line up. Therefore it was very quick. If you go on the weekend and during the school holidays I imagine it will be a little different.
If your kids are not at school this first week until Friday 7 July 2017, I would strongly recommend you go now during the day. The ice skating rink will not be as busy, which is great for younger kids and families in general.
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. When our kids were five year olds they wore sneakers with these which were fine. When my son graduated to the ‘real’ skates at 6 years old, 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.
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, however not all kids can get the hang of pushing these around and may still need a lot of help from an adult.
On the weekends you will also get to see some local talented ice skaters show off their skills. We’ve seen them in action before and they are fabulous!
OUR PLAY & GO TIPS
- 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. See below for a tip from a lovely lady we met at our session. She kindly lent us these hand warmers you can buy from supermarkets. They were fabulous!
- 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.
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.
Extra Tip – these HotHands hand warmers below were introduced to us by a lovely lady at the ice rink who saw that Miss 12 was suffering from very cold hands (because she couldn’t find her gloves and doesn’t like wearing them).
Read the frequently asked questions here.
For more information and all enquiries please visit the City of Holdfast Bay website
What: Winter Wonderland Ice Skating at Glenelg
When: Saturday 1 to Sunday 23 July 2017
Where: Moseley Square | Jetty Road, Glenelg
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.
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