It’s that time of year again! Ice skating returns to Times Square, just outside Life Science Centre, from Saturday 11 November 2017 – Sunday 18 February 2018.
We’ve pulled together some useful hints and tips to help you get the most out of your time on the ice, whether you’re a regular or if you’ve never skated before.
Can I book in advance?
Christmas Eve (24 December) and New Year’s Eve (31 December) are the ONLY days on which booking is required for groups of less than 10 people. If you’re visiting with 10 people or more, you can find information for group bookings on our website. On all other dates you should just turn up and buy tickets on the day.
Will I have to queue?
At busy times you may have to queue and wait for a short while, but we work hard to keep queues moving as fast as we can. You may find the rink is quieter after 2.00pm Monday to Friday during term time (after any visiting school groups have left), and when we first open on weekends.
What if the weather’s bad or it’s raining?
We’re hardy Northerners but sometimes the great British weather gets the better of us. If the rink closes due to bad weather, we’ll do our best to reschedule pre-booked group visits to an alternative date. Sorry, but no refunds will be given.
In case of light rain and snow we usually stay open. However, with heavy rain or snow, or strong winds, we may have to close. If you’re unsure, call us on (0191) 243 8223 before you visit and check our website. Any announcements will be in a red ‘Essential Info’ bar at the top left of all pages on life.org.uk.
Do children need to be accompanied by an adult?
Children aged 9 years and under must be accompanied by an adult on the ice rink. Children aged 10-12 years must be supervised by an adult, either on the ice rink or from the viewing platform.
Can very young children ice skate?
Yes – if you’re comfortable with them having a go! We have skates as small as a children’s 8 and bob-skates for smaller feet that strap on over shoes.
Little ones aged 4 and under need more supervision on the ice, so an adult should have no more than two children of this age with them at a time on the ice.
Is skate hire included?
Yes, skate hire is included in the price.
I have my own skates – do I have to pay?
There is no reduction in price for having your own skates but you are more than welcome to use them if you prefer.
How long do you get on the rink?
Skating sessions last approximately one hour (includes time to fit skates so expect 45-50 minutes on the ice).
Can wheelchair users go on the ice rink?
Wheelchair users and their carers can usually use the ice rink, however during very busy times we may have to delay or refuse entry for safety reasons. We can recommend quiet times to visit – call us on (0191) 243 8223 for details. Wheelchair users pay the normal ticket price and their carer (one per wheelchair user) goes free. Carers must wear shoe grips (provided by Life) so they can control the wheelchair on the ice. Motorised wheelchairs must be set to manual.
Do you have car parking nearby?
Car parking is available in Times Square Car Park, just a short walk from the Science Centre. Parking rates are available on our website. Accessible bays are available. The car park has over 350 spaces but can fill up on particularly busy days so we recommend you arrive early or use alternative transport.
Other Useful Stuff:
- Please wear suitable clothing. Layers are vital on the rink! We recommend waterproofs, hats and gloves. It’s a good idea to bring a change of clothing too (particularly spare socks). Gloves and socks can be bought from the Life shop if you’re caught short.
- We provide coloured wrist bands to all customers to help with timings – please have yours visible and hand it in with your skates at the end of the session.
- To keep things moving (and safe) on the rink, please skate anti-clockwise.
- Keep safe – please don’t throw ice/snow balls and don’t join hands with friends/family as this can result in accidents.
- Our ice marshals are a friendly bunch who are there to make your visit as safe and enjoyable as possible. Feel free to ask them for advice and please listen if they ask you to do something – they talk sense and want you to be safe. If you, or someone with you, has an accident please tell an ice marshal.
- Times Square Café is usually open to buy Starbucks drinks and delicious hot and cold food to warm you up after your skate – we recommend the hot chocolate!
The serious bit:
- We want you to have a safe and happy experience, but it is an ice rink after all, so all skaters participate at their own risk.
- Management reserve the right to refuse entry – we don’t often have to do this, thankfully! If anyone behaves in a generally daft manner (endangering themselves or other people), the Duty Manager will ask them to leave.