Natural History Museum Ice Rink 2010

Things to do, Ice skating
  • 2 out of 5 stars
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Natural History Museum Ice Rink 2010
Gaze up at Alfred Waterhouse's stunning Natural History Museum from the 1,000-metre-square outdoor ice rink, or the smaller rink for children. New for this year is a rinkside fairground carousel, and spectators can take in the scene with a hot chocolate or mulled wine from the balcony café/bar overlooking the ice and the trees are decked with thousands of fairy lights to add to the festive atmosphere. See the website for wheelchair-user sessions, and note the rink is occasionally closed for private functions.


Event phone: 0844 847 1576
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Average User Rating

2 / 5

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Much smaller rink than I expected, and very crowded, they let far too many people onto the ice at once. Agree no bag policy was unclear and my OH also lost 10 minutes returning to the back of the line to check his backpack. Penguin availability ok for us (Sat, Dec 1, 2pm session) but paying an extra £5 for it is a rip on top of the not cheap ticket price. We found the condition of the skates themselves ok, the ice surface was fine and the small kids practice rink nice to be able to slip off too (but its also too small). The Xmas tree in the middle is pretty, and we had fun but I wouldn't return to skate here, its too small & crowded.


Pros: The ice surface is pretty good. The way it is set up with one side of the building and waiting area for those getting on and another side for those getting off is quite good. Skate pick up was efficient. Cons: The skates are in terrible condition, very blunt and rusted, not to mention cracked. The penguin system needs work: there should be a maximum number of children on the ice at one time. If you go before 4pm, there will be tons of children and not enough penguins to go around. Prepare yourself: most people can't skate and those that can are struggling on those blunt, awful rentals. Definitely bring your own if you can (won't save you money but will save yourself the brutal task of skating on unsharpened skates and the discomfort of skates you're not used to). Dropping off your skates is another ordeal: the room is packed with no real queuing order and the floor is soaking wet. But the staff wants you to take off your skates before you reach the counter for efficiency. The worst was the "no bags" policy. I arrived 40 minutes early, as per the instructions online, got my skates, and waited in the holding area outside of the rink watching the previous group doing their thing. Went to get on the ice? Was told I had to check my bag. Two quid and going to the back of the line. For a short 50 minute stint, I ended up spending over 10 minutes trying to get through the crowd to get back into the building to check my bag and then was sent to the back of the line to wait to check my bag. There is not a single sign saying that you need to check bags, only that bag check is available "at your own risk". Absolutely do not bring a bag larger than a small purse unless you intend on checking it. My bag was almost empty, as well, so I would have left it at home if anywhere said not to bring it/it would have to be checked. The staff was very rude communicating this, as well. Overall tips: Bring your own skates if you can. Bring your own socks if you can't so you can replace the ones that will inevitably become wet when waiting to return your skates. DO NOT BRING A BAG LARGER THAN A SMALL PURSE. If you have kids who can't skate well, good luck.


Went 18.11.12 - awful. Staff are incredibly rude, there are too many people allowed skate at once and booking the penguins acc to website can't be done, but when you get there you're told you need to book them. There are only 12 of them anyway, miserable for kids who don't get them. Would never go back