Natural History Museum Ice Rink 2012

Things to do, Ice skating
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Natural History Museum Ice Rink 2012

Alfred Waterhouse's stunning Natural History Museum once again provides the backdrop for this 1,000-metre-square outdoor ice rink, which for the first time this year features a Christmas tree at its centre, and a smaller rink for children. Returning 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. 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.

For our guide to ice skating in London see www.timeout.com/iceskating

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Event phone: 0844 847 1576
Event website: http://www.nhmskating.com
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We went on Sunday afternoon - and while it is one of the loveliest settings and the staff on the ice were friendly, there were far too many people on the ice. I think the company running it are being too greedy selling that many tickets per session - there should have been half the number or at most two-thirds. At other rinks I've been to good skaters (of which I am not one) can whizz round everyone else, but I didn't see anyone going very fast, there just isn't room. Another gripe is that they charge £5 to hire the penguin stablisers for small kids (unlike Somerset House and other places - last year anyway). When I complained that this was not advertised I was told it was on their website, but have just looked on both Nat History Museum website and Ticketmaster one and can't see any obvious mention of a charge - only that you have to book them. Other than that it is very atmospheric, nice having the cafe balcony overlooking the rink too. Last thing - they gave me the wrong shoes back at the end, need to be a bit more on the ball about that. Overall Somerset House was better.