LEICESTER’S Christmas ice rink is due to take pride of place once more in the city centre as the centrepiece of a glittering programme of festive attractions.
With just a month to go until the ice rink opens its doors to visitors at Jubilee Square, tickets have now gone on sale, including packages for adults, children and discounts for group bookings.
The Jubilee Square Ice Rink will be open every day from December 7 to January 7, with the exception of Christmas Day itself, with slots at peak, off-peak and quiet times to suit all tastes.
Opening hours are 10am to 8.45pm daily, with the last admission at 8pm, except Christmas Eve when it closes at 5.15pm.
Tickets are available now from Leicester’s dedicated Christmas website at www.ChristmasInLeicester.co.uk and will soon also be available from the Visit Leicester Centre, located at the King Richard III Visitor Centre opposite Leicester Cathedral.
Skate hire and a 45-minute session on the ice will cost just £5 at super off-peak times. Off-peak tickets will cost £11.50 for adults and £10.50 for children/concessions. Standard price tickets will cost £13.50 for adults and £11.50 for children/concessions.
Little ones won’t be left out of all the fun with skating aids available for younger skaters to hire, making the ice rink great fun and safe for all the family. Tickets for skate aids can be purchased for £5 in the ice rink at the skate collection point, on a first come, first serve basis. Only card payments will be taken inside the ice rink.
Wheelchair users can also join in the fun on the ice rink at any session.
Themed events will also feature on the programme. For those who like it loud, there will be DJ takeover nights on Fridays and Saturdays, focusing on everything from 90s disco, to indie anthems to R&B classics, culminating in a set of Ibiza dance anthems on New Years Eve.
For a more peaceful experience, there will be special quiet sessions on December 26 and 28, and again on January 2 and 4 at 12.15pm when there will be no loud music.
Up to 225 skaters will be able to take to the ice during most sessions but, as in previous years, capacity will be limited to 100 skaters for designated quiet sessions for people with autism or other special needs.
The ice rink will be covered with a roof so people can skate come rain or shine. An Alpine-style bar area and festival street food will also be on hand to complete the experience.
The Jubilee Square ice rink will be at the heart of Leicester’s Christmas events, with the giant Wheel of Light joining it from Friday, November 17, until Sunday, January 7.
The 110-ft Ferris wheel offers unrivalled views over the city centre. Tickets can be purchased from the ticket booth on site. A ride is approximately eight to 10 minutes. There are 24 covered gondolas, each seating six people. Wheelchair access is available to one of the gondolas – assistance will be provided for anyone using this gondola.
Prices range from £7 for a standard ticket, £5 for children under 1.4metres tall, or £20 for a family of four.
The Wheel of Light will be open from Monday to Friday 12noon to 9pm, and from midday till 10pm on weekends.
Elsewhere in the city, Santa’s grotto will be waiting to welcome visitors of all ages at Town Hall Square, from December 2 to 23.
The traditional Nativity scene will also be bringing a touch of serenity to Town Hall Square, with lights music and a recording of local schoolchildren telling the much-loved Christmas Bible story.
A little further away from the city centre, Abbey Park will come alive with an enchanted outdoor light trail, bringing illuminations and interactive elements leading visitors on an enchanted experience. It runs from November 16 to December 24, from 5pm to 8.30pm daily.
Highcross shopping centre will also host Bright Christmas – an immersive light experience, enclosed by mirrors that reflect a myriad of 33,000 LED Christmas coloured lights set to festive sounds. It runs from November 22 to December 6.
Deputy city mayor for climate, economy and culture, Cllr Adam Clarke, said: “The festive ice rink and Wheel of Light have become firm favourites over recent years and are wonderful additions to the Christmas offer in the city centre.
“However, there are also many other activities which can be enjoyed free of charge, such as the Nativity, Santa’s Grotto, and the seasonal events at Abbey Park and Highcross among others.
“The range of attractions on offer really do promise something suitable for all ages, abilities and tastes, aimed at creating a wonderfully welcoming festive atmosphere.”
More information and booking details where necessary for all Leicester’s Christmas attractions are available at the Christmas in Leicester website here.