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Skate in the City: what you need to know

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Canberra’s CBD will once again be transformed into a winter wonderland with the return of Skate in the City in 2015.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, Canberra’s only open air ice rink will take up residence in Garema Place as part of a dazzling winter celebration from this Friday 26 June to Sunday 26 July.

This month long event will once again feature activities for the whole family including cultural events, professional performances, DJ dance parties, dress up nights, and a snow box for the younger children.

“It is the perfect event for kids during the July school holidays,” said Jane Easthope, CEO of Canberra CBD Limited, “Food and drink is available at the surrounding restaurants and cafes, with the World Curry Festival in the City providing added atmosphere from 11 to 12 July.”

There will be seven sessions daily, with an extra session on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights. Two types of sessions will be on offer: 90 minute sessions including a professional show by experienced skaters, and 60 minute general skate sessions.

A DJ Dance Party session will be held every Friday night and professional performances by experienced skaters will be included in a matinee and night session on Saturdays.

This month long event will once again feature events for the whole family including cultural days, dress up nights and a kids snow box.

What you need to know

So, what do you need to know before venturing on to ice? We’ve asked the friendly peeps at In The City Canberra a lot of nosy questions.

How can I buy tickets? 

Tickets can be purchased online. All tickets are non refundable and non transferable.

What happens if the weather is crappy?

In the case of poor weather where the rink is closed, your ticket will be transferred to another session (of equal value) of your choice.

Do I have to pay extra for the skates? 

No. Skate hire is included in the price of the ticket.

Will you have my size skates? 

Skates are available to suit sizes from 3yrs of age to men’s size 13. The smaller skates are a double blade that gets strapped onto the skater’s personal shoe so it is important to wear comfortable and snug shoes. Gum boots are too flexible so not appropriate.

Do I have to bring any special clothes?

Yes. Dress for the cold, bring socks and maybe bring a change of clothes (if you fall a lot you might get wet from melting ice).  The little kids are likely to get wet from playing in the Snow Box. There are some helmets available. If you want a helmet, it is advisable to bring your bike helmet.

Where can I leave my personal belongings while I’m on the ice?

It is recommended that you don’t bring any valuables with you. The event organisers take no responsibility for valuables lost or stolen.  Try to ask a friend to look after your things while you’re on the ice.

I’ve never ice skated. Any tips for first timers? 

Skating can be tricky at first, but here are a few pointers to get you feeling confident on the ice!

– Don’t look down when skating
– Don’t lean backwards when skating
– Keep your knees slightly bent and your weight forward
– Try to learn how to stop!! To stop, bend your knees, turn the toes of each foot inwards, point your heels out, and push out on your heels. This will slow you down and bring you to a stop.
–  Grab an ice penguin for stability.  They are $8 to hire for the whole session. 

What can the under 5’s do? 

The snow box has heaps of snow.  Make sure you bring warm clothes, gloves, gum boots and a change of clothes for the kids as they’ll probably get a little wet from the melting snow.

What can teenagers do? 

Dance on ice! There is a DJ Dance party session on every Friday night.

Where should I park? 

There are several locations to park in the CBD. See this website.  Paid parking carparks within walking distance are at the Canberra Centre shopping mall (access from Cooyong Street) and short term and long term either side of the Canberra Theatre Centre.

Where can I get a bus?

The City bus interchange is two minutes walk from the rink. Get the timetable from

the essentials

What: Skate in the The City
Where: Garema Place, Canberra CBD
When: Friday 26 June to Sunday 26 July 2015
Tickets:On sale Monday 1 June. $20 for a general skate session, $15 for those under 15, $50 for a family of four, and $25 for skate and show. Children under 5 free.

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