When Wukesong Ice World unveiled its multipurpose outdoor ice arena last Thursday, droves of skaters arrived with the hopes of lacing up and having fun on its gleaming sheets of fun. However, it was so attractive that the facility couldn’t handle the crowds, so it took one step backward and closed … and now due to reopen tomorrow.
Diehards hoping to practice their gold medal worthy triple axel, mellow couples and families looking to hold their loved ones’ hands as they glide along, will be awed at the new “Ice World.”
Anchored by a panoramic 1,800 square meter ice rink, the new center also features a 600-sqm square for “ice bumper cars”, a 10-meter high ice slide, and a winding, 150-meter long “fun channel.”
There’s also a coffee shop, a European-style hand-made candy shop and Mexican and American fast food on site.
Beginners and little ones need not fret: plastic seal toys, each dubbed “Bobby,” are available for small children to ride while parents pull them across the ice. Fully grown first-timers can also hold on to “Bobbies” for balance.
Entrance to the park is RMB 40 for 90 minutes and includes free skate rentals. Bumper cars are an additional RMB 40 for 5 minutes; the ice slide is RMB 10 per run, and Bobbies can be rented for RMB 50.
Be warned that interest in the park is high and tickets can sell out, so online advanced booking via Ctrip here is suggested (sorry, Chinese interface only).
The park is open daily from 10am-8pm and is located 300 meters east of Wukesong subway stations’s Exit B.
And if you don’t want to trek to Wukesong for your ice skating fun, here’s a host of other ice options:
All Star Ice Rink
This 800 square meter rink at Solana mall features private lessons (in Mandarin only) from Chinese national skating team coaches. Classes cost RMB 135/40min. Daily, 10am-10pm. 1/F, Solana Lifestyle Shopping Park, 6 Chaoyang Gongyuan Lu, Chaoyang District. (5905 6328) 全明星滑冰俱乐部,朝阳区朝阳公园路6号蓝色港湾国际商区首层. Weekdays: RMB 30. Weekends: RMB 50.
Century Star Club
Famed for its top notch ice skating lessons, which make up for the somewhat limited space on this fairly small rink (which slightly less than regulation size). Private lessons: RMB 300/90mins. Group lessons: RMB 75/90mins.
Hours vary, visit the website or call for open times. B/F, Capital Gymnasium, 54 Zhongguancun Nandajie, Haidian District. (6834 6346) www.centurystar.com.cn 世纪星滑冰俱乐部,海淀区中关村南大街54号首都体育馆
Located in the massive Joy City complex, this rink hosts a variety of hockey tournaments.
Weekdays 10am-8pm, Weekends 19am-7.15pm Floor 7, Joy City Mall, Chaoyang North Road No. 101, Chaoyang District, Beijing7F (8552 6871, 8552 6695). http://www.championrink.com/en-us/events/champion. Weekdays: RMB 50/1.5 hours from 10am-5pm, (RMB60/1.5 hours after 5pm). Weekends: RMB 60/1.5 hours.
A charming, popular little indoor rink with boisterous crowds and a buzzing atmosphere.
Mon-Sat 10am-10pm, Sun 10am-7pm. B2/F, China World Shopping Mall, 1 Jianguomenwai Dajie, Chaoyang District.朝阳区建国门外大街1号国贸商城B2楼 (6505 5776, email@example.com) www.lecoolicerink.com. Weekdays: RMB 30 for 90 min (10am-6pm), RMB 40 for 90 min (6-10pm). Weekends: RMB 50 for 90 min. Skate rental included.
Xiyue Ice Skating
This 1000 square meter rink can easily help you kill a day, thanks to its location in the Xidan cultural centre, which is rife with shopping options and restaurants.
Daily 10am-9.30pm. Xidan Cultural Centre (in 77th Street), Xicheng District. (6602 0050)喜悦溜冰场, 西城区西单文化广场77街. Weekday mornings/afternoons: RMB 35/90 mins. Evenings/Weekends: RMB 45/90 mins.
Beijing’s most popular outdoor skating spot is not only enjoyable for ice, but also the people watching (seeing newbies leaning on grade school classroom chairs to maintain their balance while wobbling along is an endlessly entertaining site). The charming nearby hutongs make for a charmingly unique backdrop as you lace up your skates and carve some ice of your own.
Daily, early morning until dusk. Qianhai, north side of Beihai Park, Xihai Beiyan, Xicheng District. (6612 5717) 后海地区, 西城区西海北沿(北海公园以北). Week-days: RMB 10. Weekends: RMB 15.
The Summer Palace
This park’s Qing Dynasty architecture makes for a fantastically exotic back-ground that skaters can enjoy while gliding across the massive lake.
Daily, 6.30am-6pm. Qinglongqiao Jiedao, Haidian district (6288 1144). 颐和园,海淀区青龙桥街道. RMB 50 from Nov.-Apr.
Like the summer palace, this historic park skating venue has a beautiful, culturally rich backdrop, including the White Tower, ie. Bai Ta pagoda.
Daily, 9am-5pm. 1 Wenjin Jie, Xicheng District 西城区文津街1号 (6404 0610, 6403 1102)
Dulwich College Beijing
This quiet little rink is an ideal place for youngsters to learn how to skate for the first time and sharpen their skills as they grow and improve. The venue has lessons for basic skating lessons, synchronized team skating, figure skating and hockey for students aged 4 to 18 (call the number below for registration details).
Weekends, 3:30pm-7pm (not open to the public on weekdays, opening time sometime change due to special events, call beforehand). Dulwich College Beijing, Legend Garden Villas, 89 Capital Airport Road, Shunyi District, Beijing (64549150). 北京市顺义区首都机场路89号丽京花园7区，北京德威英国国际学校. http://www.dulwich-beijing.cn/page.cfm?p=588. RMB 50 (skates included).
This artificial lake at Peking University may just be the most affordable skating venues in town. Its quiet campus location makes for an ideal wintery escape from the busy city. RMB 8/hour.
Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Weekends and Holidays 9am-8pm 5 Yiheyuan Lu, Haidian District海淀区颐和园路5号
According to Tour Beijing, this venue seems like a lower grade, outdoor rival of to Wukesong Ice World, this outdoor venue has a host of offbeat alternative ice activities like ice bicycles, ice chairs, ice ships and more.
Daily 8am – 6pm. 45 Baishiqiao Lu, Haidian District (8841 2830). Take bus No. 114, 300, 323, 334, 374, 811, 814 or 817 and get off at Bishiqiao stop. RMB 10 to skate. RMB 10/hour for an ice chair, RMB 30/30mins. for an ice bicycle, RMB 20/hour for an ice ship.
Photos: China Daily, Ctrip