REOPENING AFTER COVID-19, SOCIAL DISTANCING & CLEANING
In line with government guidance, all customers will be expected to wear a face covering inside the venue unless skating on the ice rink or eating/drinking in the cafe. We recommend you wear your face covering when queueing for skate hire, catering or toilets and place your face covering inside a locker or your pocket when you step onto the ice. We kindly ask that you avoid using our bins if you need to dispose of your face covering upon leaving the venue. Please take your face covering home with you.
We ask that you arrive 20 minutes prior to your booking time. You will be asked to wait outside if you arrive before this time so please be sure to dress for the weather.
On arrival you will be greeted by our friendly team and have your mobile / print at home ticket checked. Please follow the designated one-way system around the venue to access skates, toilets or the ice rink. Please make sure you arrive at your allocated time slot as per your booking to avoid queueing outside for long period of time.
We politely ask that all bookings are made online via our website, this is to ensure you are guaranteed a skating slot with our reduced operating capacity.
We politely ask that only one parent or guardian attends with their child or family due to our reduced capacity. Spectators will be allowed to watch the ice rink from Encore Bar & Restaurant on Level 2. Spectators will not be permitted onto level 1 as this will be reserved for skaters only.
Yes, skate hire is available and included in the price of your admission ticket. Skates will be handed over to you clean and ready to use. You will be asked to keep your shoes and store these safely in a locker, this is to ensure minimal contact between our staff and customers. Be sure to ask for the same size as your standard shoe size.
Social distance measures will be enforced on skate benches when you change from your shoes into skates and vice versa so please be mindful of this.
Please exit the ice to remove your skates and follow the one-way system out of the building. As you leave, please place your skate in our skate drop bins where our teams can retrieve, clean and prepare the skates for the next skaters.
Yes, all on ice equipment is still available for hire. Each piece of equipment is handed out fully cleaned and ready for you to use.
Toilets / baby feed and baby change are available by the ice rink for skaters and in the level 2 Encore Bar & Restaurant for spectators. We will be restricting the number of toilets available to follow social distancing guidance. We ask that you wear a face covering while queueing in the designated one-way system.
Lockers are still available and will be cleaned daily. Locker cleaning stations are available for customers to wipe down their own lockers pre and post use for added reassurance. Locker stations will also be available at each entry zone onto the ice for our skating lesson customers.
The venue will be cleaned daily. Throughout the day you will see our staff conducting regular cleaning of all touch points and shared surfaces across the venue. We ask all customers to use the hand sanitizer stations placed around the venue to support us in keeping customers and staff safe.
We ask that skaters arrive a maximum of 15 minutes before their lesson start time.
Upon arrival to the venue, please follow the one-way system down to the rink. You will have a set zone where you can put on your skates, this will be signposted. A coach will meet you there.
Each grade will be allocated a set zone. On arrival, staff will advise which zone you need to go to depending on the lesson grade you are booked onto.
All lessons will work in a circular motion on the ice to help maintain social distancing. Class sizes will also be smaller.
Upon arrival to the venue, please follow the one-way system down to the rink and to the skate hire benches. Here you can get your skates on and then access the ice via the main gate closest to skate hire.
- All Skating Lessons customers will receive a free locker token to store their shoes during the lesson.
- Unfortunately, we will be unable to help with lacing up customers’ skates but we can advise from a distance. Alternatively, view this useful video that teaches you how to tie skates properly.
- There should be no spectators for skating lessons. If children are partaking in lessons, one family member/guardian may be present to help them with skates then they can spectate from Encore Bar & Restaurant on level 2.
While social gatherings of more than six people will be banned in England from 14 September, the government’s confirmed that organised sports and activities that have been through return to play protocols can continue. That’s because these sports and activities have stringent plans in place to reduce the risk of Covid-19, and because these venues are classed as Covid-secure given the measures they’ve introduced.
As a Covid-secure venue, it’s business as usual for us but please don’t visit us socially in groups of more than six.
ICE SKATING & ICE EQUIPMENT
We have a number of different items of ice equipment that can help toddlers and youngsters with skating – snowmen, penguins, mini zamboni’s, seals etc. Those available for use will vary depending on the height of the skater. We also have equipment that toddlers can sit on whilst being pushed by an adult. On ice equipment can be hired for £4.00 and are subject to availability.
Yes, you are more than welcome to come along and watch. We have some seating at the side of the ice and would recommend wrapping up warm! You can also see the ice from our Sub Zero café, so you can grab yourself a drink or some food whilst watching if you wish!
Yes! We currently offer speed skates and figure skates for public skating sessions.
The smallest skates are child size 5. The largest skates are adult size 15.
Our skating lessons run throughout the year in six weeks blocks. Visit our skating lessons page for information on future course dates.
You can view our skating lessons progression chart to find out which grades you need to achieve for different ice sports disciplines.
As a guide we recommend that children no younger than 18 months old skate on the ice. This will ensure enough time is given to develop their walking skills. If bringing youngsters under 5, we do have a cordoned off area in the centre of the ice, which you are welcome to use, which provides a great learning environment where you can make use of the on ice equipment available. We welcome parents/carers with young children and will do everything we can to help you have a great time on the ice!
Tots skating lessons are also available for children aged under 5 (we recommend a minimum age of 24 months). Our experienced coaches will take your little ones from learning to stand on the ice to fully fledged skaters. Contact Box Office by email for full details of what the programme entails and future course dates.
There is an age restriction of 8 years and above for children not accompanied by an adult for all skating sessions. The club sessions offer skating in a controlled and supervised environment, but please be aware that it is darker than usual as the lights are down and the session is popular with teenagers and young adults. You will need to be happy that your child is a confident skater and ensure that they are supervised at all times.
We usually say that a comfortable number is between 30-60, we try to split groups up into even numbers for each game station (as it gives everyone the same amount of time to have a go at the task). If you did wish to bring a different number, do let us know and we can look at what would be best to accommodate your group for a fun day at the National Ice Centre.
We hire the rink out for team building sessions on an hourly basis, so it just depends how long you would like on the ice.
We always start off our team building sessions with a small introduction into the basics of skating, this helps to build confidence and break the ice (pardon the pun). We also have skate aids that can assist with anyone who wants a little bit extra support whilst on the ice.
All ages are welcome to take part in the sessions, we just recommend that all participants are confident enough to try something new (and bring their competitiveness with them).
Absolutely, we invite spectators to sit in one of our Ice Hockey players bench zones, and we encourage photography and videos throughout (just so you can show others how competitive your colleagues and friends are).
Yes, you can buy a locker token from us for 50p at Skate Hire. Please note they are single use tokens.
Yes, we do! Please visit the birthday parties section of our website which will give much more information on what you can purchase and what’s included.
We offer free child safe wristbands for your children in the unfortunate event they are separated from a parent or guardian. A contact telephone number should be written on the wristbands and in the event of your child being lost, you will be contacted by Box Office. You can collect your wristband from Box Office located in the main foyer on level 2.
Yes. We are committed to providing a safe environment and ensuring the welfare of children and adults whilst at our venue and have a number of safeguarding policies and procedures in place.
You can find out the many ways we lessen our environmental impact by reading our environmental policy.