For a festive treat, taking a spin on an outdoor ice rink is a magical experience for the whole family. Gone are the days when outdoor skating was something you only looked at longingly on US films; now skating rinks pop up every winter across the UK offering thrills for everyone – and occasional comedy spills too. As a parent, it’s a joy to see your children learning to skate, cheeks flushed with exertion and pride as they leave the grab rail behind and gather confidence and pick up speed with every circuit of the rink.
If you can, book a late afternoon trip so your kids can enjoy the experience of skating as night falls, surrounded by magical, twinkling fairy lights. Don’t forget to wrap up warmly with winter gloves and thick socks. Afterwards, reward yourselves with hot chocolates and mince pies, while you relive your best moments on ice.
Royal Pavilion Ice Rink, Brighton – until 15 January 2017Royal Pavilion
Natural History Museum Ice Rink – until 8 JanuaryNatural History Museum
Admiral Ice Rink, Cardiff Winter Wonderland – until 3 JanuaryDavid Williams via Getty Images
The Ice Factor, Yorkshire Winter Wonderland, York – until 2 JanuaryYorkshire Winter Wonderland
Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, London – until 2 JanuaryAlex Segre via Getty Images
Christmas at the Cathedral, Winchester – until 2 JanuaryWinchester Cathedral
Manchester Ice Rink, The Winter Gathering – until 8 JanuaryManchester Ice Rink
Bath on Ice, Royal Victoria Park – until 3 JanuaryBath on Ice
Nottingham Winter Wonderland Ice Rink – until 8 JanuaryNottingham Winter Wonderland
Edinburgh Ice Skating – until 7 JanuaryEdinburgh Christmas