Ice skating and a visit to see Santa

I really love this time of year and even more so since becoming a Mum. There is something magical about the whole Christmas build up, watching the children open their advent calendars daily, hunting for the Elf to see what antics he has gotten up to overnight to writing their cards for their friends and wrapping the presents – a job I still need to finish.

As the days grow closer the excitement levels build for us all, and to aid this we like to add a few family days out in, something to look forward to when they are so fed up with school and longing for the holidays.

We recently went to see Room on the Broom at the theatre and last weekend took a family trip to the Lee Valley White Water Centre to see Santa and to visit their ice skating rink.

We live less than 10 minutes away from the White Water Rafting Centre yet didn’t manage to fit in an ice skating trip this year, so the kids were over the moon when we were invited down for a session.

The skating rink is set up in a large tented area, to book in you need to head to the centre’s reception even if you have pre-booked online, here you will get your wristbands which you’ll need to show to get your ice skates. Sessions run on the hour and last for 45 minutes a time, which is more than enough for young children.

While Emmy had skated a few times before, Harry hadn’t been and initially was a little nervous. This eased when he was able to get his hands on a penguin which helped him to gain his balance and steady him. He didn’t need very long with his penguin before he was whizzing off towards the middle of the rink, never one to play by the rules and go around the sides he whizzed through the middle at speed, falling a few times but never giving up.

Emmy loved it too, she took a few moments to gain her confidence again and soon remembered how to get going, stop and to pick herself up again when she fell.

Wrapped up and ready

After our skating session was over we headed off to the mini fun fair they also have on-site currently, here you need to buy tickets for the rides which range from 1-4 tickets per ride. They went on a few rides each while we waited for our time slot to see Santa. There are also stalls where you can try to win prizes and hot food available from the stands at the fair or you can visit the cafe for hot or cold food, drinks and even an alcoholic drink if you prefer.

Santa’s hut is just by the reception and you get a specific time slot which really does help to avoid queues. Santa’s shed/hut is very well decorated and he is very friendly and was great with the children, as you would of course expect.

They loved telling him what was on their Christmas list, although I am glad he saw the look of horror when Harry announced something new which had never been mentioned before as he said he would do his best but he already had in mind the perfect gifts.

You can take your own photos and each child is given a very lovely gift of a wrapped book. Harry’s was The night before Christmas book which he has been really enjoying and Emmy’s was a huge Christmas bumper activity book, hers is a really lovely and perfect book for her and one which will keep her occupied for a long time.

Ice skating sessions are available Friday, Saturday and Sundays and then every day beginning the 21st December (they are closed Christmas Day and Boxing Day) from 11 am to 7 pm with prices starting from £5.

If skating isn’t your thing there is curling available when skating isn’t running, and visits to Santa are priced at £8.50 per child.

For bookings and further information please visit the website

Disclaimer: We received our family skating session, 4 tickets for the fair and our visit to Santa in exchange for this post, as always, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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