Ice Skate Birmingham and Big Wheel in Centenary Square


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Nov 08, 2023

Ice Skate Birmingham and Big Wheel in Centenary Square

The Christmas ice rink in Birmingham has four big attractions and a bar including the Big Wheel, City Flyer and new ride Air Join the Secret Elves to get first access to our exclusive reviews of the

The Christmas ice rink in Birmingham has four big attractions and a bar including the Big Wheel, City Flyer and new ride Air

Join the Secret Elves to get first access to our exclusive reviews of the must-have products this year

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Join the Secret Elves to get first access to our exclusive reviews of the must-have products this year

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Ice Skate Birmingham has pulled out all of the stops for Christmas in Centenary Square, 2022. As well as the return of the 40-metre Big Wheel and 55-metre City Flyer alongside the all-new 30-metre square Ice Rink and bar, there's a new ride at the event, too - called Air.

All of the four attractions are guaranteed to offer thrills and spills in one form and another, so we've given each one a 'bravery' score, too. But even if you just go to watch, there is something for everyone to enjoy and the ice lounge bar with stunning views is open to all (staircase access only).

Here's what each event costs and how to book in advance for the rink. You can book on the day if that suits and the other three attractions are walk-up only.

Read more:Christmas in Cathedral Square - full list of food, drink, gift and craft market stalls for 2022

Top tip: To make the most of a family day out, try to go in late afternoon on a day when there will be a super sunset. To see Centenary Square bathed in golden sunshine just when all of the lights are coming into their own will make your visit even more magical.

The event is next to the Library of Birmingham in Centenary Square at the lower end of Broad Street. It is served by both buses and West Midlands Metro trams.

For those arriving from Birmingham city centre on foot, it's just a five-minute walk from Victoria Square. Here, the 22nd German Christmas Market will end on Friday, December 23.

Ice Skate Birmingham is now running daily from 10am til 10pm right through the holiday period until Sunday, January 8 (closed only on Christmas Day). The address is Centenary Square, Broad Street B1 2ND.

These are the prices for 2022 for individuals as well as for families. Lockers cost £1 to keep your belongings safe. Penguin skating aids for children are £4 to hire (all under seven must be accompanied).

Main prices include skate hire (socks must be worn). Skaters should wear warm and waterproof clothing that is comfortable. Wheelchairs and motorised scooters can go onto the ice, but users must be accompanied.

The on-site box office is open daily from 9.30am until 9pm. Advance bookings can also be made on the Ice Skate Birmingham website here.

Schools note: The rink is available for classroom trips from 10am to 1pm, Monday to Friday during term time only. The cost per child is £7.

Bravery rating:From 1/10 if you've skated before and not fallen - rising to 6/10 if you have never tried it. You can hold on to the rails or use a penguin aid - in those circumstances go when it's quiet and ask the staff for tips and guidance.

The advantage of booking your ice skating session ahead is that you are guaranteed your slot. The venue is fully enclosed from the elements so you can skate regardless of the weather.

Leave your visit to a 'nice day' and the rink might be very busy when you get there. Allow 30 minutes before your slot to have your ticket checked and to get your skates on etc.

The family-friendly ride is 40-metres tall and offers panoramic views across the city's rooftops. Whether you want to look out to Broad Street, above Brindleyplace and the Library of Birmingham's main garden terrace or across to the BT Tower, Paradise and the Rotunda this is the way to do it.

The 'cars' swing a bit in the wind but are very safe. And a whole family can ride together.

Price: £7 per person.

Bravery rating:1/10 - 5/10 depending on whether your party includes someone of a nervous disposition putting everyone else off! It will typically be colder and windier at the top of the ride so take warm clothing, especially for children. The cold will be offset by the views and surprising sense of exhilaration. You can see the brilliant views by watching our extended ride on the Big Wheel via our Facebook Live recording.

This ride takes your breath away - literally. But it's not quite as scary as it looks.

After being strapped into your bucket seat suspended from chains, everyone is lifted up vertically to begin with to base height, as if you are being hoisted up by a Harrier Jump Jet.

And then... off you go. The revolutions begin, sending you higher and higher and at an ever increasing angle to, and further away from, the central tower.

Before you know it, you are flying through the air in giant circles at 55m high and looking down upon everything around you. There is no escape.

Unlike the Big Wheel, there is no opportunity to enjoy any particular view - but the whole sensation is on a different level.

Bravery rating:8/10 - don't go on if genuinely scared of heights but if, like me, only a bit, then all will be fine. The ride is surprisingly smooth but do pull your socks up to avoid cold ankles, keep your neck warm and make sure your hat and any other 'loose items' such as your glasses are a tight fit. Our Facebook Live ride which you can watch here was undertaken with everything fully strapped down - except my hat.

This ride is not for the faint-hearted. You are strapped into a chair and when whizzed around in different directions. Although it appeared at the Danter Attractions' funfair in Digbeth next to High Street Deritend during the summer, this is its first Christmas appearance in Centenary Square.

The attraction is aimed fairly and squarely at young-adult thrill seekers. It is, one readily imagines, not to be undertaken on a full stomach or after consuming alcohol.

Bravery rating: 10/10. See you later!

These are the prices for the first floor bar above the Ice Rink which offers fine views across Centenary Square.

Wine - £6 for 185ml or £4 for 125ml - choice includes Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, White Zinfandel or Merlot.

Prosecco - small bottle, £6; large £22

Spirit only - £2.50; single and mixer - £4.50; double and mixer £6.50; Jagermeister bomb - £4.

Bottles and cans - Doom Bar, Budweiser, Moretti and Peroni beers - £4 each. Rekorderlig Wild Berry or Strawberry & Lme - £4.50.

Draught pints - Carling Extra Cold £4.50, Blue Moon £5, Guinness £5, Starorpamen £5, Aspalls £4.50 (halves are all £3.50).

Soft drinks - Diet Coke, Coca-Cola, Sprite, Appletize, Sparking / Mineral Water and J20 - £2.50

Red Bull - £3

Tea - £2,50, coffee £3.50, hot chocolate £3.50 (£4 with whipped cream and marshmallows).

Mulled wine or cider - £4

They include The Exchange, a new public gateway for the University of Birmingham inside the former Municipal Bank, the Hall of Memory, Symphony Hall, the ICC and the Birmingham Rep.

The £188 million Library of Birmingham has two viewing terraces overlooking Centenary Square, but its hours continue to be limited if you want to go up there to look at Ice Skate Birmingham's attractions in full flow.

The library is only open from 11am to 7pm on Mondays and Tuesdays (phone lines close 5pm), from 11am to 5pm from Wednesday to Saturday. It is closed on Sundays. Telephone enquiries on 0121 242 4242 are available from 11am-5pm, Monday to Friday with on-site services including free wi-fi.