The joys that only a winter wonderland can offer
For many, the merest mention of ice skating brings back traumatic memories of flailing limbs and doomed struggles to stay upright. But as Copenhagen heads inexorably into the frozen depths of winter, many are eagerly looking forward to getting their skates on and taking full advantage of the temporary ice age. The outdoor skating season will soon be upon us, and there are plenty of good reasons to lace up your boots.
For the incurable romantic desperately looking for a good first date idea, a jaunt to Frederiksberg could well help break the ice. The romantic atmosphere, the no-pressure feeling of being together in the chilly outdoors, not to mention the opportunity to get physical with a natural helping hand or just by crashing hopelessly into each other!
For families looking to beat the winter freeze, skating around for hours anti-clockwise in Valby might well be a good way to send the kids exhausted to bed. Chortle with merriment as Dad involuntarily does his Frankenstein on ice impression before retiring with a hot cup of coffee to watch his naturally-gifted offspring whizzing around. Young beginners will need a helping hand, but once they have got the hang of it, they will want to come back for more.
For the advanced skater who wants to test out their freshly-sharpened blades on a more substantial rink, then a trip to Grøndal should satisfy the need for speed.
Traditionally, Kongens Nytorv has been the must-do winter skating wonderland, but the transformation of the square into a building site has frozen this project for the foreseeable future. The budgetary axe of the council also saw the rink at Blågårds Plads melt into the realms of memory, but there are still some great skating options available.
Toftegårds Plads – Ice Ice baby
Toftegårds Plads was intended as a replacement for the Kongens Nytorv rink. With its 1,500 sqm, the ice rink was a big hit last season, with the Friday night Disco on Ice sessions transforming the usually sleepy Valby square into a pulsating rinkotheque. The nearby Valby Culture Centre sells hot chocolate and drinks.
Toftegårds Alle, Valby; opens Dec 1, shuts Feb 28, open Mon-Fri 11:00–22:00, Sat–Sun 10:00–22:00; free adm; skate rental 45kr per hour, ‘Training Penguins’ course available for young beginners, 50kr per 30 mins
Frederiksberg Runddel – Frozen peace
Tucked tidily by the entrance to the ever-popular home of Sunday strollers, Frederiksberg Gardens is the most romantic rink in town. Surrounded by Christmassy twinkling lights in the trees and welcoming benches for weary legs, it is the perfect spot for young lovers to share a first kiss, or the even younger looking for a safe place to take their first bambi-like steps onto the slippery surface. When you have got your walking shoes on again, there are plenty of trendy cafés on Frederiksberg Allé to quench your thirst, although hot drinks are also available at the skates rental booth.
Frederiksberg Runddel 1, Frederiksberg; opens Dec 1, open Mon-Fri 11:00-21:00, Sat 10:00-21:00, Sun and holidays 10:00-21:00; free adm; skate rental 45kr, last rental one hour before closing time; firstname.lastname@example.org, 4010 6050; www.frederiksberg.dk
Lindevangsparken – Try your puck
The second outdoor rink in Frederiksberg is primarily for ice hockey players, but also a great park to practise your triple salchows and camel spins. Don’t turn up without skates, as there are no rental facilities. Steer clear between 14.30 and 17.00, Tuesday to Thursday, as these afternoons are reserved for clubs and schools.
Dalgas Boulevard 1, Frederiksberg; opens Dec 1, open 24 hours a day except Tue-Thu from 14:30–17:00; free adm, no skate rental
Genforeningspladsen – Get your skates on
The rink at Genforeningspladsen is a whopper and advertises itself as the largest ice rink in northern Europe. This is a popular haunt for both the happy amateur and professional ice-skaters looking to let loose on the 5,000 sqm rink. Because of its size, it is sensitive to the rigours of a mild winter and in 2011 had to close down early in December. Plans are afoot to place an energy-efficient cooling system under the ice ahead of the 2014-15 season.
Genforeningspladsen 54, Cph NV, between Hulgårdsvej and Borups Allé, Cph N; opens Dec 2,open every day 10:00–22:00; free adm, skate rental 40kr per hour (rental ends at 19:00); email@example.com,http://kulturogfritid.kk.dk/genforeningspladsen
Peblinge Sø – On thin ice
For those wanting to skate in a less formal atmosphere, it is sometimes possible to do it yourself and take to the lakes of central Copenhagen. The City Council officially declare the lakes open when the ice has a thickness of at least 16cm. Peblinge lake, by the bridges of Nørrebro, is one of the places where this is possible, but entirely at your own risk. Look out for the signs around the lakes before you tread gingerly onto the ice, and be careful.
Ice skating in the city
Various venues in Greater Cph; most rinks open Dec-Feb