This year’s Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival at the Pier Head was the perfect destination for two year old Primo and I to have a little pre-Christmas date and his first ever ice skating experience.
Or so I thought…
I mean, on paper it’s great! You can book online at www.icefestivalliverpool.co.uk or pop along to the box office just outside the ice rink, store your bags securely in the indoor lockers, and go full Torville & Dean in the winter wonderland like something out of Disney on Ice.
He was so excited. I mean BESIDE HIMSELF excited. I’d even managed to use it as leverage to make him go to bed on time, brush his teeth properly, stop running around and put his bloody socks on. The very thought of ice skating being taken away was enough for him to tow the line for a good 24 hours.
He was thrilled to hand his little shoes in and be fitted with the cutest little ice skates you ever did see. Bewildered but enthusiastic to try and walk in them from the shoe desk to the ice rink gate. He was surprisingly good at it too, and it reminded me of when he was learning to walk, as I held his hands high above his head to help him toddle along.
And then that was it.
The moment the blades touched the ice he sobbed his tiny heart out. I’d paid a fiver to hire a little penguin, a push along skating aid for children which fortunately had a little platform for him to stand on so I had to skate round the rink pushing him on it.
|A picture of Someone Else’s happy children ice skating (minimums.co.uk) in the absence of a picture of my own child being happy and ice skating|
It wasn’t perfect, it wasn’t magical, but we went and we tried and he was so pleased with himself – after the trauma of standing on frozen water had subsided – that he’d actually been ice skating and enjoyed having taken him.
We didn’t experience the Ice Slide for obvious reasons (his emotional and my physical reluctance) and I was disappointed not to have been able to check out the Ice Bar as planned but he enjoyed all the children’s fairground rides (which you buy tokens for – £10 buys you 10 tokens for example, and each ride is 2 or 3 tokens).
We went at around 4pm on a term-time weekday and it was nice and quiet with only a handful of couples and some parents who’d taken their kids after school.
The Liverpool Christmas Ice Festival runs until 3 January 2017 and in addition to your tickets you might need £2 for lockers and money for penguin hire. There’s toilets near the fairground rides but I didn’t notice any baby change facilities.