The O’Brien Group Arena is for beginners through to enthusiasts – we love a turn on the ice rink.
When: 7 days a week, 364 days a year.
Where: 105 Pearl River Road, Docklands.
Cost: Family of four (including skate hire) $82, click here for full price list.
My mum used to take my brother and I ice skating during the school holidays when we were kids – I was only ever just good enough to get around the rink, but my mum could do a pirouette and I thought she was amazing – and looking back now, I am still impressed – is there nothing my mother can’t do?!
Anyway apart from reminiscing about my childhood, a visit to the O’Brien Group Arena is always a bit of fun – and check the timetable before you arrive as there are free lessons available, these a good way to give school aged children some confidence and independence on the ice – or just for a refresher if it’s been awhile.
My almost 4 year old might be a bit of a whizz on his scooter and bike – but out on the ice he lost his nerve and so I was hard pressed to convince him to do any more than one and a half laps… so if you’re visiting with little ones who are brand new to the ice and are desperate for some time on the rink yourself maybe factor in an extra set of hands!
I highly recommend the skating frames as these gave us great freedom and also meant the kids weren’t hanging off me or the wall.
The frames are available to rent for $5 (provided they haven’t all been rented out!) and sometimes if you’re lucky someone leaving will share their frame with you (my kids are experts at charming people leaving into passing on their frame!).
So whilst O’Brien Group Arena promotes itself as being for all ages – don’t have high expectations for the little ones. Immi (7) and I would have happily kept skating, but without another adult with us I couldn’t really leave Charlie on his own on the side of the rink for more than 5/10min.. [editors note: thankfully 8 months later when we next visited Charlie was more confident and we went with some ice skating friends who gave him some tips and encouraged him to have a turn with out the frame – fast forward a few years and he’s one of those crazy fast kids you keep away from!!]
Oh and my top tip – ALWAYS take extra socks (those boots are pretty gross) and do consider paying the $3 upgrade for better boots… I find the regular ones are verging on torture – the upgrades are more bearable! And with 2 pairs of socks I can last over an hour. 🙂
Across the road from the OBG Arena is a huge car park – and if you head up to the upper level there is an exit across the road from the rink. On the other side of the car park is Harbour Town, Costco and the Melbourne Star.