Ice skating in the Netherlands
When the days get darker and the nights get colder, the Dutch get more excited! Ice skating is inevitable linked to the Netherlands as the Dutch enjoy doing so in winters more than anything. It’s fitted for both children and adults and done leisurely with friends and family or professionally in official competitions.
It all starts with the weather forecast and once the nights are cold enough the ice fever takes over. The weather forecast will be evolving around the question; will it freeze enough tonight for the natural ice to grow? And how many centimeters have been added overnight? As the natural ice and weather predictions in the Netherlands are not to rely on, the Dutch, of course, have found solutions for this problem! In addition to artificial indoor ice skating ranks which are used mostly by the professionals year round, in winter time the Dutch like to build outdoor ice ranks at cozy squares in their cities.
We love to share our personal favorite ice ranks with you to enjoy during your winter trip to Holland!
Museum Square Amsterdam
Walking around the cozy and lively city of Amsterdam, you stumble upon the Museum Square which is decorated with thousands of beautiful lights. With the prominent Rijksmuseum building at the background you’ll enjoy a wonderful night on the ice in the center of Amsterdam.
On the boulevard in Scheveningen you’ll find a covered ice rank of 600m² right in front of the famous Kurhaus hotel. Next to the pier on the boulevard, you’ll find the so called ‘Roetsjbaan’ (slide), where you can slide down on tubes in the blink of an eye. This combination of activities makes the boulevard of Schevingen a must to visit this winter!
If you’re able to include the southern part of the Netherlands into your program, don’t pass the magical city of Maastricht without a stop. The famous square ‘Vrijthof’ is transformed into a magical winter wonderland including a covered ice rank of 1000m² where you can show off your best moves.
Open Air Museum Arnhem
While some surroundings slowdown in the winter period, the Open Air Museum in Arnhem comes to life. You will enjoy a day full of winter festivities and travel back in time walking through the historic houses and rich history. But don’t forget to schedule additional free time for the festively lit ice skating rank.
Floating ice rank in Leiden
Not every day in the normal life you have the opportunity to skate on a floating ice rank. But now you can make this dream happen in Leiden this winter! In the city center you’ll find millions of lights that decorate the trees and bridges and as a big showpiece; a large Christmas tree in the mid-center. The floating ice rank is built next to an equally floating Christmas-fair where you’ll find music, gluhwein and lots of other ingredients for an enchanting winter evening!
Fun fact: in winter the Dutch are anxiously waiting until the day they get ijsvrij – literally ice free. It doesn’t mean they’re free of ice but is the name for extra days off due to the weather and slipperiness to enjoy ice skating!