View Opperman’s works at the expanded gallery until 30 August
Outdoor Ice Skate Rink at the Blue Train Adventure Park in Cape Town
Little ones can ice skate to their heart’s content at this new and unique SA installation
It’s not every day that kids can ice skate while basking in the warm rays of the summer sun at the same time. In fact, the activity is so rare that it can only be done at one place in the country: The Blue Rail Park in Mouille Point. That is, youngsters between the ages of three and 12 can now put on their ice skates and have a one-of-a-kind skating experience on South Africa’s new and very first outdoor ice rink.
Launched officially on 30 December 2015, the synthetic ice rink forms part of a mission to restore the classic park’s status as a prime family-friendly outdoor experience in the city. The installation of the ice rink was spearheaded by Cape Town residents and businessmen Sean Holmes and Cornelis Ouwehand, after Cornelis discovered the product while travelling through Europe. Following much talk the pair decided that these snow-white synthetic ice boards would be a great feature to bring to Mzansi shores.
And it turns out that it was a good move, because since opening the rink has been very well received. “The kids love it so much,” says Sean. “It really is one of those fantastical experiences for the little ones. I mean, to be able to ice skate under the bright sun is something truly unique.”
Speaking of unique, Sean explains that the synthetic ice boards don’t require a power source, which makes them eco-friendly too. The ice boards are made from a high-quality material produced in Canada, and is found in theme parks in over 70 countries, including Disneyland – making for a world-class experience. “This [the panels] gives you a 98% ice-like glide experience. It’s pretty much the closest thing to frost that you can get.”
Sean and Cornelis couldn’t have chosen a better spot for this one-of-a-kind feature. The Blue Train Park, which has been in existence for over 55 years, boasts many activities, including the popular mini Blue Train and interactive play structures, which means that kids can do a whole lot more when they’re there. There’s also a kiosk where folks can refuel with snacks and drinks. Most of all, the spot is a place where parents can sit back and relax in a setting that offers charming views of the seaboard while their kids have fun.
Much of the park’s restoration is a community project that involves citizens like Sean and Cornelis, Mouille Point ratepayers, the Rotary Club of Sea Point and the City of Cape Town. “From a community initiative point of view it’s a good example of how ratepayers and the city can take a property that was neglected and run down and actually restore and improve it to create a unique play experience for our kids,” explains Sean. “It just shows what can be done when people come together to do something.”
And with dedicated people on board, it seems that when it comes to the future, there is a lot to look forward to for both the ice rink and the park as a whole. Sean says that a shading cloth with be added above the rink soon, and also hints at fairy lights to add that touch of magic to the skating experience, as well as markets and lots more. It leaves just one more thing to say, happy skating!
Tip: The park offers birthday party packages for kids (which can be customised to include water slides, jumping castles and more). For more information, contact: +27 (0) 84 314 9200
The Bill: Ice skating at the outdoor rink is priced at R30 for 30 minutes and R50 for an hour.
Opening Hours: Tuesday – Sunday: 10am – 6pm (Open on Mondays during school holidays. Also open on Public holidays)
Beach Road (close to Green Point Lighthouse) | +27 (0) 84 314 9200
by Dudu Luthuli
Looking for more ways to keep your little ones busy? Here is our list of Free and Cheap Things to Do with Kids in Cape Town.
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