London lifestyle & travels with kids and babies
We’ve been lucky to be regularly invited to Queens skate dine bowl – cool, newly revamped and one of the best indoor ice skating London. And this is the only London central permanent ice rink, with the added bonus of more family fun. As the name suggests, there’s also casual dining, bowling and one of the best vintage arcade games London.
I also test regularly Queens cocktails and about 1 year ago we’ve had the full experience of this institution of London and can confirm casual dining was great.
And what a difference 1 year makes! A year ago, our youngest was a 7 months baby just about mastering sitting on his cute bum, observing lights and people and smiling at us. A year and something later, here’s a toddler not even 2 years old making his debut on ice.
How early is early for little kids ice skating? My mum put me on skates allegedly when I was 2 years old, so I’ve been keen to start my kids equally young. At Queens there are the guiding ice skating penguins that our 4 years old tested before.
On the last occasion though, with an almost 2 years old and a 4.5 years old we did not really need an ice skating penguins. My other half and I just took turns with the kids: one needs lifting up occasionally and sliding together on ice; the other one just a bit of pulling and guiding. To us it’s a balancing skill, family fun in a different environment and interesting challenge for all of us all together. Not aiming to have them champions at figure ice skating anytime soon but it’s cool to have the kids first steps on ice with us.
In terms of rewards, for kids there’s a cute hot chocolate bar overlooking the ice rink. We usually take a break in here over slushes, warm waffles with chocolate and icecream. The grown-up bar is also in close vicinity – handy to source the grown-up cocktails.
Should you feel less adventurous as us in terms of guiding yourself your little kids ice skating, Queens skate team has great ice skating lessons London and a solid team of coaches. Few friends have their kids in and I could see them over the weeks making great progresses.
One of the best arcade games London in here as well, with Queens restoring and sourcing original mother-boards from vintage machines but all in new sleek shape: Tron, Street Fighter II, Mortal Combat, Megaman: The Power Battle, Tetris Donkey Kong, Pac-Man, Ms Pac-Man, Super Bomber Man, Air Hockey tables, Time Crisis 4 (2 person ‘shooter’), Mario Kart (2 person driving experience), Typhoon (2 person ride simulator), Dead Heat (2 person driving experience), Superbikes (2 person ‘motorbike’ simulator). Needless to say, my boys and their friends love it – best video arcade games London they declared on many occasions. My young guys usually spend their time and coins racing on Monte Carlo and Brazil, occasionally helped a kind godmother or more grown up friends.
A great half or full London day out, staying active and warm even on rainy days! You can also perfectly pair it with Hyde Park and Diana memorial if it’s not too wet or cold. If weather is tricky, pair it with a cultural visit at Kensington Palace – we wrote about in here. A cool idea for Easter school holidays in case you had too many Easter egg hunts or simply the outdoors refuse to look like spring ! #Coolnotcold @Queens
For more indoor ice skating London, less central but grander and shaby chic, check our dedicated article on Alexandra Palace Ice Rink. A London landmark destroyed by fire 16 days after first opened in 1873 – Alexandra Palace re-opened again two years later becoming the place from where the BBC had its first broadcast in 1935. It currently hosts the biggest indoor London ice skating venue open all year around; a charming historical building still in renovation in certain parts; and a beautiful park next door declared local nature reserve.
PS: Ice-skating sessions curtesy of Queens skate dine bowl; impressions, excitement, pics and cheeky kids entirely ours.