Header image courtesy of Festival Walk Glacier (via Facebook)
Except for that one year when the temperature dipped to zero, the chances for a “white Christmas” in Hong Kong are—and have always been—negligible. But you make your own opportunities, right? Don’t let the lack of international travel scupper your festive spirit this year—indulge in a little wintry escapism with a visit to one of Hong Kong’s ice skating rinks.
If you’ve just mustered up the confidence to go ice skating for the first time—or you’re not sure if you can stay on your feet for a whole hour—then The Rink at Elements is your best bet. Not only does this Tsim Sha Tsui rink provide plenty of cute, animal-shaped skating aids, but it also has a pay-as-you-go system that calculates the cost of your session down to the minute, instead of forcing you to pay upfront for large chunks of time. Just rent a pair of skates, tap in with your Octopus card, and you’re good to go.
The Rink, G/F, Elements, 1 Austin Road West, Tsim Sha Tsui | (+852) 2196 8016
By far the largest ice skating rink available in Hong Kong at 1,482 square metres, Mega Ice is possibly the best ice rink to host parties at—and certainly the best place to play ice hockey. While it does not overlook Lion Rock as The Glacier in Festival Walk does, Mega Ice has arresting views to offer its skaters as well, thanks to its 30-metre glass windows facing the harbour.
Mega Ice, 10/F, MegaBox, 38 Wang Chiu Road, Kowloon Bay | (+852) 2709 4023
Sure, this Sham Shui Po ice skating rink might be more shabby than chic, but there is a certain nostalgic charm to it (and Dragon Centre as a whole). Spend a carefree day winning tickets at the old-school arcade before popping in for a snack at the food court and capping the entire thing off with a quick skate underneath Dragon Centre’s famous and now-defunct rollercoaster. Even if you don’t feel the #throwback vibes, the rickety track looping above the rink will still have you wondering, “Wow, remember when health and safety codes weren’t as stringent as they are today?”
Sky Rink, 8/F, Dragon Centre, 37K Yen Chow Street, Sham Shui Po | (+852) 2307 9264
Speaking of nostalgic but ultimately questionable practices, we still remember when you could skate into the diner next to the Ice Palace skating rink. While this might not be the case anymore, plenty of people still flock to Ice Palace—after all, it’s the only ice skating rink on Hong Kong Island and much easier to access by public transport than most of the other rinks on this list. It also has the bonus of boasting the smoothest ice around—skaters routinely have to shuffle off to the sides mid-session so the rink’s staffers can buff the surface with the ever-active Zamboni.
Ice Palace, 1/F, Cityplaza, 18 Taikoo Shing Road, Taikoo Shing | (+852) 2844 8688
Want to skate at a properly big ice skating rink without having to trek out to Kowloon Bay? Check out The Glacier at Festival Walk—clocking in at 1,150 square metres, this is the second-largest ice skating venue in Hong Kong. It also has stunning vistas of Lion Rock and a fancy speaker system blasting music non-stop, which all adds to the experience. Come here during the festive season and skate along to Christmas tunes for the ultimate holiday activity.
The Glacier, U/G, Festival Walk, 80 Tat Chee Avenue, Kowloon Tong | (+852) 2844 3588
Okay, this last one is not technically an ice rink, but hear us out. There might be a longer wait than usual before your next ski trip, but you can use that time to brush up on your snow sports skills with a visit to Ski Tech. This Wong Chuk Hang ski and snowboard school uses sophisticated SkyTech VR technology to simulate the real conditions of a powdery slope—in fact, it’s the same technology that the US OIympic ski team uses to train with. And because it’s at a safe, regulated indoor facility, it’s suitable for everyone from young children and beginners to seasoned pros. (Après-ski is another story, though.)
Ski Tech, Unit 922–923, One Island South, 2 Heung Yip Road, Wong Chuk Hang | (+852) 2177 0008