Family Days Out: Beckworth Emporium

Get your skates on and head down to Beckworth Emporium for ice skating fun for all the family.

Open every day until Tuesday, January 6, 2015, (but excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day), ice skating is a must for any family looking for something different to do and get in the Christmas spirit.

Now, our family has never been ice skating together before and neither I or my husband has ventured on the ice since we were kids ourselves!

However, many of my friends have been and over the years I’ve seen numerous pictures of ice skating at Beckworth.

So I decided that this year, we would all go together!

It’s very easy to book an ice skating session. Just visit their website, choose the session you want, input how many skaters, make a payment and voila – it’s all booked.

There are lots of half-price skating sessions available which is great, as if you’re a beginner family like us, it allows you to experience the fun without paying out a fortune.

There’s no minimum age for skating and all prices include skate hire with the little ones (child size 4-9) getting special twin bladed beginner skates.

And of course, the younger family members can have their very own push along penguin too to help steady them on the ice at £4 each (or just £2 if booking a half price session).

All sessions start on the hour and I booked ours for a Wednesday night at 6pm.

We took advantage of the half-price sessions available, so for two adults, three children and the hire of two penguins, we paid £28 (which included a £1 booking fee).

On booking we were advised to get there at least 20 minutes before the start of the session to allow time for collecting our skates and getting ready for hitting the ice.

In reality we were there a lot earlier so we spent the free time looking around the food hall which has lots of yummy products on offer – perfect for a bit of late night shopping if you have time.

The children were all very excited about ice skating and the check in process was very easy.

As our youngest, Ruby, only has size 6 feet, she was fitted with the twin bladed beginner skates which just fit over their shoes.

It didn’t take long before we were all kitted out and I must admit it felt a bit strange standing in the skates – and we hadn’t even got on the ice yet!

Next we had to queue to get our penguins but as you can’t get these until the start of the session, we had to wait a few minutes.

But the kids didn’t mind waiting as they had fun watching the other skaters and trying to decide what penguins they were going to have.

Ella spotted ‘Harry’ the penguin and was desperate to have him as she loves One Direction, but as there are so many penguins, you don’t get to choose who you get.

So when the gate opened for the session, Ella and Ruby got their penguins and we were on ice (which, by the way, is real ice).

And wow, it felt weird! Not being used to being on ice in ice skates it felt a bit odd to start with and I wasn’t sure how to get moving!

However, within five minutes we started to master it. Unfortunately for my eldest, Kai, it took a little while longer!

There’s music playing while you skate which adds to the atmosphere.

After 20 minutes Ruby had had enough and just wanted to watch – which worked out quite well, as Kai then used her pushalong penguin to skate around.

During the 45-minute session there were a few falls (luckily I wasn’t one of them) but the kids just thought it was funny and got back up again.

By the time we came off the ice it was pretty busy as people were handing their skates back in and getting their shoes back (all shoes are stored for you while you skate) and of course there were lots getting ready for the next session which started at 7pm.

We all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and headed home for a nice hot chocolate.

There is an Ice Cafe here though which serves hot food and drinks if you’d prefer.

So if you’re looking for something a little bit different to do with the family, I’d certainly recommend ice skating at Beckworth Emporium.

It was a great experience and the kids have said they would love to do it again.

And I even got a lovely handmade card from Ella saying thank you for taking her – so there’s proof there that they had fun!

Prices and booking

Adults skate for £5.50, children skate for only £4 and penguins £2 for all half price sessions (original full price is £11, £8 and £4).

Booking online is recommended to secure your booking and avoid disappointment.

Their website has a calendar of all sessions with live availability and booking options.

Find out more and book by visiting www.beckworthemporium.com/ice-skating.

Where to find them

Glebe Road, Mears Ashby, Northants NN6 0DL. Telephone 01604 812371.