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Elfingrove hits freeze: Glasgow’s biggest Christmas ice rink is cancelled

Lucky for you, Scotland loves a good festive ice rink so there are plenty of alternatives


If you’re a student studying in Glasgow, you’ll likely have visited the UK’s largest ice rink attraction: Our very own Elfingrove. Many students showed their support at the winter wonderland in previous years kickstarting the festive season.

So why is it cancelled and what does it mean?

Due to the temporary nature of the event and rising inflation costs, Elfingrove has been “put on ice” for 2023. So, what does this mean for the students of Glasgow craving some festive joy? Should we suffer a lack of seasonal merriment because of inflation?

As students, we are very familiar with the cost of living crisis, but that doesn’t mean we should be robbed of some festive spirit during the cold, dark exam period.

Fourth year student, Rosie, said Elfingrove was “such a nice break from studying and exam stress”. So, it is no surprise that many students are disappointed by the news of Elfingrove’s cancellation this year.

Ellie, a fourth year student, voiced how disappointed she was saying Elfingrove was “a really lovely way to get in the festive spirit”.

Other students demonstrated their impartiality with Daniel, a Masters student, voicing a profound “boo” at the news, and Killian, a Masters student, vocalising his “immeasurable disappointment and broken trust” over the lack of elves – clearly an avid Elfingrove goer.

Where else can you go?

If you’re as disappointed as the rest of us by this news, you may be wondering where else you can go for some ice-based Christmas merriment. Lucky for you, Scotland loves a good festive ice rink!

1. Glasgow Winterfest

Glasgow Winterfest has confirmed the return of George Square’s ice rink with many additional bonuses such as a silent disco, rides, and a festival bar for some over 18 fun.

2. Braehead Shopping Centre

If you’re in Braehead Shopping Centre and fancy a break from the hectic chaos of Christmas shopping, their ice centre is officially open for business.

3. Coatbridge’s Time Capsule ice rink

Paisley has confirmed hosting an outdoor festive ice rink featuring a Bavarian bar and all kinds of festive treats. And they’re offering a 25 per cent discount to students – music to our ears.

5. M&D’s On Ice

M&D’s have also confirmed their open air ice rink and Christmas goodies. While I cannot personally remember that last time I went to M&D’s, who am I to turn down “the perfect family festive day out!” – maybe not the right target market for this one.

6. Edinburgh’s George Street Ice Rink

If you’re local to the capital or have your Young Scot card ready, Edinburgh’s George Street ice rink is back this year as part of their Christmas extravaganza. If you’re like me and a bit of a hazard on the busy ice, Edinburgh’s rink also hosts sessions with reduced capacity, lights, and music for the slightly overstimulated and less coordinated of us.

7. Edinburgh Zoo’s Ice-less Rink

Also in Edinburgh, an “environmentally friendly” ice-less rink is debuting at Edinburgh Zoo for visitors to skate on their new synthetic rink! Visitors can also enjoy Christmas markets and meet Santa and Mrs Claus – if that’s your vibe!

So no need to panic! You won’t have to miss out on festive skating merriment this winter and may even save some pennies with these non bank breaking Elfingrove alternatives – although she is still our favourite in our unbiased opinion and we look forward to her return next year.

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