ACT News


Ice skating rink returns to Garema Place

Canberra may be set for a milder than average winter, but a lack of chilling temperatures and snow won’t stop the annual transformation of the city into an icy wonderland this month.

A giant snow globe will frame the fourth Skate in the City from June 20.

Among the skating and entertainment plans is a memo for all love-struck women and men.

CBD Limited chief executive Jane Easthope said the event was shaping up to be a magical setting fit for a proposal – or a wedding. 

“We did get a proposal last year,” Ms Easthope said.

“We would be thrilled if someone thought it was a place they wanted to get married or propose. I’d like to think over time people will use the skating rink for pivotal opportunities to do some other things.”


Tickets are on sale for this year’s winter wonderland as organisers prepare to re-assemble the giant skating rink in the heart of the city.

The snow globe is a new pay-as-you-go addition to the frosty scene to attract both skaters and passers-by and engage people in competitions, Ms Easthope said.

“Visualise five people in a big snow globe with a frosty scene in the background,” she said.

“You don’t need to be a skater with a ticket to use the snow globe – it’s nice to engage with passers-by.”

The snow globe joins the popular snow box, added last year to entertain younger children not quite ready to don a pair of skates, plus the return of regular performances on ice, Cultural Sundays and late-night sound and light shows.

Ms Easthope said a number of new cultural organisations would jump on board the colourful Cultural Sundays this year, including Austria.

Canada was another country set to return, this time with a display of broom balling on the cards.

The Leukaemia Foundation will also take advantage of the event with the charity’s annual Sunflower Dash fund-raiser taking off from the rink on June 29.

Last year’s Skate in the City attracted about 19,000 skaters to the ice and CBD Limited expects to see similar numbers this winter, dependent on the weather.

“If there are crystals in the air and the wind is blowing horizontal it’s not ideal for skating,” she said.

“It happened last year. There were a few days you wouldn’t even put your nose out the door let alone go skating.”

But CBD Limited was organising a number of incentives to engage locals and travellers to drop by, Ms Easthope said. 

“Ultimately our goal is to get as many people on the ice as possible,” she said.

“We’re hoping snow traffic will stop and stay.’’

Skate in the City rolls into Garema Place from June 20 to July 20.

For more information or to purchase tickets, phone 6162 4292 or visit