Icy holiday fun at Seoul’s outdoor skating rinks

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Icy holiday fun at Seoul’s outdoor skating rinks

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Outdoor rink at the Grand Hyatt Seoul. Provided by the hotel

With December already here we are inching closer to the holidays. And what better way to get some exercise and shake off the winter blues than to check out some of Seoul’s outdoor ice skating rinks?

If you’re looking to keep a few won aside for the looming holiday shopping period, there’s always the Seoul Plaza Ice Rink near City Hall Station and the Ol_Park Ice rink (Olympic Park) near Jamsil Station in Songpa District to try out. Drawing the crowds with admission set at 1,000 won and another 500 won each for gloves and locker rental, it may not offer the tranquil atmosphere of the private rinks, but there’s a lot of fun to be had at these affordable outdoor sites.

The first outdoor space providing you with a chance to get out on the ice this season is the Grand Hyatt Seoul in Hannam-dong. Having opened its rink on Monday, the Grand Hyatt offers a “Winter on the Ice Package” thru Feb. 28 for 187,000 won ($127).

According to Yoon Jung-hwang, a PR coordinator, the package includes one night’s deluxe accommodation with either river or mountain views, ice rink admissions and skate rental for two persons, vouchers for two hot chocolates at the ice rink and a free blanket.

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The hotel, which uses its outdoor pool and parts of the patio for the ice rink, also offers special event days such as “Lover’s Days” and “Complimentary Skate Rental Day,” among others.

“It’s the perfect way to experience the ambience of the season in the comfort of a winter sanctuary,” Yoon said.

Another notable private rink in the city is at the Sheraton Grande Walkerhill Hotel in northeastern Seoul’s Gwangjin District. Set to open Dec. 20 through Feb. 15, the Walkerhill is offering variations of an “Ice Carnival Package.”

According to Kim Sun-mi of the Walkerhill’s PR department, the Ice Carnival Package is available for 138,000 won and includes a one night stay, two tickets to the ice rink, two skate rentals and two complimentary hot drinks at the rink. A buffet for two can be added to the package for an additional 80,000 won.

“We offer a diverse and wide range of packages for families, couples and friends but the Ice Carnival Package is the first choice for many for its spectacular benefits and reasonable price,” Kim said.

Although there are also a few indoor rinks around, there’s nothing quite like skating on a fresh sheet of ice in frosty weather. A warm mug of hot chocolate afterwards is the perfect way to cap off a winter day outdoors. Get out and enjoy!



By Jason Kim Staff Reporter [jason@joongang.co.kr]
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