Sunderland's Christmas ice rink returns - when is it open, how much does it cost and how can you book a skating session?

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Sunderland's Christmas ice rink is set to return later this month.

The popular festive attraction will open in Keel Square on Thursday, November 29.

Sharon Appleby, Head of Business Operations at Sunderland BID, is delighted the open air rink is returning.

She said: "The Christmas ice rink always proves to be very popular and it’s a great activity for the whole family to take part in to get in the festive spirit,” she said

"Keel Square is set to be a hub of Christmas cheer and the ice rink is a fantastic treat to add in to a shopping trip, visit to Santa at the Bridges or for those heading to the pantomime.

"We’re hoping that all the activities will encourage both local people and those from further afield to come into Sunderland and discover what it has to offer.”

Skaters of all ages and abilities are welcome, with polar bear skating aids available to hire for £3 each for those less confident on the ice.

The rink will be open for public skating from 12pm–9pm Monday to Friday, and 10am–9pm on weekends up until Friday, December 21, when it will then be open 10am –9pm every day until Sunday, January 6.

The exceptions will be Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve when the rink will close at 6pm. Skaters are advised to pre-book sessions on these dates to avoid disappointment.

It will also be closed on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

Tickets cost £3 for children under 4, £7 for children aged 5-12, £7.50 for 13–17 year olds and £8.50 for over 18s, with family tickets available for £25.

Sessions can be booked in advance online and the rink can also be booked for exclusive use between 10am–12pm Monday to Friday up until Friday, December 21.

To book a session online, visit https://www.sunderlandbid.co.uk/christmas-2018/ice-rink or more information on group bookings, email christmas@sunderlandbid.co.uk or call 07749 454994.