Here's where to go ice skating in and around Sunderland after Keel square rink is scrapped for 2022

This year's festive plans in Sunderland will not include Keel Square’s ice rink but there are lots of other places across the North East to go skating.

A modern Christmas tradition in Sunderland is taking a break this year with Keel Square’s ice rink not being built and run throughout the winter.

A roller rink was installed over the summer months at the same site but Sunderland BID are not running the festive version of the attraction in 2022. It returned last year after missing out on Christmas 2020 due to the Coronavirus pandemic.

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With ice skating now a seasonal must for many families across Wearside, there are still lots of places in the North East to enjoy the winter activity away from Keel Square.

Here's where to go ice skating in and around Sunderland after Keel square rink is scrapped for 2022.

Rainton Arena

Rainton Arena is trying to become the home of Christmas in Sunderland this year with a winter wonderland lasting over a month. The attraction, which started on Saturday, November 19, will run until New Year’s Day and includes a fairground, Santa’s grotto, a tipi bar and food stalls as well as an ice rink.

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Skating tickets can be booked online for £7 per person. This includes one hour on the rink as well as ice skate hire with sessions running until 9pm each evening.

Ocean Beach Pleasure Park

Up the coast in South Shields, Ocean Beach Pleasure Park is looking to keep customers coming in through the colder winter months with a seafront ice rink in South Tyneside.

The rink will be open between Friday, December 9, and Sunday, January 8, with hour-long sessions able to be booked between 11pm and 5pm daily. Tickets can be bought on the day of arrival with adult access costing £10 and under 13s tickets costing £8. A £30 family deal involving two adults and two children is also available.

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Newcastle Life Centre

As one of the most popular rinks in the North East, the site at Newcastle’s Life Centre is no stranger to being a must go-to winter attraction in the region. The rink is already open for the winter and will close on Sunday, January 15.

The rink is situated outside the Life Centre in Times Square with online booking and on-the-day payment both available, although the site recommends booking in advance. Families and friends can hit the ice between 9:30am and 8:30pm daily with visitors aged 18 or over able to use the rink for £13.50. Children between 10 and 17 cost £12 and anyone aged 9 or under can skate for £10.

Newcastle Winter Wonderland

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The ice rink at Newcastle’s Winter Wonderland opened in late November this year with slots available to book until Christmas Eve. Tickets cost £9.50 for those aged 12 or over, while a ticket for kids aged 3-11 costs £7.50 at the Newcastle Racecourse site.

Why has Sunderland city centre not got an ice rink this year?

The decision was made by Sunderland BID at the start of November with Sharon Appleby, chief executive of Sunderland BID, saying: “The main reason is actually from a budget point of view and I think with the cost of living, people will not be able to afford to pay for the skate.”