Oh yes, the time has come where Dutch people have been waiting for. Temperatures have dropped below zero for a couple of days now, which means that ice skating on natural ice is now possible!
Find out where it’s safe to do so, and what are the best ice skating spots on natural ice!
Ice skating on natural ice, it’s a thing
Since we can remember, the traditional Dutch winters used to be cold and dry. Over the years this has changed, so it has become quite rare to ice skate on natural ice these days. It happens, let’s say, every three to five years. But when it happens…the Dutch are very exited!
Obviously, this year we need to take Covid into account, so before getting your skates on, make sure you stay safe and follow these simple rules;
- Don’t ice skate in groups (except your family)
- Only visit your local ice skating ring or surroundings and come by foot or bicycle if possible
- Stay safe and check where it’s safe. The last thing you want is falling through the ice!
So where can I ice skate in the Netherlands?
Recently, we published an article about the best in and outdoor ice-skating rings in the Netherlands where this was possible, but please do check the websites, because things may have changed since the second lockdown.
When we talk about natural ice, this could mean two different things. Some ice-skating rings have been created with a few layers of ice. But in our opinion, ice-skating on a natural lake or the canals in between the Dutch fields is priceless and the better option. At this website you can check (live) where it’s safe to ice skate and where it’s still tricky or not possible at all.
Our personal tip where to ice skate on natural ice
If you live near Monnickendam or Volendam (not far from Amsterdam), you should check this out. From today, February 10th, Bierderij Waterland and Rent & Event makes it possible to rent skates in all sizes. The skates can be rented for time blocks of 2 or 4 hours and can be picked up at Bierderij Waterland. Extra nice: hot chocolate is included! There is enough parking space but it goes without saying that Covid rules apply. For more information check the website.
Other favourite natural ice-skating spots are:
- Dwarsgracht (near Giethoorn)
- Loodsrechtse Plassen, Loodsrecht
- Vinkeveense Plassen, Vinkeveen
- Molenpolder, Utrecht
- Weerribben, Overrijssel
- Bloemendaal canals
- The Amsterdam canals of course!
Ice-skating with kids
Firstly, it’s important that the ice is super safe. Don’t take any risks if you want to ice skate with your kid(s). The best option after a few days of heavy frost, is to skate on small canals in between the fields. These canals freeze pretty fast and you can easily find them in a neighbourhood near you.
And if you happen to live in Amsterdam…iceskating on the canals there is the icing on the cake! (try and keep your distance though, it WILL be busy)
Have fun and be careful!