Ice Factor —the coolest festive attraction in Galway this Christmas

Ice Factor has been drawing great crowds to the Carlton Hotel since its opening on a fortnight ago — and with the Christmas holidays drawing closer the activities are set to step up a pace at the 600-square metre indoor ice rink.

The ice rink runs until Sunday January 8 and is open daily from 10am and the last skate session takes place at 9pm. Each skate session lasts 45 minutes, leaving a 15-minute break between sessions for the ice to be checked and prepared for the next session.

There are ice skating lessons every Thursday and Saturday morning at 10 am for those who would like to perfect their figure eight skate, and lessons must be pre booked at the Ice Factor Ticket Desk as there are only a limited number of spaces. Prices for lessons are €18.00 per person (adult/child ).

Also on Wednesday next December 21, Ice Factor will host figure skater Clara O’Sullivan, who will demonstrate the technical skill involved in figure skating for people to view at the ice rink. She is a member of the Ice Skating Association of Ireland and has recently won medals in competitions throughout Europe. Indeed, she will have just returned from competing in Germany and will make a special appearance at Ice Factor on the hour from 12.45 – 3.45 on Wednesday. This is an opportunity not to be missed.

Clara (20 ) started skating at just eight and for many years trained in Dublin and Belfast. In 2006 she was offered the opportunity to train in America with Olympic Canadian coach Kerry Leitch. In 2008 she was the first Irish skater to reach an international standard and represent Ireland on the Junior Grand Prix circuit. In January of 2009 she made her senior debut at the ISU European (Finland ) and World Championships (USA ).

In 2008 she moved to the University of Delaware, one of the top US training facilities where she is now under the coaching of Ron Luddington and his team. In 2011 Clara qualified for Europeans (Switzerland ) and broke the top 30 spot to be ranked 27th in Europe.

The Christmas Café is going down a real treat and worth a visit even if you do not intend on taking to the ice. There is a wonderful man made gingerbread house and a big screen showing Christmas movies and you can sit and enjoy the festive atmosphere while enjoying the selection of festive foods such as Christmas cookies, gingerbread men and mince pies, and a large choice of winter warmers such as mulled wine, speciality tea and coffee and hot chocolate.

Santa will visit his grotto at the Christmas Café every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Santa will of course have gifts for all the well behaved children who visit him. Pre booking to visit Santa is essential.

Another great addition to ice factor is that car parking is free! Car parking is located in the underground car parking facility to the rear of the hotel for all visiting the ice skating rink and there is a bus stop beside the hotel entrance with a regular bus route to and from the city centre.

Skating facilities will be provided at a cost of €15 per adult, €10 per child. [email protected] Carlton Hotel Galway City, Dublin Road, Galway.


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