Seoul Plaza Ice Park opened for the 2013 winter on Monday, December 16. It will remain open for the next 70 days, until Sunday, February 23, 2014. In 2013, the 10th year of the opening of the ice rink, the area has expanded by 1,500m2 – from 4,200m2 to 5,700m2 – to include a separate children’s ice-skating rink, among others.
Admission is KRW1,000 per person, per hour (including skate rental). Please note that the operation of the rink is suspended if the Comprehensive Air-Quality Index (CAI) reaches the ‘unhealthy’ level (the third from the bottom out of six categories). In such a case, a notice is issued at least two hours in advance. Be sure to check the air quality index if you are not sure of the ambient air quality in central Seoul before you leave for the rink.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the citizen-oriented winter facility, the city government has prepared a series of special events including ‘a photo contest’ of the pictures taken in the rink for the past 10 years; ‘a proposal event’ for young couples; ‘small-scale cultural performances’ of various sorts at 14:00 and 15:30 on Saturdays and Sundays; ‘professional disk jockey music shows’ playing audience-requested songs at 17:00 and 19:30 every day; and some other special events celebrating key holidays which will take place during the 70 days it’s opened.
In collaboration with private companies, the ice rink also offers special classes for ice-skating, curling and ice hockey. The city government hopes that many citizens will experience some of the Winter Olympic sports and cheer on the country’s Winter Olympics team in Sochi, Russia in February. The national team’s performance at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics is important since Korea is to play host to the next winter Olympics in Pyeongchang in 2018.
This year, the ice-skating rink has been built more beautifully. As can be seen in the pictures below, it has been created with the concept of an ‘Ice Park’ to better match its surroundings. To demonstrate the city government’s commitment to environmental protection, it has installed eco-friendly energy-saving lighting fixtures and built temporary shelters with recyclable building materials that emit the least amount of CO2 when incinerated. It also includes shops and cafes in the ice-skating rink, which sell only eco-friendly fair-trade products.