From December 14 to January 12, the IJsvrij Festival will be on Plein 1940, with a winter program full of cool activities. In addition to the usual round of ice skating with friends, family and colleagues, visitors can go on numerous adventures and performances in and around the heated Ice-Free Café. For young and old who feel like ice-free, with a special skating morning for toddlers, silent disco skating and a unique Rotterdam Pride Saturday. The fully covered ice rink also has a heated Swedish café with a number of beautiful classics such as the famous Swedish meatballs, but you can also enjoy lesser-known dishes such as Lussekatt, a delicious sweet saffron bread or Jansson’s Frestelse. Everything compiled by none other than the Rotterdam top chef Martijn Korving, known from Restaurant Zino, among others.
Swedish Winter Wonderland in Rotterdam
Slowly the temperatures creep down and atmospheric lighting decorates the city; the IJsvrij Festival will complete the picture of wintry Rotterdam. With a rich program, the winter festival ensures that there is plenty to do on and around the ice. During the Christmas season, the IJsvrij Festival is just open and you can enjoy the Christmas atmosphere even more with the enchanting female choir Encore Rotterdam. Two Friday nights (December 20 and January 10) you swing in the weekend with the silent disco skates. Every Saturday and Sunday you enjoy a DJ or a live performance. “The wintry and Swedish atmosphere together with the cultural program and a unique culinary Swedish menu will make it a wonderful place to be in December,” said chef Martijn Korving.
75 years of freedom
Plein 1940 is an important place in Rotterdam. With the monument “The Destroyed City” of Zadkine, this square is inextricably linked to the commemoration of a history of destruction and reconstruction of the city. Next year, Rotterdam will be celebrating 75 years of freedom. For that occasion IJsvrij Festival has put together a mini-exhibition in the open air on the square with iconic images of events in Rotterdam before, during and after the Second World War. The realization of this exhibition has been made possible in part by the financial support from vfonds.
Rotterdam Pride program on January 11
Rotterdam considers freedom of paramount importance. IJsvrij Festival fully agrees with this and finds it important to show that everyone can be themselves. IJsvrij Festival is therefore proud of the “take-over” of Rotterdam Pride on Saturday 11 January. The entire Saturday is then programmed by Rotterdam Pride where celebrating life is central. With spoken words, a “pride” silent disco and artists who ensure a unique party.
Active on or around the ice rink
For the children there is again plenty to do this year: there are special toddler-skating mornings for the youngest ones, and every Wednesday afternoon you can do crafts in the heated Ice-free café. Play a game of checkers or another board game while enjoying a Swedish delicacy in the IJsvrij café. Every Sunday, children can dance warmly in “Maas on ice: Silent Disco Workshop”, under the supervision of a theater teacher. Fancy some more action? Then there is a real curling competition: challenge your friends or colleagues to a strategic robbery curling on the ice and become the toughest “skipper” of this season.
Program, information and contact
Keep an eye on our website www.ijsvrij.nl and our social media for the current programming, promotions and the latest news. On the website you can also book online and order tickets for the curling competition, “Maas on ice: Silent Disco Workshop” and silent disco on ice.
Opening times and prices
IJsvrij Festival is open from December 14, 2019 to January 12, 2020, 7 days a week.
Weekdays from 12:00 to 20:00.
Weekends and Christmas holidays from 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
The festival location is accessible to everyone free of charge.
Opening times may vary during the holidays. Keep an eye on their website for this.
Ice rink entrance fees
Children 0 to 2 years old – free
Children 3 to 12 years old – € 4.50
13 years and older – € 6
Skate rental * – € 2.50
* Skate rental is based on availability. Your own skates are allowed (no Norwegians or clap skates). Ice-free has skates in sizes 27 to 47 and a limited number of gliding irons for the little ones.
Entrance to the festival location is free.
Picture by Annemieke van der Togt