After the Christmas markets have been cleared away from the area in front of the Rathaus, Vienna makes space for a huge ice skating venue. It fills the space of the Rathausplatz, and extends through the walking paths all along one side of the Rathaus. The whole area is lit, temporary restaurants are constructed, and one of Vienna’s popular music radio stations moves in. It’s quite an event, and it lasts from the end of January until early March.
Last night was the preview night for Wiener Eistraum — the night before the official opening, they open up for a few hours, for free. We went over to check it out. We were hoping to skate, but the children’s area wasn’t open. Instead, we wandered around a bit. It was quite a party — there was a performance — we didn’t get a good view, but it had ice skaters, music, acrobats and some kind of fire juggling.
We did get to have our picture taken with some polar bears (or at least people in polar bear costumes). It’s yet another one of those Vienna events that I really love — everyone being enthusiastic about being outdoors, and about being social. It was definitely fun, and we can’t wait to go back and actually get to skate.