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“Probably more like 4.5 stars”

O'Brien Group Arena
Ranked #93 of 432 things to do in Melbourne
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Located in the heart of the Docklands, O'Brien Group Arena is Australia's premier ice experience. Come ice skating, 7 days a week, 364 days a year! Adults $28 (including skate hire) Concession/Student $26 (including skate hire) Child 6-14 years $24 (including skate hire) Child 3-5 years $15 (including skate hire) Family (2 Adults + 2 Children) $85 (including skate hire) Single Family (1 Adult + 2 Children) $66.50 (including skate hire)
Reviewed January 12, 2013

The issues with places such as the Icehouse typically revolve around the skates. They get used and abused, and frankly, to ensure people come back it could be argued that new skates should be introduced at regular intervals. Finance permitting!!!

Being an old (and I mean old) skater having achieved great success in competing for the state - some 37 years ago! - I still enjoy skating but time is against me with work etc. This said, having visited Icehouse twice in the past 2 weeks I feel inspired to get back into it, irrespective of the facility being quite some way from home.

Unfortunately the best multiple session offer they have is a 10 admission ticket, as opposed to what used to be offered at Ringwood Iceland 'back in the day' at which point they offered quarterly unlimited tickets. Nonetheless, I have decided that I will buy some new hockey skates (due to the hire skates being a little under par and certainly not sharp) and start living my early years once again - just at a lot slower pace.

Bottom line; ice skating is a brilliant sport, whether one simply skates for fun, gets involved in figure skating or Hockey, or like me Speed Skating, but what really makes it is owning a decent quality pair of skates. We will see how my enthusiasm goes once I have some quality skates, have tried (perhaps in vain) to improve my fitness and have completed a few sessions. Perhaps I will see some Tripadvisor contributors there.

P.S Staff are terrific, the ice is of an excellent quality, the place is clean, the toilets terrific and there is even a restaurant upstairs to watch others making a fool of themselves :-)

Thank cuspub
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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146 - 150 of 172 reviews

Reviewed January 9, 2013

Today we had a great Drop in session, however I was struggling with my ice skates. One of your staff Sanjin (Sunny) was also playing and had a look after the session. Even though he was not currently working and had the day off, he spent a good 30 - 45mins sizing my feet up and giving me a range of new skates to try. I made him very late to dinner with his mates yet he wasn't fussed. Consequently, due to you great customer service and proactive employee's you've got yourself a sale!
Thanks Icehouse and Sunny!

Thank Steve L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 27, 2012

Good fun. You can catch a hockey match too, on occassion. The area surrounding is taking a while to get going but there is plenty of shopping and eateries nearby.

Thank Annie M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

The facilities are world class. Ice is kept pretty good most of the time.
Not the cheapest place to skate in the world but then again... everything is expensive in Australia...
Food is pretty expensive there. Hire skates are terrible, I have no idea how you expect someone to enjoy their first time skating with those things... They were ok when they were new but now they have all broken down and are way too soft to give any support... Lucky I had my own.
If you're there to play hockey it's still the same as most rinks.. you get the blunt end of the stick. Hours are terrible and there's really no time to practice.
I do like the fact they dropped the session times for general skate sessions a while back, that was a pain until they opened it back up.
They also need to offer memberships (Monthly/half yearly and yearly) for general skates. At nearly $20 a pop it's pretty expensive once you start skating a few times a week.

Thank spinspinspin
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed December 4, 2012

The ice is too cold, so skating on it is not pleasant.

The skate shop carries a dismally small, useless, and over-priced range of gear, buy from Amazon, it's cheaper and better. (Unfortunately I can't recommend any other shops in Melbourne to buy from as the distributors want to rip them off, too, so they don't carry low- or mid-range ice skates.)

And, the cafe seems to only be open at random times - if you are there on a Sunday evening, for example, don't expect the cafe to be open after 7:30. Even if you ask the staff if it will be open and are told, "Yes, it will be," don't expect it.

The quality of the DJ's is startlingly variable, sometimes you get one who is happy to play requests and have fun, sometimes you get one who will only play "his" music, not only ignoring any requests in a very nasty and dismissive manner, but ignoring the fact that most of the people in the rink are children who have never heard any of the music, and don't like it, anyway.

The best point about the rink is that it is quite large, and given that on any night other than a Tuesday it is barely occupied, you don't have to skate through a crowd.

Thank grs1961
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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