A playground of snow and ice

Updated: 2015-01-10 07:28

By Erik Nilsson and Yang Yang(China Daily)

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A playground of snow and ice

A child skis at Beijing Olympic Forest Park. Da Wei / For China Daily

The arena has since opened an online-shopping channel to sell tickets to put a chill on overcrowding.

"Winter sports aren't as popular in China as in Northern Europe," Dong says.

"Beijing is trying to develop them. Demand is huge in the capital because there aren't many places for people to do winter sports."

The Wukesong arena is unique in that skating is next to basketball courts, such events as zombie runs and the MasterCard Center, which often hosts big concerts.

The arena also contains a 10-meter-high ice slide for inner-tubing, plastic seals (as in the animals) pint-sized skaters straddle like "training wheels" and glass booths for magic shows.

"People in eastern Beijing already have a lot to do," Dong says.

"We hope to provide a fun space for people in the West."