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Slide, Skate and Chill at the Common Man

Home > Melbourne > Family | Food and Wine | Romantic | School Holidays | Snow
by Nadine Cresswell-Myatt (subscribe)
Freelance writer exploring Melbourne and beyond. If you enjoy the following article click on the Like button, Facebook it to your friends or subscribe. I'll update you with yummy and often free events. Like my photos? I instagram @redbagwilltravel
Event: -
Slip, slurp and laugh as well
absolut vodka cocktails common man south wharf melbourne
Love the care going into my ever so gorgeous cocktail. Thank you.


There is something gloomy about June 1. The guillotine blade drops suddenly between Melbourne's golden haze of autumn and the cold, cruel winter ahead.

I wrapped my coat firmly around me and trudged towards the Common Man, a bar in South Wharf. But the closer I got, the more I noticed I was the only person downcast by winter's gloom.
south wharf melbourne, common man
South Wharf a fascinating part of town


People were out in groups, jostling each other and having fun. They were out to enjoy the many fantastic bars and eateries that line Duke's Walk alongside the river. The views of the Melbourne skyline are breathtaking. There was no sense of chills and approaching winter ills, but a bright chirpiness about being out in the invigorating night air.

And I too changed my tune as soon as I reached the Common Man. As what a sight. The beer gardens of summer on the river's edge have been transformed into a winter palace--fit even for the Queen of Narnia.

common man south wharf Melbourne skating in Melbourne
A winter wonderland


It is not just that there is now an enclosed skating rink (enclosed from the cold winds but still providing city views) and a toboggan run. It is the whole creation that looks magical. While the ice is white, the overhanging mirror balls mean that silver and twinkling blue lights dance on the canvas ceiling. Pretty snow flakes are scattered everywhere -- etched onto glass and hanging from the ceiling. Fairy lights twinkle mischievously.

Adults and children will find this a paradise. Children in particular because this rink is not a daunting size. There are also strategically placed blue kangaroos. They can grab onto a tail, gain their balance and then push the kangaroo along for stability.

skating melbourne winter, common man
Finding one's ice legs.


skating Melbourne winter, common man
The solid creatures should help you keep your balance


While the toboggan slide is small, I am sure that to tots it would appear an Everest challenge. I noticed that there was plenty of padding at one end to ensure a safe descent and the cute little helmets are mandatory.

With helpers on site monitoring the children, the experience seemed well organised and safe.

The small toboggan run didn't stop lots of adults from also having some fun. Of course, adults being heavier come down with a real wallop. So again thank goodness for all that cushioning.

And adults will have their day because a night will be set aside each Thursday for date and this venue will be great on other going out nights as well. It wouldn't be fair to keep all this fun just for the kids.

I was offered a Lavazza coffee and it seemed tempting after just coming in from the cold but I'm rather partial to the kind of ice that comes in glasses. Preferably cocktail glasses.

And just outside the rink, the Common Man has set up an Absolut Vodka caravan with a barman tenderly assembling his creations.

There were four on offer, but I chose a vanilla, mole Absolut threaded with vanilla, lime juice, vanilla syrup, ginger beer and soda. And later an Absolut original with lemon juice and elderflower and soda. Luckily I was taking the tram home.

vodka cocktails common man south wharf melbourne
Just the right chill


Both were superbly crafted. With the last one decked out with strawberries and fresh mint. Someone else's drink I noticed was even topped with tufts of fairy floss. And while I had reneged on the coffee if one were really cold you could have it laced with all kinds of goodies including Kahlua and spiced rum.

Inside is a chill out zone. Parents will love it for as well as great coffee and hot chocolate there is also wine and beer and gourmet pies.

I had a kransky sausage and it was served on a baguette rather than spongy bread. The attendant cheese sauce was creamy and remarkable.

skating melbourne winter, common man,kransky, vodka
Food and drink to wow.


There's hots dogs and donuts for kids of all ages and a nice touch are the famous South Melboune dim sims. They come the size of small boulders and are a Melbourne legend.

Kids will also go for the caramel popcorn and marshmallows. But it was great to see fresh fruit also on the menu.

skating melbourne winter, common man
Some of the menu selections


This will be a perfect outing for kids during the school holidays (30 June - 15 July). There are special sessions for this period.

Monday to Wednesday: 12-9pm
Thursday & Friday: 12-10pm
Saturday: 12 -10pm
Sunday 12-8pm

Family passes for two adults and two children are $69 and one adult and two children $52

Tickets grant access to both the skating rink as well as toboggan slide during the 45-minute session. Sessions begin on the hour, every hour.

But there are plenty of chances for adults to enjoy this magical space.

Normal Trade will be:

Monday to Wednesday: 5-9 pm
Thursday and Friday 4-10 pm
Saturday: 12-10pm
Sunday: 12-8pm

Queens Birthday: 12-10pm

Adults $24.50, Kids (6-14) $18.50, Kids (3-5) $15

Group booking price: Booking of 10 $210

There is also Discount Mondays.

For Discount Mondays you need to sign up to the database to receive 50% off the normal ticket price. Discounted tickets are limited, so get in quick.

skate melbourne, common man south wharf melbourne
Onlookers can't resist a peek in at all the hilarity


Teach Me Tuesdays means that you get a complimentary curling session between 8-9. There are 24 spots available for this and it needs to be booked online.

Date Night Thursdays is a special price. You can get a $60 couple's package that includes two cocktails and as I mentioned these are sensational.

Rhythm and Blues night is on Fridays with hits from the 80s blasted through the speakers.

Funday Sundays means free face painting for children and a treat from the candy bar (subject to availability).

You can book a table and dine at The Common Man restaurant. Kick off your skates and enjoy an exclusive dining offer or add on a $25 dinner voucher with a value of $30 when purchasing your skate session tickets.

There will also be a range of dinner and drink specials available at surrounding restaurants.

One of the joys about visiting this sector of town is the ample parking even though you are so close to the city. Parking is behind the DFO so you can do some discount shopping while you are there. Any purchases, including those at the Common Man give you 50% off parking rates.

Love the fact that the complex also has free wifi.

For those looking for public transport options click here.

skating melbourne winter, common man
Lovely little touches in the concept
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Why? School holiday but also adult fun.
When: From June 1 to August 31
Where: Common Lawn at Common Man 39 Dukes Walk South Wharf VIC 3006
Cost: Various. See article
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