Every other year the Steinhuder Meer - a huge lake in Lower Saxony near Hanover - freezes.
When this happens, although everybody is talking about global warming, the people that live there (like me) and a lot of tourists can’t resist to go ice skating. In 1998 and 2009 there was an ice festival because the Steinhuder Meer almost froze completely so that the area you have for skating is about 30 square kilometers large (that’s the size of the lake). Which doesn’t mean that you can actually ice skate on the whole of this area but theoretically. On some areas the ice is always very thin and it is dangerous!
But there is enough ice left to do whatever you want: play ice hockey, play curling , go ice sailing or try to ride your bike on ice. Usually the Steinhuder Meer freezes in early January. This happens almost every year. But it seldom happens that the ice is to thick that we can have an ice festival. The Steinhuder Meer is close to Hanover which you can easily reach by train. From Hanover you can take a suburban train to Wunstorf and then take a bus to Steinhude.