This year marks the 700th anniversary of Vilnius, Lithuania, and the birthday celebrations kick off this month with Vilnius Light Festival. The city will flicker and glow with installations created by national and international light artists. You can enjoy the lights and get a workout in the process — until Feb. 28, the main yard of the former Lukiškės Prison in Vilnius transforms into an icy winter wonderland, with nearly 2,000 square feet of skating space accommodating up to 80 people at a time beneath a custom-built roof.
Built in 1905 and steeped in dramatic history, the prison once housed political and other prisoners incarcerated for protests against the Soviets, Tsarist Russia and Nazi Germany. Its final days as a prison came in 2019, when it began a new life as Lukiškės Prison 2.0 and served as both a cultural hub and a nexus for more than 350 artists. The old prison has also became a major event venue, hosting many international concerts and performances.
Today, you can take a day or nighttime tour, practice your axels and edge jumps, or carve and arc on the rink’s smooth ice. After spending time at the venue, enjoy a meal at one of the many cafés or food trucks offering hot, tasty local fare.
Not a pro? You’re still welcome, and you don’t even need your own equipment: Skates are complimentary with your ticket for the length of your session.
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