Friday, February 6, 2009 - 11:13

Half term (February 14 to 22) is the last chance to skate on the Eden Project's famous ice-rink before it is melted down.

As well as marking the end of the rink for this winter, Eden will be celebrating the 200th anniversary of Charles Darwin's birth by running Survival of the Fit-Test, a selection of fun ways to keep the body and mind active during the late winter months.

The Cornwall Orienteering Club will be challenging visiting families to find their way round a special course for the entire half term period. The course can be taken as fast or as slow as you want and there will be a Top Gear-style leaderboard for those who complete the challenge in the quickest times. To take part, visitors need to meet the club members in the Visitor Centre or Core building.

St. Austell Running Club will be on hand to offer training advice and talk to visitors about the Eden Marathon, due to take place on October 11. The event will feature a full distance race, half marathon and one mile fun run over a challenging multi-terrain course around the Eden site. Any potential competitors can either sign up on site or visit the Eden website at, where there is also a full price list.

Eden's education centre the Core will become the “Fit for the Future” zone with an exhibition featuring some unusual top tips to give human evolution a helping hand.

Visitors can also take part in two free workshops where they can create a “mini me”, a unique model showing how they think humanity will evolve, and a “future potion”, showing which human attributes they think we should take into the future.

Exercise bikes linked to lights will demonstrate energy efficiency and a series of microscopes will be available for budding young Darwins to examine the building blocks of life.

In the Link Lounge between the Biomes, Eden's own “evolutionary scientist” will be giving visitors his unique take on Darwin's theories.

Also taking place during the half term break is Eden's first ever Grand Venetian Valentine’s Day Ball, a unique take on the Renaissance-era masquerade ball. The ball takes place between 7pm and 12.30am on February 14. The dress code is black tie, ball gowns or fancy dress and a mask is essential. Tickets are £25 per person.

Gabi Gilkes, Eden’s Acting Programme Producer, said: “What better way to mark Darwin's bicentenary than by celebrating fitness and survival at the Eden Project? With the snow melting and winter making way for spring, it's a brilliant time to find new activities to get you outdoors and get in shape.”

With the exception of ice-skating, Eden Marathon entry and the Grand Venetian Valentine’s Day Ball, all activities are included in standard Eden admission.

Between February 14 and 22, Eden will be open from 10am to 6pm, with last entry at 4.30pm. Skating costs £5 per person per 40 minute slot.

For more information on skating or events or to book, visit or call the Eden box office on 01726 811972.