Opened in 1998, Floyd Hall Arena welcomes skaters of all sizes to practice their axels and slap shots on two NHL-sized ice rinks. In addition to youth hockey and Learn to Skate programs with professional instructors, the rink hosts public skating sessions each week so that casual skaters can loop the rink as their leisure and more advanced skaters can test out prototypes of hand skates. Patrons can take a look at upcoming public skating times by checking the monthly event schedule, found here.
Steeplechase caters to serious skaters and blade bush leaguers alike with a variety of semiprivate lessons. Helmed by instructors belonging to the U.S. Figure Skating Association, classes span an array of styles, including figure skating, dance, freestyle, and hockey. Students will learn how to impress skeptical sidekicks with fundamental skating techniques, specialized ice skills, and the basic moves required for killer reenactments of Citizen Kane on ice. Enrollees are encouraged bring their own skates and gloves (rental is $4.50), and admission to the rink ($8) is not included.
The cool blades of skates have cut grooves into the ice at Hommocks Park Ice Rink since 1975. Skaters flock to the indoor rink during public-skate times curving into figure-8s, flying through the air doing axels, and laying down to imitate the most popular hockey mascot, a friendly boulder. Aspiring skaters aged 4 and older brush up on skills during group lessons. Meanwhile, when skaters need time on less slick surfaces, they can refuel with snacks and treats at the Slap Shot Café, which brims with the aromas of pizzas, chicken wings, and nachos.
As they sweep the ice, most gas-powered zambonis also give off harmful carbon monoxide, which lingers in the rink for hours afterwards. But Skylands Ice World’s resurfacers are different—they’re fueled by propane, which means that, with the help of special converters and frequent tune-ups, they emit much lower levels of carbon monoxide. And to make them even more eco- and skater-friendly, the zambonis warm up in a separate, ventilated room before hitting the ice, which also helps carbon-dioxide levels in the rink stay well below EPA-approved standards. It might seem odd to put so much thought into the environmental and health effects of ice upkeep, especially since the state of New Jersey doesn’t technically regulate the air quality of skating rinks, but Skylands Ice World and its staff considers it worthwhile. Because in the end, a devotion to Mother Earth and its inhabitants is just as important as a devotion to sport and spectacle, which is also why the facility has recently installed an energy-saving, low-emissivity ceiling as well as high-efficiency light fixtures.
Knowing that the air and their consciences are cleaner than a personal trainer’s bill of health, visiting skaters can go for a care-free spin around the ice during daily public-skating sessions. Visitors can also groove to toe-pick-tapping music, which blasts out of a newly installed sound system during the popular Friday night Ice Jam event. And when they need a break from the figure eights and figure zeros, skaters can hop over to the onsite eatery, which dispenses Tim Hortons coffee and baked goods.