Inside ProtecHockey Ponds Ice Center’s impressive, 52,000-square-foot facility, figure skaters, hockey players, and casual skaters alike glide across three separate ice surfaces—including an NHL regulation-size rink—during lessons, games, and public-skating sessions. Ranging from junior hockey players to New Jersey state figure-skating champions, the team of coaches imparts skills during everything from introductory skating lessons to four-day hockey camps. When the center isn't hosting the public for skate sessions, ProtecHockey Ponds Ice Center is home to the Rutgers University Men's Ice Hockey team, the Protec Ducks Hockey Program, and the nationally recognized Protec Academy Learn-to-Skate Program. Beyond the boards, a full-service café serves lattes for visitors to warm up before watching the center's hockey teams. The rink's staff can also host birthday parties, group outings, and fundraisers in their private room.
Spread across 150,000 sq. ft., Bridgewater Sports Arena is a multi-faceted sports and entertainment complex. In one area, families play arcade games like ski-ball. In another, athletes train on a fitness center's treadmills, stationary bikes, and weight machines. The arena also encompasses ice rinks and the futuristic LaserZone, where fog and black lights set the stage for games of team laser tag.
Aspen Ice at Flemington's full-size NHL rink invites adventurous ground slicers to float across its slick, cool surface. Groups set out across the ice after securing their feet in pairs of rental skates, primed for pirouettes, friendly races, and partial human pyramids. Skaters can break to enjoy hot dogs, drinks, and the thrills of an arcade before returning to the frozen water open to the public seven days a week, including Friday nights, when the rink's DJ spins popular tunes.
The stylists at Cranford Hair Company rarely come across a curl they can’t straighten or a strand they can’t lengthen. Though their skills are potentially intimidating—the staff includes a Redken-certified colorist and specialists in keratin straightening treatments—they go out of their way to make clients feel at ease. This combination of upscale styling and a relaxed atmosphere has won the salon many fans, as has a service menu that caters to both genders with precision haircuts, multidimensional coloring, and 100% human-hair extensions. The staff balances these scalp-oriented services with beauty treatments that focus on the rest of the body. Waxes remove hair entirely, and precise applications of airbrush makeup help skin glow brighter than a light bulb filled with plutonium.
As a state-of-the-art indoor pond, Floyd Hall Arena provides ice so smooth and true that even the Zamboni drivers can't help but purposefully get their tongues stuck to it. After strapping on their skates, all ages and skill levels can practice figural flow, hone their hockey stopping, and improve their foot-cursive penmanship. For the especially graceful, the facility also rents Olympic-quality walkers ($3, not included in this Groupon) that turn any avalanching ice princess into an upright frozen duchess. Since opening in 1998, the arena has hosted more than a dozen NHL teams and countless quantities of avid skaters young and old.
City Ice Pavilion's NHL-sized rooftop rink is open to ice-capaders year-round. That's thanks, in part, to the large weatherproof dome that curves over the the interior and gives it a cavernous feel, much like the ancient ice skating rinks found in pyramids. Aspiring skaters can take lessons, then try out their new skills during public skate sessions or adult or youth hockey leagues. Besides classes and open skating times, the Ice Pavilion also hosts a wide range of skating-themed events, including a regular morning coffee club for experienced adult skaters.