SKATE Champions proves that the roller disco of the 1970s lives on. Lit by the electric glow of neon lights and under the spell of infectious dance music, skaters glide and twist across an enormous rink of polished hardwood. Kids celebrate birthdays with parties featuring pizza, ice cream, and hours of skating, while adults let loose during 80s-themed soirees, replete with with DJs, a privately reserved rink, and brick-sized cellphones as party favors. Camp and daycare keeps kids engaged and exercising during lazy summer vacations, while classes teach students of all ages how to skate backward, jump, and spin with confidence.
The Sugar Land Ice & Sports Center conceals a chilly oasis for winter-sports fans to practice and have fun all year long, whether it's the day after Christmas or a steamy 100-degree afternoon in July. Between its two rinks, the center hosts staff-supervised public-skating sessions nearly every day in addition to a wide range of youth and adult hockey events—including practices for the former AHL champion Houston Aeros. Inside Rink A, a spacious seating area and café invites visitors to break from their icy escapades and reenergize with a snack. Also away from the ice, the onsite pro shop sharpens blades and repairs skates so clients can carve their way across rinks and the halls of imposing ice castles.
Appealing to casual skaters as well as serious athletes, Chaparral Ice shares the passion of its patrons by embracing a broad spectrum of ice-skating activities such as the rink's popular theme nights that include zombie prom to beach parties. The rink offers public-skate times every day, and both friendly and competitive hockey leagues to cater to players of all ages and skill levels. The rink's figure-skating program includes freestyle sessions for aspiring figure skaters to practice their jumps, spins, and choreography—either with or without a training coach. Chaparral Ice is even home to the Austin area's curling club, which welcomes interested spectators as well as new participants.
As daylight hours wane and temperatures drop, Discovery Green transforms Kinder Lake’s model-boat basin into a 7,200-square-foot open-air ice rink, beckoning visitors and locals alike to embrace the winter season. The cheerful sounds of Christmas carols, upbeat world music, and swing tunes emanate from the sound system as skaters gracefully glide past the site's colorful glass railings and mural-bedecked kiosks. In a separate children's area beside the main rink, toddlers and their parents can play on their own section of ice while safely avoiding faster-paced skating traffic. Special events also lend their own festive air to the attraction, where guests can watch live jazz bands or skate alongside Santa Claus.
To keep the ice at a constant and chilly 22 degrees, the rink conceals more than 17 miles of cooling pipes beneath its friction-defying surface. Recycled water from Kinder Lake helps create a cool, even skating surface, and the entire attraction siphons its power from renewable energy sources instead of coal buttons stolen from snowmen. Additionally, an onsite snack shop keeps bellies warm and cheeks ruddy with cups of coffee and hot cocoa, as well as hearty snacks including roasted peanuts, cookies, and belgian waffles.
Memorial City Mall’s chirping cash registers and department-store scanners give way to the scraping of blades against ice inside Ice Skate USA. There, a full-sized rink large enough to host official IHL and NHL games reinvigorates bodies worn from shopping by imparting the freedom and fun of uninhibited speed during open-skate sessions. The rink also keeps a squad of instructors on hand who host hockey academies to sharpen everything from basic skating skills to puck control to discerning between team mascots and roving packs of wolves. Additionally, Ice Skate USA also works to expand the community’s appreciation for ice-bound culture during scheduled events such as The Nutcracker on Ice, with try-outs for the production encouraged for all students, and open to skaters of any skill and age.
The Dairy Ashford Roller Rink hit the ground skating in 1974, and has sent visitors zipping across its 65'x180' wooden floor ever since. The family-owned facility uses a digital sound and light system to ramp up the revelry and lure in any hair-metal bands roaming the neighborhood. More than two-dozen strobe lights swirl over surfaces, and a library of more than 3,000 songs pumps through the speakers. Away from the rink, Dairy Ashford maintains a fully stocked snack bar, as well as a spacious and colorful dining area that hosts large groups for birthday parties, family reunions, and corporate gatherings.