Each Skateland & Great Skate location maintains an arsenal of tools for family fun: rows and rows of orange wheeled roller-skates, breezy air-hockey boards, and colorful arcade games. As skaters show their rolly-rink prowess, they whiz past colorful murals, depicting fireworks against a black backdrop or a beach populated by surfers and elderly grains of sand. When resting legs, kids operate claw machines, attempt levitating along with air-hockey pucks, or try their hands at skee-ball to win tickets that they can redeem for prizes. Add a reserved area, a party host, pop, and pizza to the equation, and the roller rinks also make for a exciting birthday.
Polar Ice Chandler's team of highly experienced ice instructors teaches ice lovers of all ages and experience levels the fundamentals of frozen footwork. During weekly half-hour lessons, students hone the skills necessary to become hockey players, figure skaters, or Zamboni impersonators. Parent & Me classes help novice skaters learn basic skills under the watchful eye of their progenitor, and blade-bearing children ages 3–6 hit the ice for elementary education in the Snowplow Sam 1 program. Students ages 7 and older can glide gracefully upward through the Basic 1 course, where they will learn the moves necessary to perform stops, as well as forward and backward skating.
Polar Ice Gilbert gives bladed feet space to roam through regular public-skate sessions and provides class programs endorsed by the U.S. Figure Skating Association. A knowledgeable team of instructors can help advance the ice-skimming skills of all experience levels, including novices, aspiring Olympians, and ice fishermen in search of a greener commute. Beginning skaters start with introductory Learn to Skate classes, while more seasoned skaters can hone individual aspects of their talents such as jumps and spins through focused specialty classes.
AZ Ice's sparkling ice rinks attract athletes of all ages and skill levels, giving them a chance to carve their names in ice using the blades on their feet. The rink hosts lessons in basic skating, figure skating, and hockey taught by skilled instructors; they range from Learn to Skate classes to Power Skating, which strengthens legs for hockey matches. Staff members also captain summer camps for kids, weaving ice skating into a jam-packed schedule of activities such as arts and crafts and bounce-house sessions. Both students and campers graciously step aside to make room for the masses during public-skate sessions.
An electric, zero-emission Zamboni roves over Oceanside Ice Arena’s 200′ x 89′ rink, readying the ice for the facility’s hockey leagues, broomball competitions, and open-skate sessions attended by throngs of casual skaters. Open since 1974, the arena has built a solid reputation over the years, one that’s largely a result of hosting the practices and games of Arizona State University’s hockey teams. When the rink’s not being occupied by hockey and broomball players or Zambonis carving messages of hope into the ice, the skating public is encouraged take to the ice during designated open skate sessions.
Something about ice skating can make you hungry. Whether it is the cold or the surprising amount of energy that goes into gliding across the ice, it's a good thing that 18 Degrees is tucked into the Ice Den, where the Phoenix Coyotes train.
The menu there focuses appropriately on warm comfort food, from burgers and pork chops to cheese curds and burritos. The ambiance is about right, too, given the eatery's athletic surroundings. A forest of hockey sticks hangs from the ceilings, and the walls are covered with flat-screen TVs, which broadcast hockey and football games. A lounge with a crackling fireplace looks out over the rink, but it is easy enough to sneak out to a quiet patio as well. There, glass of beer click together as patrons toast important anniversaries or the discovery that separating laundry isn't really that important.