Daytona Ice Arena sends skaters glissading across an ultra-smooth, NHL regulation-size sheet of ice. Bleacher seating with room for more than 300 spectators looms behind the glass on one side of the rink, and above, a snack bar overlooking the facility doles out refreshments. While escaping Florida's heat and the panhandling paddleboards that come with it, visitors to the frosty, 35,000-square-foot arena can soak up extra relaxation at the Penalty Box Sports Pub, which accompanies elevated views of the ice with an arsenal of big-screen TVs. The building—located just minutes from the beach—buzzes daily during public skating sessions but also plays host to a medley of other ice-tied triumphs including learn-to-skate programs, birthday parties, and youth and adult hockey leagues.
When things get going at Let's Skate Orlando, it feels like one giant party. Up to 300 people can circle the skating rink at once, fueled by the beats and melodies of bumping tunes. Lights turn the 25,000-square-foot facility into a mosaic of dancing colors, like what happens when you microwave a bunch of markers. In between laps, guests can unwind over hot dogs, pizza, and other snacks at the concession stand. All this makes the rink a go-to spot for birthday celebrations, so unsurprisingly, five party rooms surround the rink, each one done up in a fun, kid-friendly theme such as pirates, princesses, and rock stars.
A snowball’s throw away from the Disney World and Universal Studio theme parks, The Ice Factory of Central Florida extends the season of winter sports to a year-round festival of open-skate sessions and pickup or youth-league hockey matches. During public-skate hours, patrons lace up hockey or figure skates before hitting the NHL- and studio-size rinks to learn the ropes or gracefully carve the name of their favorite zamboni driver into the ice. Weekend DJ skates enliven outings with interactive games and prizes on Saturday afternoons and musical stylings on Saturday nights. After a fun-filled workout on the rink, grownup guests can unwind with a frosty beverage at the rinkside bar and lounge, and kids pass the time at the pool table or ring in birthdays with sodas, pizzas, and bouquets of balloons.
Novice skaters of all ages can master the skills and techniques of icemanship with beginners’ lessons or mock nature’s clearly defined seasons with ice-skating summer camps.
A few minutes from the sun-kissed sands of Cocoa Beach, things get a little colder. At Space Coast Iceplex, a 20,000 square foot International Ice Surface provides a fun place to cool off, offering public skating hours, hockey programs, and classes that help skating newbies acquire their ice legs. On Saturday nights, skaters glide to tunes spun by a live DJ as special effects lights illuminate the rink, and snack and sports bars continue to fuel the fun for skaters who need a break between laps.
Up to 22 gas-powered go-karts at a time can hug the twists and turns of Skate Station Funworks' more than 800-foot track. While the go-kart course is the park's longest attraction, it's not the tallest?that honor goes to the indoor rock-climbing wall. Besides climbing and driving, fun at Skate Station ranges from hitting homers in batting cages to putting balls past a landlocked airboat on the swamp-themed mini-golf course. Children aged 10 or younger can explore the three levels of the Kid's Adventure soft play space, whereas guests of all ages can compete in classic games such as air hockey at the arcade. All these attractions share a home with Skate Station's namesake, an indoor roller-skating rink where visitors can groove to Top 40 hits or learn skating fundamentals during lessons.
Funtown Family-Center's 30,000-square-foot facility echoes with the shrieks and hollers emanating from kids as they careen across the gleaming hardwood ellipse of the roller rink or beneath the black lights of the laser-tag arena. An inflatable obstacle course and indoor playground quarantines hopping youngsters in between cafe-fare feasts beneath beach murals. An arcade offers a selection of video games, and a personal hostess oversees each Fun Town party, helping wrangle attendees as they launch endeavors fueled by pizza and celebratory cupcakes.