Happy shouts from climbers to their belay partners. The cool scent of pool water. Center of Clayton bustles with activities of all sorts, all fueled by the equipment and athletic facilities filling the 149,000-square-foot complex. At the Center's aquatic center, swimmers freestyle along the 25-yard lanes of the competition pool, plunge down a curvy water slide at the leisure pool, or let back-massaging jets knead muscles in the hot tub. A 31-foot climbing wall awaits grappling hands and probing feet to ascend the colorful holds, and the safety offered by top-rope style harnesses encourages climbers to try out particularly challenging routes or overly familiar nicknames for boulders.
Before sweating through fitness classes or pickup basketball games, parents can drop youngsters ages 6–13 off at the youth activity center. There, kids stay active with Nintendo Wii fitness games and equipment, and supervisors arbitrate disputes about whose father can actually beat up Batman. To further streamline the process of working out, locker rooms, towel service, and a food court with a Subway and a café allow patrons to stop in while running errands or on lunch.
Open year-round, Kirkwood Ice Skating Rink plays host to public skating sessions, lessons, and hockey games for fledgling wintertime athletes. The rink bathes in natural light, which pours through translucent panels to illuminate and spotlight skaters as they make their elliptical loops. Just beyond the rink's edge, a concession area serves hot eats worthy of consumption in the adjacent, fireplace-equipped warming area. A jam-packed monthly schedule details one-and-a-half and two-hour public skating sessions seven days a week, allowing skaters to get their icy fix regardless of conflicting guitar lessons or power lunches with dapper climatologists.
Two professional-size rinks and one Olympic-size ice rink occupy the 115,000 square feet of Hardee's Iceplex, which frequently hosts events such as USA speed skating and hockey tournaments. They open the rinks for public skating sessions and events such as figure skating, lessons, and hockey leagues for adults and children. The facilities contain ample rooms for parties and corporate events, and an on-site grille and pro shop supply visitors with delicious food and gear such as hockey equipment and official St. Louis Blues apparel.
Rows of red, green, and golden lights stream above the solid maple skating rink at Fun Spot Skating Center, where guests glide along during open hours and special skating events. Much like the popular video game Extreme Hoop Trundler 2012, Fun Spot blends classic and modern entertainment, filling the retro space with computerized light sequences set to digital stereo sound. A full-service pro shop works to outfit guests with well-fitting skates, and an onsite snack bar fuels festivities with pizzas, soda, and other eats.
Since swinging open its doors in 1965, Rock Roll-O-Rena has provided a safe hub for lacing up and rolling around or simply kicking back with friends and family. Second-generation owners Glen and Jo Donna Neifert keep the facility in top shape, sending skaters gliding across the hard maple floor as speakers shell out top 40 tunes.
Off the rink, bleacher seating, a fully stocked concession stand, and arcade games divert attention from unhip physicists lecturing skaters on centripetal force, and air conditioning maintains a cooler atmosphere during the summer months. Dedicated to keeping the community strong, Rock Roll-O-Rena also offers a strong incentive for youngsters to keep up their grades, trading a discount pass for each A on a report card not earned by staining it with alphabet soup.