During the day, huge skylights cast a glow over Zelma Watson-George Roller Skating Facility's big, bright, festive rink; in the evenings, glow sticks and other fun accessories light up the crowd as kids and families roll by. Most days, contemporary hip hop and R&B provide the soundtrack, although occasional themed skates turn over the sound system to the likes of Michael Jackson. The center's cafe helps skaters recharge with wings, pizza, hotdogs, and cotton candy, and the arcade bleeps and buzzes with both video games and redemption games spooling out tickets that can be exchanged for prizes or added to an investment portfolio.
Making its home at Michael A. Ries Ice Rink, the nonprofit Forestwood Figure Skating Club connects young skaters with goal-oriented coaching. Once beginners pick up the fundamentals in the Learn to Skate program, they can move on to private instruction with the club's coaching staff, which combines for more than 25 years of experience. These sessions prepare each student for serious competition, affording access to sanctioned competitions and private ice time on a rink uncluttered by fellow skaters or rush hour Zamboni traffic. The organization is certified by the U.S. Figure Skating Association, the governing body that oversees testing and competitions for all Olympic hopefuls.
For more than 35 years, skaters of all ages and experience levels have strapped on wheels and traversed Chagrin Valley Roller Rink. Private and group skating lessons prevent mobile 10-person pileups, and nights designated for teens, tots, or families feature music tailored to each audience. When the school bell rings, the center opens its doors to after-school skaters, blasting song requests entered on the rink's online song-request module. Skating experts at the pro shop sell and rent in-line and roller-skating equipment, and match feet with compatible wheels. A snack bar refuels participants and furnishes eats for private parties, and the arcade's pinball machines and vintage games slurp up quarters and exercise thumbs.
Ice Land USA's rinks cater to skaters of all experience levels, offering lessons and league opportunities at their two locations. The instructors at Hoover Arena and Serpentini Arena teach skaters how to improve their on-ice finesse, and youth and adult hockey leagues allow players to compete against rival teams or take shots on a zamboni posing as a goalie. At other times, the Colorado Avalanche-affiliated Lake Erie Monsters take the ice to practice for bouts against American Hockey League opponents.
A municipal facility owned and operated by the City of Euclid, C.E. Orr Ice Arena gives skaters plenty of ice space for practicing triple toe loops and triple dekes. The high school regulation-size rink is home to youth and adult hockey leagues, just as the water that became the ice was once home to youth and adult fish. The general public, meanwhile, can get in on the action during open skate times held throughout the week.
An indoor skating rink, The Pond Family Friendly Ice Rink hosts skaters of all abilities during public-skating sessions—offered seven days a week. As the frosty stomping ground for the Geauga Youth Hockey League and the Chagrin Valley Figure Skating Club, The Pond helps young skaters find their stride on the ice without having to carve a treadmill out of a glacier. Skaters of all abilities can learn to glide gracefully across the rink during Learn to Skate lessons, which are offered multiple times a week.