Since 1951, Watertown Skating Club has served as a nonprofit program for the socialization and enjoyment of ice skating. It welcomes skaters of all ages to dart across the ice of Taft School's Odden rink, where lessons are divided into eight skill levels for both children and adults.
Newington Arena’s Zamboni smoothes the ice for a range of blade-based activities, from lessons and hockey matches to freestyle open-skate sessions. Experienced coaches teach new and experienced skaters alike to glide, spin, and casually levitate during learn-to-skate programs and figure-skating academies, and amateurs can independently master their triple axels during public-skate times. Hockey and speed-skating programs warm up the ice, and each Friday night, Ice Jam’s strobe lights and music flood the arena as students 11–15 years old weave around the frozen floor. Newington Arena also houses a snack bar and hosts birthday parties, allowing kids to brag that their shindig was, literally, the coolest.
Norwich Ice Rink maintains its ice year-round for athletes and casual skaters alike. In order to keep the community from slathering the streets in butter, the rink opens up every week for several public skating sessions, including most Friday evenings. When it's not entertaining public sessions, the facility plays host to adult and youth hockey leagues and organizes several different learn-to-skate programs.
Bolton Ice Palace ditches the red carpet in favor of a sprawling, 200’x85’ rink that has sent New England skaters twirling across its surface for the past four decades. Typically open seven days per week for public sessions, the facility luxuriates each visit with modern amenities, including four locker rooms, a full-service vending room, and an onsite pro shop. Youth and men’s hockey leagues consistently rub elbows with the boards, and learn-to-skate programs—designed by U.S. Figure Skating—help pintsize and full-size gliders alike become comfortable atop their blades. Customers can also rent out the Palace, turning it into a private event space to host birthdays, work functions, or to more accurately pinpoint the location of the zamboni operator’s forlorn howls.
Since 1997, ice skaters have gracefully glided beneath clear skies atop the shiny surface of the outdoor Westport PAL Rink at Longshore. Every night when the sun goes down, overhead lights flicker on around the boards to accommodate late-night triple axels and hockey games delayed by puck strikes. The rink’s instructors are each certified by the United States Figure Skating Association and offer group and private instruction in figure skating, hockey, or basic technique.
Throughout the year, the rink at Danbury Arena stirs with such events as lessons, hockey leagues, and weekly public skating sessions. Instructors also lead lessons starting with children as young as age three, including an adult program that caters to varying skill sets with five different levels of challenges, from two-foot glides and stops to forward crossovers. Every Friday night, the arena transforms into a disco party, complete with live DJ music and special lighting, and an oversized rhinestone jacket for the Zamboni.
With two rinks—an official NHL-sized rink and a training rink—SoNo Ice House is accessible to skaters and hockey players of all ages and skill levels. Casual skaters can shoot across the ice between trips to the café and take a break on the observation area, and hockey players can suit up for league play or practice their shots on the facility’s RapidShot training system. An educational facility as well as an entertainment venue, SoNo staffs instructors who lead students of varying ages through skating and hockey lessons. In addition to its two rinks, SoNo Ice House is also home to the Athletic Edge Training Center.