As daylight hours wane and temperatures drop, Discovery Green transforms Kinder Lake?s model-boat basin into a 7,200-square-foot open-air ice rink, beckoning visitors and locals alike to embrace the winter season. The cheerful sounds of Christmas carols, upbeat world music, and swing tunes emanate from the sound system as skaters gracefully glide past the site's colorful glass railings and mural-bedecked kiosks. In a separate children's area beside the main rink, toddlers and their parents can play on their own section of ice while safely avoiding faster-paced skating traffic. Special events also lend their own festive air to the attraction, where guests can watch live jazz bands or skate alongside Santa Claus.
To keep the ice at a constant and chilly 22 degrees, the rink conceals more than 17 miles of cooling pipes beneath its friction-defying surface. Recycled water from Kinder Lake helps create a cool, even skating surface, and the entire attraction siphons its power from renewable energy sources instead of coal buttons stolen from snowmen. Additionally, an onsite snack shop keeps bellies warm and cheeks ruddy with cups of coffee and hot cocoa, as well as hearty snacks including roasted peanuts, cookies, and belgian waffles.
Memorial City Mall’s chirping cash registers and department-store scanners give way to the scraping of blades against ice inside Ice Skate USA. There, a full-sized rink large enough to host official IHL and NHL games reinvigorates bodies worn from shopping by imparting the freedom and fun of uninhibited speed during open-skate sessions. The rink also keeps a squad of instructors on hand who host hockey academies to sharpen everything from basic skating skills to puck control to discerning between team mascots and roving packs of wolves. Additionally, Ice Skate USA also works to expand the community’s appreciation for ice-bound culture during scheduled events such as The Nutcracker on Ice, with try-outs for the production encouraged for all students, and open to skaters of any skill and age.
The Dairy Ashford Roller Rink hit the ground skating in 1974, and has sent visitors zipping across its 65'x180' wooden floor ever since. The family-owned facility uses a digital sound and light system to ramp up the revelry and lure in any hair-metal bands roaming the neighborhood. More than two-dozen strobe lights swirl over surfaces, and a library of more than 3,000 songs pumps through the speakers. Away from the rink, Dairy Ashford maintains a fully stocked snack bar, as well as a spacious and colorful dining area that hosts large groups for birthday parties, family reunions, and corporate gatherings.
As mall patrons pass bearing shopping bags and food court treats, skaters sail across a blanket of ice in a rink that has rested on the ground level of the Galleria for more than 30 years. Olympian ice skater Evan Lysacek noted in his 2011 article, 10 Great Places to Ice Skate in the USA, the awe-inducing sights granted by the towering atrium above the rink, a feature that gives the confines a spacious feel. The frozen pond offers skaters weekend jam sessions with a live DJ, and enables nonskaters to watch the twirling action from platforms located on the second story.
Aerodrome Ice Skating Complex doesn't have a shoe fetish. Its more than 1,000 pairs of rental ice skates serve a purpose: to equip guests for ice-related sports and activities. The two main activities, hockey and figure skating, are available to play or learn during an array of leagues, camps, clinics, and lessons throughout the year. In addition to ice-skating, the complex features a food stand, fitness center, and pro shop where skaters can have their skates sharpened or cut into a really cool saw pattern.
At Funplex, a pair of roller skates can take you across the country—or at least a smaller version of it. Gigantic murals of iconic American skylines surround the Roller City USA Skating Rink, while fog, lasers, and music add to the excitement and accurately recreate the feeling of teleportation. But this five-acre fun park isn't rooted to the rink. The indoor go-kart car track launches kids and adults alike into dreams of being a race-car driver as they accelerate to up to 22 miles per hour. And the rest of Funplex brims with attractions both fast and slow: bumper cars, a ferris wheel, and a full-size bowling alley with 40 lanes.