For most of the year, the NASCAR Hall of Fame Plaza is merely a slab of brick and concrete. But around the holidays, it transforms into something magical: WBT Holiday on Ice. Starting November 22, skaters can zip around the freshly laid ice that stretches across the plaza.
A day at The Icepark at Concord Mills means nonstop opportunities for fun and thrills. From late-November until mid-January, patrons can break from the holiday shopping bustle and indulge in skating on the park's ice rink. Thoughout the year, customers can also take on the park's 18 mini-golf holes wind through waterfalls, tunnels, and other obstacles. Trampolines launch visitors towards the sky at the Spider Jump area, and a Fun Slide towers 100 feet high. But the real stars of the park are the four go-kart tracks. Here, all it takes is a little imagination for visitors to envision themselves as pro racecar drivers speeding their way to the nearest 7-Eleven for snacks.
In the 1960s, husband and wife John and Kate Grice strolled around Rankin Lake, wondering what they could do to help the kids in their neighborhood find gainful entertainment. John whimsically suggested roller-skating, and his idea took root. The pair soon opened the doors to the brand new Kate's Skating Rink. Their creation became the family business, and is now run from two locations by their grandchildren. The rink entertains fun-lovers of all ages with an arcade, multi-level indoor playground, and, of course, the vast and well-maintained skating rink.
Since 2006, ice-bound visitors have laced up their hockey and figure skates and shined their curling rocks before taking to the rinks at Extreme Ice Center. The center?s pair of NHL regulation-size rinks hosts public-skating sessions each day of the week, as well as private figure-skating lessons, broomball and curling matches, and USA Hockey?sanctioned programs for youths and adults. The center is the practice facility of the American Hockey League?s Charlotte Checkers.
Off the ice, visitors will find a fitness center and ballet academy, as well as Center Ice Tavern, located between the ice rinks. It slings chicken wings, quesadillas, and draft beers to help skaters overcome the hunger developed during a multihour sit spin.
Beech Mountain's slick slopes and snowy trails give its customers a thrilling powder experience with the claim of eastern North America's highest ski resort, which sits 5,506 feet above sea level. The resort features beginner Play Yard areas, intermediate slopes and advanced skier tracks, including the White Lightning and Southern Star. After shredding blankets of frozen rain, patrons can peruse the souvenir shop or enjoy a fresh coffee at the café, warming tummies while taunting yetis that are too large to hold espresso mugs. For those who are sans skis, Beech Mountain's rental shop stocks everything needed to blissfully coast into the great white beyond.
Nestled behind the LJVM Coliseum—an arena that has hosted events ranging from the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship to Billy Joel concerts—stands The Annex Ice Rink. The ice rink hosts public ice-skating, hockey leagues, and events seven months out of the year. Visitors can strap on their own cleaver-healed boots or a pair of rentals and take to the ice for free-skate sessions, youth and adult hockey, or figure-skating lessons. A live DJ serenades skaters during Friday Night Ice Jam, providing a fun soundtrack as skaters loop the official-size rink. The skating center also opens for groups and special events such as birthdays and office-ditch days.