Plopped in downtown Indianapolis across from the Indiana Convention Center, Indiana/World Skating Academy fosters skills for winter sports on a pair of NHL-size rinks. I/WSA's coaches, whose instruction has helped produce regional, national, and world-class competitors, direct the facility's programs, including learn-to-skate courses designed for skaters with varying levels of experience. In addition to skating, the facility also offers private rink rentals as well as opportunities for speed skating, broomball, and adult hockey leagues. Off the ice, the academy offers less slippery activities, such as weight training, aerobics, jazz, and ballet. A rinkside deli open during public-skating hours keeps legs primed, and an onsite pro shop keeps equipment bags stuffed with the latest gear.
In 1977, a man known as Mr. B opened Roller Cave. Having spent much of his own childhood rolling around his hometown skating rink, Mr. B wished to keep his favorite pastime alive for future generations. To this day, he and his son, Luke Boston, continue to operate the family-friendly establishment. Strobe lights and mirror balls flash across the rink's polished floor, and DJs spin pop, rock, R & B, and Disney music for children. Beginners learn basic techniques during skating lessons. Patrons can take a break from skating to snack on slices of pizza or visit the indoor batting cages, dance floors, and other attractions of the Bat Cave entertainment zone.
Wheels glide gracefully across Skateland Roller Skating Center's indoor rink to a soundtrack of popular music and gleeful shrieks. Guests don rolling shoes while capering to Disney tunes, which frequently inspire hand-holding, friend-making, and adopting a wisecracking animal sidekick. All ages stir and stomp as they skim across the hardwood to the sounds of Top 40 hits and hip-hop songs, and skaters can upgrade their skill levels at Saturday morning skate lessons. All-inclusive party packages are fun options for birthday, bachelorette, or office-related celebrations and safer than traditional icicle-jousting tournaments.
The 207 green spaces overseen by Indy Parks and Recreation aren't just oases of natural beauty in the middle of the city: they're also the setting for many of Indianapolis' most diverse cultural attractions. Parks throughout the city host events that range from basketball and league sports games to fitness and yoga on the grass to all-ages, hands-on art classes. In warm weather, sounds of outdoor film screenings and more than 80 live concerts reverberate through the hills and trees. Meanwhile, 20 indoor and outdoor water recreation facilities encourage splashing, and picnic shelters and open-air pavilions host events ranging from large-scale family reunions to children's birthday parties.
The city's parks also inject their entertainment with a bit of education. The hilltop Garfield Park Arts Center organizes live performances and classes in visual and performing arts. Eagle Creek Park](http://bit.ly/1j2TWNp)?the parks system's crown jewel?celebrates nature. Its more than 4,300 acres of forested terrain take visitors out of the city, but attractions such as the aerial ropes course, Go Ape, and the live reptile and amphibian exhibits at the Earth Discovery Center convince them to stay.
The Indianapolis-based Indiana Ice, an Eastern Conference member of the United States Hockey League (America’s only Tier One amateur league), currently plays its home games at Bankers Life Fieldhouse or Pan Am Pavilion, depending on their schedule. Single-game, multi-game, half-season and full-season tickets are available to watch Indianapolis’ only major hockey team, which was originally formed in 2004. The United States Hockey League is the top junior ice hockey league in the United States, and each of its sixteen-member teams consists of players who are twenty years old and younger, meaning screaming locals and hockey-rabid tourists can root on future National Hockey League stars from great seats around the rink. Fan giveaways, promotional nights and the team’s up tempo play all combine to make a night out with the Indiana Ice memorable.
Families in old-fashioned quad skates laugh their way around the rink as upbeat tunes boom from overhead speakers. When not working up a sweat on the floor, they can play games of skee ball in the arcade and collect tickets to turn in for fun prizes. Refueling time finds them at the snack bar sipping on sodas and grabbing slices of pizza. This collection of skating, gaming, and noshing makes for an ideal party location, and Wheels of Wonder offers packages replete with table settings and an on-mic shout out from the rink DJ for the birthday kid. Kids can also roll into the facility for beginners' skating lessons that build confidence and enhance balance.