The turrets of Star Castle climb high above Mall Boulevard, its drawbridge lowered to lead visitors into to a grand hall filled with treasure and adventure. Inside the 28,000-square-foot entertainment stronghold, children glide across a solid-wood skating surface, rolling around to top-40 hits and classic tunes spun by a resident DJ. Coats of arms and archways surround the rink and lead to other fun-filled chambers, including a video arcade where guests can test their skills on games both nostalgic and new and redeem tickets for prizes or sew them into giant ticket sweaters. As if that wasn't enough, the castle also contains a 4,000-square-foot laser-tag arena, where future knights engage in simulated battles beset by black lights and fog, all under the supervision of an arena attendant and any friends or family members who wish to watch from the spectator room.
Families explore sundry smile-inducing attractions within Skate Station Funworks' bright interiors. Guests can strive to beat high scores in the arcade, which houses such felicity infusers as air hockey, basketball hoops, and skee-ball to sharpen hand-eye coordination. Visitors skirt over to the roller-skating rink to glide as smoothly as velvet-covered curling stone over the rink's expansive wooden floors beneath effulgent, dancing neon lights. Players ages 10 and younger can head to Wally's Playground to explore the two-story, 30-foot, soft play zone that piques curiosities with a forest, slide, and kitten pit.
Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex offers 100,000 square feet of sports and socializing space, including its impressive NHL-sized, year-round ice rink. Public skating sessions (valued at $9, with skate rental valued at $3 on Friday nights and weekends) last two hours and are scheduled almost daily. Because rink guards are on duty for the Sportsplex's highly attended public glide-fests, you can tuck the eyes on the back of your head snugly into a winter cap and still feel safe about bringing the whole family. Ice skating is a great way to stay active and healthy without using fancy exercise contraptions (bags of rocks, bags of corn chowder, etc.). Put those neglected leg muscles to use and burn calories while having a blast mimicking your favorite skating champs such as Elena Dementenova, Isaac Dementenova, or Russell Dementenova. Purchase multiple Groupons to plan a slippery escape with friends, or use up to four yourself to master Mighty Duck maneuvers before tryouts.