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.
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.
Opened as a roller-skating center in 1977, Wheels Fun Park broadened its ambitions in 1992 when it bloomed into a full-fledged family fun center. After its metamorphosis, the park incorporated attractions that include an 18-hole mini-golf course, five batting cages, and a quarter-mile go-kart track. Nothing overshadows its roots though, and today's 25,000-square-foot roller rink commands a 14-speaker sound system and a dazzling light show that twinkles in skaters' sparkling eyes along with the glow of two disco balls.
A 6,500-square-foot play gym allows tots to act out the story of the Minotaur of Crete in a labyrinthine system of climbing tubes. An onsite skate park treats boarders to a slew of supervised rails and spines as well as a mini halfpipe. During holidays and when school is not in session, day camps keep kids well fed and well educated in subjects such as the geometry of mini golf.
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.
Flakes of ice float through the frosty air, twinkling in the light. Rosy-cheeked children skate across the glittery ice, clutching their parents' gloved hands and shrieking gleefully. Though it seems as though it belongs in the pages of a winter fairy tale, this is the scene of a typical August afternoon at Polar Ice House. The hot summer sun burns brightly outside, but the temperature inside the vast indoor ice rink remains a brisk 45 degrees.
Although the wintry conditions make the rink a less than ideal venue for a bikini fashion show, the cold environment is perfect for the skating lessons, hockey games, and public-skating and hockey sessions that the rink hosts year-round. The center's attentive instructors lead students of all ages and experience levels through fundamental skating skills, progressing to advanced techniques, such as jumping, spinning, and karate chopping aggressive abominable snowmen, once students have mastered the basics.
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.