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.
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.
At Adventure World Skate & Fun Center, kids and adults alike entertain both muscle and mind-matter in through a variety of heart-pounding activities. In the laser tag arena, players strap on receivers, holster a laser-emitting gun, and re-enact the galactic phase of the Crimean War on a phosphorescent battlefield. Competitors have the option of playing the four 10-minute games consecutively or spacing them out to fuel grudge matches or plan for potential roommate border disputes. With an additional admission fee ($3–$6), zapped compatriots can take backward victory laps around the skate rink ($3 skate rental) or purchase tokens to conquer the arcade room.
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.
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.