For more than 35 years, skaters of all ages and experience levels have strapped on wheels and traversed Chagrin Valley Roller Rink. Private and group skating lessons prevent mobile 10-person pileups, and nights designated for teens, tots, or families feature music tailored to each audience. When the school bell rings, the center opens its doors to after-school skaters, blasting song requests entered on the rink's online song-request module. Skating experts at the pro shop sell and rent in-line and roller-skating equipment, and match feet with compatible wheels. A snack bar refuels participants and furnishes eats for private parties, and the arcade's pinball machines and vintage games slurp up quarters and exercise thumbs.
An indoor skating rink, The Pond Family Friendly Ice Rink hosts skaters of all abilities during public-skating sessions—offered seven days a week. As the frosty stomping ground for the Geauga Youth Hockey League and the Chagrin Valley Figure Skating Club, The Pond helps young skaters find their stride on the ice without having to carve a treadmill out of a glacier. Skaters of all abilities can learn to glide gracefully across the rink during Learn to Skate lessons, which are offered multiple times a week.
When you look around the 150'x80' rink at Kent State University Ice Arena, you can’t help but be amazed at the variety of things going on. Throughout the week, the rink plays host to skating lessons, hockey leagues, and public skating sessions in which families and couples can spend a day zooming around. Sports players learn the intricacies of being the best hockey player around or learn a new sport in the rink’s broomball league. After hands and feet start to chill, guests can grab a snack and a hot beverage at the concessions stand, with the fireplace always crackling so guests can warm back up.
Crooked River Adventures’ river adventures are leisurely, no-experience-required pleasure cruises that challenge the muscles while massaging the mind’s shimmering-blue waterscape dreams. Glide past verdant foliage, through glittering reflections of aged bridges, and into great blue herons’ great blue neighborhoods while the sun warms your skin, the wind blows through your hair, and your hair blows through your hat. All the while, you’ll be learning the proper strokes that propel floatmobiles to ultrafun, and you’ll begin to gain functional understanding of the strength of a body in fluid, powerful motion. Crooked River Adventures operates in conjunction with Kent State University Recreational Services’ Adventure Center, which has received statewide recognition for its boating program and outstanding handshakes from the Ohio Department of Natural Resources Division of Watercraft.
Making its home at Michael A. Ries Ice Rink, the nonprofit Forestwood Figure Skating Club connects young skaters with goal-oriented coaching. Once beginners pick up the fundamentals in the Learn to Skate program, they can move on to private instruction with the club's coaching staff, which combines for more than 25 years of experience. These sessions prepare each student for serious competition, affording access to sanctioned competitions and private ice time on a rink uncluttered by fellow skaters or rush hour Zamboni traffic. The organization is certified by the U.S. Figure Skating Association, the governing body that oversees testing and competitions for all Olympic hopefuls.
During the day, huge skylights cast a glow over Zelma Watson-George Roller Skating Facility's big, bright, festive rink; in the evenings, glow sticks and other fun accessories light up the crowd as kids and families roll by. Most days, contemporary hip hop and R&B provide the soundtrack, although occasional themed skates turn over the sound system to the likes of Michael Jackson. The center's cafe helps skaters recharge with wings, pizza, hotdogs, and cotton candy, and the arcade bleeps and buzzes with both video games and redemption games spooling out tickets that can be exchanged for prizes or added to an investment portfolio.