At Bethlehem's Steel Ice Center, two NHL-sized ice surfaces host hordes of merry skaters, and the state-of-the-art sound system, party rooms, heated rink-side seats, and snack bar keep energy levels high. Suit up, lace up, and whirl around the ice with family and friends during one of Steel Ice Center's public skating sessions, which are currently scheduled throughout the week during both the afternoon and evening hours.
Big Wheel Roller Skating Center has been a community staple since 1977. Skaters strap on rented skates, whether they're standard quad, inline, or speed skates, to take a turn around the expansive rink during open skate sessions offered seven days a week. Meanwhile, kids and grownups alike compete on the boards during roller hockey leagues, while tots gain their wheel-legs during roller camps and after-school programs. When feet are ready for a break, skaters can play arcade games that run the length of the rink, or head to the snack bar to refuel with nachos and pizza. And, of course, the rink is a great place for a roller skating party, perfect for those celebrating a birthday or closing on a new treehouse.
Aspen Ice at Flemington's full-size NHL rink invites adventurous ground slicers to float across its slick, cool surface. Groups set out across the ice after securing their feet in pairs of rental skates, primed for pirouettes, friendly races, and partial human pyramids. Skaters can break to enjoy hot dogs, drinks, and the thrills of an arcade before returning to the frozen water open to the public seven days a week, including Friday nights, when the rink's DJ spins popular tunes.
• For $8, you get two roller skating admissions, plus skate rental and two slices of pizza (a $15.60 value). • For $37, you get a basic birthday party package for one child and up to seven guests (a $75 value). Birthday parties are available Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday afternoons as well as Wednesday evenings; parties may also be scheduled for a Friday or Saturday evening for an additional $1–$1.50 per guest.
As they sweep the ice, most gas-powered zambonis also give off harmful carbon monoxide, which lingers in the rink for hours afterwards. But Skylands Ice World?s resurfacers are different?they?re fueled by propane, which means that, with the help of special converters and frequent tune-ups, they emit much lower levels of carbon monoxide. And to make them even more eco- and skater-friendly, the zambonis warm up in a separate, ventilated room before hitting the ice, which also helps carbon-dioxide levels in the rink stay well below EPA-approved standards. It might seem odd to put so much thought into the environmental and health effects of ice upkeep, especially since the state of New Jersey doesn?t technically regulate the air quality of skating rinks, but Skylands Ice World and its staff considers it worthwhile. Because in the end, a devotion to Mother Earth and its inhabitants is just as important as a devotion to sport and spectacle, which is also why the facility has recently installed an energy-saving, low-emissivity ceiling as well as high-efficiency light fixtures.
Knowing that the air and their consciences are cleaner than a personal trainer?s bill of health, visiting skaters can go for a care-free spin around the ice during daily public-skating sessions. Visitors can also groove to toe-pick-tapping music, which blasts out of a newly installed sound system during the popular Friday night Ice Jam event. And when they need a break from the figure eights and figure zeros, skaters can hop over to the onsite eatery, which dispenses Tim Hortons coffee and baked goods.
Every day The Rink at Warwick opens the gates to one of its two ice rinks to the public. During that time, skating novices and experts alike take to the ice, enjoying a feeling that many compare to the sensation of flying or fleeing from a ravenous polar bear. The rink also offers learn-to-skate sessions, and hosts in-rink hockey leagues that welcome both boys and girls. After the skates come off, visitors can stop in the on-site restaurant for some pizza, a sandwich, or ice cream. A slew of workout equipment, meanwhile, keeps skaters in shape, and a pro shop keeps their gear up to date.