Kids and parents zoom around the red-walled rink of Skate Zone, which provides a fun, safe atmosphere where children aged 3–12 can learn to skate. The facility's training walkers and specially designed tile floors help little ones to gain their skate-legs and minimize the pain of tumbles without the superhero-angering effects of donning an inflatable suit. Groupon customers will also receive 10% off skating lessons for toddlers and beginners. Adjacent to the rink lies a game room stuffed with token-operated amusements such as video games, dance machines, and alley bowlers. The fun center also helps kids to celebrate the day of their wrapping-paper windfalls with birthday packages, including skating-rink games and activities.
At Sk8away, kids and families whirl around a colorful roller rink during birthday parties and after-school or weekend outings, dancing to music under the illumination of glowing globes and neon lights. Guests recharge at the snack bar before heading back out on the rink or watching local roller-derby teams race to victory.
The ice in Kansas City Ice Center's newly renovated rink accumulates blade scratches from skaters of all stripes, including hockey players and two of the most revered figure-skating clubs in the U.S. Throughout the year, the facility acts as a practice arena for those clubs as well as a classroom for nonprofessional skaters. Both children and adults master techniques during Learn to Skate programs, and aspiring slap shooters strengthen their grasp on competitive fundamentals during Learn To Play Hockey programs. In addition to lessons, the center also hosts special events, such as birthday parties and on-ice reenactments of The Great Banana Peel Spill of 1908.
Skate World offers a family-friendly venue for active adults and equally restless kids to spend a day swiftly circling a smooth, polished rink. Speedy swivelers can strap on their choice of regular, speed, or inline skates, and take the floor with siblings, friends, or first dates, wondering whether or not to quote Xanadu. Post-skate, tired gliders can rest weary feet and refuel internal engines with a barrage of buttered popcorn. A healthy form of exercise for all ages, roller-skating can help languid loafers get back on their feet and remind them what it feels like to wear shoes again.
"You can't be common, the common man goes nowhere; you have to be uncommon." So said renowned hockey coach Herb Brooks, and so says the group of business, hockey, and civic professionals who founded KCIce. Their mission is to create an "uncommon community" where local companies can show their support for youth organizations and charities and young hockey players and figure skaters can pay it forward by volunteering their time and talent. The president of the company is four-time Stanley Cup champion and New York Islanders Hall of Famer Ken Morrow, who recently demonstrated what it means to give back. In January 2013, the rink hosted an event in which people could pose for photos with Morrow and his old friend Lord Stanley—the infamous cup. The gathering not only supported their own charitable efforts but also reaped three large barrels of canned goods for Harvesters: the Community Food Network.
As part of their community-mindedness, KCIce brings families and friends together with activities such as outdoor skating, pickup pond hockey, and sand-based volleyball in warmer months. Ice skaters can sit on the ledge of a stone fire pit on chilly evenings, keeping warm with hot chocolate, s’mores, and chilidogs. Strings of orb-like lights help illuminate the rink at night, making the freshly laid skate marks and the droplets of sweat on the hardworking zamboni glisten.
Landmark 2 Skate Center evokes memories of a bygone American era when you could take your best gal out to the roller rink, buy her a shake at the soda fountain, and text her goodnight on the wooden cell phone you whittled yourself. The skating facility exudes an old-school, family-friendly charm, especially with its shimmering disco balls, collection of stand-up arcade games, and plastic booths that are Coke-label red. Skaters of all ages can glide across the sprawling rink, practicing turns with sleek blades and making lazy figure-eights with classic skates. Meanwhile, staffers bustle about behind the snack bar, doling out snacks and soda pops. Come Saturday night, a live DJ ramps things up a notch, filling the air with upbeat tunes and pop hits. Four times a year, the large skate center offers skating classes for both beginner and intermediate students.