Daytona Ice Arena sends skaters glissading across an ultra-smooth, NHL regulation-size sheet of ice. Bleacher seating with room for more than 300 spectators looms behind the glass on one side of the rink, and above, a snack bar overlooking the facility doles out refreshments. While escaping Florida's heat and the panhandling paddleboards that come with it, visitors to the frosty, 35,000-square-foot arena can soak up extra relaxation at the Penalty Box Sports Pub, which accompanies elevated views of the ice with an arsenal of big-screen TVs. The building—located just minutes from the beach—buzzes daily during public skating sessions but also plays host to a medley of other ice-tied triumphs including learn-to-skate programs, birthday parties, and youth and adult hockey leagues.
Family-owned and run, Skate and Shake roller rink has existed, in one form or another, in its existing location since the 1960s.?That means that several generations have glided across the rink's shimmering blue floor, a testament to the timeless appeal of the family-friendly sport. To keep things fresh, the staff often gets creative with the lighting to change the look and feel of the skating rink, turning blacklights on for glow skate nights or swapping in all pink lights to ready it for a kid's birthday party.?In addition to open skate sessions and over 60 themed party options, the rink also plays host to a number of special events throughout the week, including special teen or adult-only nights, hockey, and women's roller derby. And, it even has a licensed after school program for kids that want to study extra hard for the roller skating portion of their SATs.
Skaters of all ages and experience levels glide across Universal Skating Center's gleaming maple floors. Friends and families can don pairs of four-wheeled skates and spend a Saturday or Sunday in the indoor rink perfecting twirls, working on crossover turns, or training for an upcoming race against the speed of light while grooving to the buoyant beats of top hits and classic pop music. Pairs can hold hands, romantically circling the expansive rink—which can hold 1,800 patrons or 530 adult walruses—or see who can skate backward the longest without crashing into any walls. After an afternoon of wheel-powered revelry, skaters refuel with the salty sustenance of unlimited popcorn.
When things get going at Let's Skate Orlando, it feels like one giant party. Up to 300 people can circle the skating rink at once, fueled by the beats and melodies of bumping tunes. Lights turn the 25,000-square-foot facility into a mosaic of dancing colors, like what happens when you microwave a bunch of markers. In between laps, guests can unwind over hot dogs, pizza, and other snacks at the concession stand. All this makes the rink a go-to spot for birthday celebrations, so unsurprisingly, five party rooms surround the rink, each one done up in a fun, kid-friendly theme such as pirates, princesses, and rock stars.
Santa Claus is all about making wishes come true, and at Light Up Viera, jolly old Saint Nick grants one that most people never even knew they had: the chance to step inside a 15-ft. snow globe and pose for photos. That's just one of nine different attractions sprawling across this winter wonderland, where guests shop for holiday arts and crafts and even get to meet with Santa himself. But the big man isn't necessarily the biggest draw?the 40'x100' ice rink and the 90-ft. long Snowzilla Slide both have good claims to that title. Finally, there's the 30-foot tall Bouncy the Snowman, which beckons visitors inside to jump and experience the surprising warmth of a snowman's heart.
A few minutes from the sun-kissed sands of Cocoa Beach, things get a little colder. At Space Coast Iceplex, a 20,000 square foot International Ice Surface provides a fun place to cool off, offering public skating hours, hockey programs, and classes that help skating newbies acquire their ice legs. On Saturday nights, skaters glide to tunes spun by a live DJ as special effects lights illuminate the rink, and snack and sports bars continue to fuel the fun for skaters who need a break between laps.