Beneath the lofty ceiling at Carlson Ice Arena’s year-round rink gleams 17,000 square feet of well-groomed ice. Rented skates clasp guests’ ankles as they slice across its frozen surface during public skate sessions, and pupils in hockey and figure-skating classes learn to deftly maneuver blades to score slap shots, land lutzes, and scrawl cursive love notes for Zamboni drivers. Chilly fingers defrost as guests lounge in the 600-seat spectator stands, and iceless recreation areas such as the soft, three-level Sapora Playworld or the Tiny Tots Playspace host troupes of carousing kids.
At Xtreme Wheels Roller Skating & Family Fun Center's 30,000 sq. ft. facility, the rental center stocks skates as tiny as a toddler size 7. Here, skaters of all ages are welcome to take a turn on the rink. This is no big surprise, given the history of the father-daughter team who runs the rink. Dean Hohl has more than three decades of rink management under his belt, while his daughter Kimi started toddling on wheels as soon as she could walk.
They welcome families to make skating a part of their history on the rink's 17,000 sq. foot wooden floor during a variety of often themed open-skate sessions. They often host birthday parties in a fun family atmosphere in one of their five party rooms. During Kids Celebration Skate, parents get even the smallest members of the brood in on the fun by pushing their strollers around the rink, and packs can dress up for the Halloween costume contest or skate off excess caloric intakes at the Skate Your Turkey Off Thanksgiving event. To refuel after a day on the rink, skaters break at the concession stand to snack on pizza, pretzels, and hot dogs.
Booming top 40 hits echo throughout Just for Fun Roller Rink?s two vast arenas, amping up the entertainment as skaters glide and showcase moves in open-skate sessions and parties. The glittering of disco balls and the surreal glow of black lights transform the colored wheels of rental roller skates, speed skates, or roller blades into vibrant blurs as they spin across polished floors. While smooth movers hold hands and stack themselves into speedy human pyramids, video-game enthusiasts can get their fix at the arcade games along the side of the rink, and food enthusiasts can whet their palate with pizza, hot dogs, and snacks. Come Saturday night, the rink transforms into a live-music venue for local bands, and on holidays and special occasions such as New Year's Eve, Halloween, and Insomniac-Appreciation Day it puts on all-night celebrations.
The word TraXside artfully sprayed on one wall of the rink is the first clue that this is not a retro-style skate rink. At TraXside Skating, a family-oriented business, the colored lights reflect on the slick skating surface as skaters glide on bright-colored wheels around the rink. The ceiling arches overhead. Between laps around the rink, skaters refuel at the onsite snack shop or peruse the racks at the pro shop.
Some old-timey types of recreation are best left in the past—jousting, croquet, long pensive walks—but Skate on Grand gives roller-skating relevance to modern-day fun-seekers. A far cry from the roller rinks of yesteryear, its smooth, colorful skating surface comes to life beneath a rainbow of flashing lights and the sparkle of a disco ball. Its arcade also boasts contemporary bells and whistles including video games and an air hockey table. However, the snack bar’s staff recognizes that some things, such as ringing a bell to warn of invading enemy troops, simply can’t be improved upon, and dole out time-tested favorites such as pizza, hot dogs, and root-beer floats.
Aside from hosting the Oregon youth hockey program, the nonprofit Oregon Community Sports Arena welcomes ice dancers to its multifunctional indoor rink for open skate, family skate, open hockey, and speed skating. Hockey and broomball teams occupy the icy terrain throughout the week, and expert instructors oversee regular skating schools and athletic camps on the frosty floors. An onsite shop supplies skaters with apparel and used sporting goods, and a large community room hosts regular open martial-arts classes and can accommodate birthday parties of up to 150 guests or 500 Lilliputians.