Skate Tiffany's! Roller Skating & Family Fun Center exudes so much fun that it was used in a commercial for an Xbox 360 video game. After a quick look at the recently renovated rink, that's not so surprising: colorful bulbs fan out neatly from the center of the ceiling, with paper lanterns and LED lights also glimmering down onto the shiny hardwood floor. A brand new JumboTron TV playing sporting events hangs from the center of the skating floor which skaters whiz past on their quad or inline skates.
Between laps around the floor, groups can catch their breath in the arcade or fuel up in the snack bar, where the menu includes Hebrew National hot dogs, soft pretzels, and whatever else it is that roller skates like to eat. Tiffany's is also prime real estate for parties, as the staff often customizes packages for kids' birthdays, corporate events, and school field trips.
Members of the Pacific-12 Conference, the University of Washington Huskies athletic department boasts a rich history of triumphs. In 2001, their football team added a Rose Bowl victory to a trophy case that already contained the laurels of four national titles, the most recent of which occurred in 1991. In 2011, the men's basketball team claimed its third Pac-12 tournament title, and in 2005, the women's volleyball team steamrolled competition en route to its first-ever national title. Much of the Husky-related glory unfolds on the floors and fields of UW's lineup of pristine facilities, which includes the historic 72,500-seat Husky Stadium and raucous Alaska Airlines Arena.
Though it has winter in its name and boasts lessons in both nordic and downhill skiing, Leavenworth Winter Sports Club gives outdoor sports enthusiasts a reason to explore its sprawling grounds throughout the year. Called a “sportsmen’s mecca” by Club's President of the Board of Directors, Damian Browne, the trails date back to 1928, when people would flock to the club's ski-jumping hill to watch skiers soar through the air and high-five bald eagles as they began their descent. Visitors can strap on snowshoes to navigate the Waterfront Park path or lace up a pair of skates and pirouette across the Leavenworth Ice Rink. The area's ski trails double as hiking and biking trails during the summer months, and a golf course invites guests to work on their short game once the snows melt to reveal manicured greens.
Wheelz Skate Arena provides a 24,000-square-foot circular playground for veteran and neophyte foot gliders. A three-hour solo session in the rink is complemented by a pair of rented skates and snacks from the nearby food court to provide edible energy or exciting obstacles for rival skaters. Between 12 and 15 students attend Saturday-morning group classes, renting skates and spending 15–20 minutes warming up, after which they receive 30 minutes of skating knowledge on fundamentals such as marching forward, starting and stopping, and fixing skates’ tiny engines when they overheat. Following the class, students can free skate from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., enough time to practice rolling presidential inaugurations.
John Gustafson began skating at 5 years old, rolling along on squeaky wheels that would carry him toward a lifetime of high-speed competition. At 25, he became a professional skater, winning national championships in both speed skating and figure skating before settling down as the owner of Auburn Skate Connection. His love of skating hasn’t dimmed, though; even with his 69th birthday approaching, John continues to lace up his skates each day to gain an extra 2 inches of height and guide students in the sport he knows so well.
Alongside instructors that he himself recruited, John teaches the art of effortless rolling during private lessons on the rink’s solid-wood skating surface. The team imbues students with the intricacies of quad and inline skating while also focusing on the fundamentals of racing. Their dedication has borne some notable fruit. Olympic gold-medalist Apolo Ohno took his first glides at Auburn, working with John for three years before moving on to his life of ice-based glory.
Despite its wintery moniker, Kent Valley Ice Centre doesn’t just thrive in the colder months. The public ice skating site and home of the Kent Valley Hockey Association also teems with warm-weather activities, housing miniature golf and batting cages on its sprawling facilities. In addition, the family-friendly sports emporium invites guests to a full-service cafe and bar and a pro shop where visitors can purchase hockey equipment, ice skating gear.
A community fixture since 1974, Eagles Ice-A-Rena’s two skating rinks host blade-mounted competition and recreation for skaters of all stripes. The subzero surfaces train novices with a bevy of beginners’ classes geared towards both general skating skills and hockey-specific abilities, preparing pupils for games in the rinks’ youth, high school, and adult hockey leagues and Lilac City Figure Skating Club competitions. Guests can cruise around the rink during public skate sessions, or reserve one of the zamboni-smoothed surfaces for a private hockey, broomball, or free skate session. The rink graciously rents out skates for $1.50 a pair, but guests must provide their own optional protective gear, such as helmets or Kevlar unitards.