Newington Arena?s Zamboni smoothes the ice for a range of blade-based activities, from lessons and hockey matches to freestyle open-skate sessions. Experienced coaches teach new and experienced skaters alike to glide, spin, and casually levitate during learn-to-skate programs and figure-skating academies, and amateurs can independently master their triple axels during public-skate times. Hockey and speed-skating programs warm up the ice, and each Friday night, Ice Jam?s strobe lights and music flood the arena as students 11?15 years old weave around the frozen floor. Newington Arena also houses a snack bar and hosts birthday parties, allowing kids to brag that their shindig was, literally, the coolest.
Since 1951, Watertown Skating Club has served as a nonprofit program for the socialization and enjoyment of ice skating. It welcomes skaters of all ages to dart across the ice of Taft School's Odden rink, where lessons are divided into eight skill levels for both children and adults.
Bolton Ice Palace ditches the red carpet in favor of a sprawling, 200’x85’ rink that has sent New England skaters twirling across its surface for the past four decades. Typically open seven days per week for public sessions, the facility luxuriates each visit with modern amenities, including four locker rooms, a full-service vending room, and an onsite pro shop. Youth and men’s hockey leagues consistently rub elbows with the boards, and learn-to-skate programs—designed by U.S. Figure Skating—help pintsize and full-size gliders alike become comfortable atop their blades. Customers can also rent out the Palace, turning it into a private event space to host birthdays, work functions, or to more accurately pinpoint the location of the zamboni operator’s forlorn howls.
Visitors of all ages can learn to skate, twirl across the ice, and handle pucks at Northford Ice Pavilion, where they will find a variety of frozen activities for the whole family. Boys and girls as young as aged 3 can enroll in hockey sessions that run eight weeks and involve supervised practice, group lessons, and building shrines to Wayne Gretzky. Open skate welcomes kids, parents, and couples to glide on rented skates before enjoying a hot cocoa at the concession stand.
Throughout the year, the rink at Danbury Arena stirs with such events as lessons, hockey leagues, and weekly public skating sessions. Instructors also lead lessons starting with children as young as age 3 1/2, including an adult program that caters to varying skill sets with five different levels of challenges, from two-foot glides and stops to forward crossovers. Every Friday night, the arena transforms into a disco party, complete with live DJ music and special lighting, and an oversized rhinestone jacket for the Zamboni.
A nonprofit organization, Little Sun Valley Skating Club promotes ice skating through lessons, competitions, and annual shows. Its members meet at Smead Arena to practice and have some good old-fashioned fun. They also use the sport to cultivate team spirit, teaching skaters the virtues of belonging and working together.