No matter where you live in the U.S., gliding across the ice on a pair of skates is a glorious winter pastime. Nowhere is that more true that in Central Florida, where the contrast between the sun drenched outdoors and a chilly indoor rink makes this activity all the more alluring. Skating, as you’ll soon discover, is such a fun date night pursuit and, as a bonus, it’s also a great way to burn off some calories. So cheers to winter in Central Florida and to these 5 stellar skating options for you to explore:
Winter Park – Seasonal
Open daily from November 20 until January 10, the Winter Park in the Park skating rink in Central Park’s West Meadow gives guests the chance to enjoy an all-day skate for just $12 including skate rental. Afterward, wander just a short stroll to Park Avenue where Kilwins ice cream cones await.
Daytona- Year Round
Daytona Ice Arena, located about seven miles from Daytona International Speedway, features public skates throughout the week, including ‘family skates’ on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, as well as a bargain skate on Wednesdays from noon to 4pm when admission is just $5. Regular admission is $7.50 for adults and $5 for kids between 4 and 5. Skate rentals are $3.
Kissimmee – Year Round
Inside its NHL-sized rink, Kissimmee’s Ice Factory offers daily public skating with a $10 admission fee (skate rental $2) for the main rink and $8 (skate rental included) in the smaller studio rink. Those with younger kids will be glad to know that they also offer skate aids (walkers) for children 8 and under for $3 each. Bicycle helmets are free to borrow.
Maitland – Year Round
RDV Sportsplex will host its annual winter SNOWFEST event on Saturday, December 19 from 2-6pm when snow slides, bounce houses and real snow will give the entire family hours of entertainment. But the fun continues year round inside RDV’s Ice Den, where for an admission fee starting at $6.90 per person (+$3.38 plus tax for skate rental) guests can glide to their heart’s content and groove to DJ tunes on select nights. Are you a family you loves skating? Consider snagging the Family 4 Pack, which gives you admission, skate rental, popcorn and sodas for four starting at $47.03.
Orlando – Seasonal
Light Up UCF returns again this year for weeks of holiday merriment from outdoor free Christmas movies to midway rides to light shows to carriage rides spanning November 13, 2015 to January 3, 2016. This much-loved event will also feature an ice skating rink ($12 fee including skate rental). Consider snagging the ultimate pass for $19.95, which includes skating plus access to all the rides.
1. Dress the part: don’t forget to bring your own socks and remember to wear pants and a long-sleeved shirt or sweater.
2. Ensure a good fit: skates that don’t fit well will not support the ankles and will affect your balance. Be sure to take a few moments to make sure you’ve got the perfect skate size and that laces are tied snuggly.
3. Go with the flow: before you start skating, assess which way the skaters are gliding and follow suit. While going against the herd is a good thing in some areas of life, it’s ill advised on the rink.
4. Stretch it out: skating uses muscles (like those located in the inside of your thighs) that don’t usually get much of a workout. After you finish skating, take five minutes to complete a light stretch and think about having a hot bath before bed.
This article was originally contributed to Orlando Family Magazine by Kristen Manieri.