January is National Ice Skating Month. From indoor skating arenas to outdoor rinks there are several places where you can hit the ice in Central Iowa this winter! So, strap on some skates, channel your inner Dorothy Hamill (with or without the haircut:) and check out these awesome ice rinks, perfect for a family skate date.
507 Gateway Hills Park Drive • Ames, IA 50014 • (515) 292-6835
Indoor ice skating rinks can be busy places and this one is no exception. Expect lots of activities like college and high school hockey games, learn to skate classes, figure skating clubs and rec leagues. The Arena does offer public skate, but it is not regularly scheduled during their busy season. Be sure to check the Ice Arena calendar before heading out. They also host birthday parties in their Igloo room.
Admission: Adults (16 and over) $5.00; Youth (15 and under) $4.00; Skate Rental $3.00
520 Robert D. Ray Drive • Des Moines, IA 50309 • (515) 284-1000
Grab your mini ice dancers and go for a skate in downtown Des Moines. This is an outdoor skating option, so be sure to bring your mittens. Weekends tend to be the most crowded, so it’s a win-win to take advantage of their lower weekly public skate rates. Refreshments (including snacks and hot beverages) are available at the concessions stand and skate rentals are available in kid and adult sizes. Brenton Skating Plaza also hosts birthday parties and Learn to Skate Classes.
Admission: Monday through Thursday – Adults $5.50; Youth (age 6-12) & Seniors $3.50; Friday, Saturday, Sunday, & Holidays – Adults $7.00; Youth (age 6-12) & Seniors $5.00; Children 5 and under are always FREE; Skate Rental $4.00.
Greenwood Park Pond – 45th and Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA
MacRae Park Pond – SW 9th and Davis Avenue, Des Moines, IA
Witmer Park Pond – 610 34th Street, Des Moines, IA
BYOS – Bring Your Own Skates. During the winter, Des Moines Parks and Recreation clears frozen ponds for ice skating at three neighborhood pond locations. When these facilities are open for skating, it is unsupervised and available FREE of charge during normal park hours – sunrise to sunset.
Des Moines Parks posts if the facilities are open, or not, on their social media outlets and uses a flag system to indicate availability of public skating for the three ponds:
- A green flag indicates that ice depth and conditions are safe.
- A red flag indicates that conditions are not suitable for public skating
- If no flag is displayed, the public should assume conditions are not safe; the City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation asks that the public keeps off the ice and water at each POND when there is no flag displayed or if the flag is red.
1215 Francis Mason Drive • Boone, IA 50036 • (515) 432-4211
Known as the old skating pond, ice skating in McHose Park in Boone is one of those quintessential winter experiences not to be missed. Since the 1950s, this place has been the center of cold weather fun, day and night, as the pond is outfitted with lights for patrons to enjoy an evening skate. The Skate Pond Shelter is open and run by volunteers and has skates available for rent.
5100 NW 72nd Street • Urbandale, IA 50322 • (515) 276-7200
Metro Ice Sports Facility is a tried-and-true arena open year-round for big (and little) wobbly Des Moines legs. They offer public skate most days of the week, but move it from rink to rink. Be sure to check their schedule for times. Skate rentals are available for both kids and adults. The Facility is a happening place with hockey leagues and games, learn to skate lessons and birthday parties.
Admission: Adult $7.00; Student $6.00 (ID Required); Child (12 and Under) $5.00; Seniors (55 and Above) $5.00; Skate Rental $3.00
301 S 11th Avenue W • Newton, IA 50208 • (641) 792-1470
An outdoor ice skating rink has recently opened in Maytag Park in Newton. It is a temporary, above ground rink that can hold about 40 to 50 people skating at one time. Skaters will need to bring their own blades, as there is no skate rental available.
The Newton Parks Department maintains the rink and a system has been put into place to let potential skaters know if the ice is safe and the rink is open. There is a stop sign that is placed by the rink. When the sign is open there is no skating. If the stop sign is folded up, skaters can enjoy the ice.
Do you plan to take the kiddos ice skating this winter? Where is your favorite spot to hit the ice in Central Iowa?