January 8, 2003
Call (316) 337-9199 for updated free-skate times. Here is a rough estimate of the schedule for free skating:
Monday No public skating
Tuesday 11:30am-1pm; 7-8:30pm
Cheap Skate Tuesdays (admission is $4)
Wednesday Coffee Club (adults only)
9am-11:15am; 11:30am-2pm; 6:15-8:30pm
Saturday 12pm-3pm; 7-10:30pm
The admission fee is normally $6 per person with an additional $2 fee for skate rental. The good news is that the admission is good for all day, so you can leave to have lunch, for example, and come back later without having to pay for readmission. There are plenty of small lockers to store your valuables or your skates (if you are leaving and coming back). It costs either 25 cents to rent a small one (holds three to four pairs of sneakers and a purse) or 50 cents for a large locker, which would hold all of the above plus a coat.
Skating here is really an enjoyable outing. The ice is smoothed out by the Zamboni machine every two hours during the free skate, and the rental skates (plastic with large clips to secure tight fit) are in good shape and reasonably comfortable. Both figure and hockey skates are available, and there are helmets for young children. Although on the weekend the rink can get occasionally crowded, most of the time there's plenty of room.
There are also plenty of viewing areas for spectators. Both rinks have a bleacher section with plastic seats with backs and shared armrests. Slightly warmer are benches between the concession stand and entrance to the ice, where you can not only change your footwear but also watch your children while they are on the ice. Also, there's a bar and grill one floor up with large windows that allow one to look down on the ice.
The possibility of figure skating or hockey lessons is also available. During the free skates, you can see small children practicing jumps and spins in the center under the watchful eyes of their coaches. Inquire at the shop or check out the website:
From journal What to Do Around Wichita