First off, I have to admit that my kids were not involved in this visit! It was a date night, but we saw kids there!
AZ Ice in Arcadia is located in a hard to find location. Our Google Maps told us where it was, but unfortunately it is not easy to see when you are driving in a parking lot.
AZ Ice Arcadia is located behind a strip mall (in 2019 it includes a Game Stop, Sprint Store and Dollar tree). We drove around the Walmart for a bit before we saw it!
The Hockey stick was the only thing I could see from a little ways away, and it beckoned to me from across the parking lot.
Behind AZ Ice Arcadia was a little bit of parking, but the entrance to the arena was to the north (behind Sprint). It is hard to see from the street or from the parking lot.
Inside AZ Ice Arcadia
The sports shop was at the entry where you paid for open skate sessions and rentals. There were also some sports equipment and also skate sharpening. Snacks were also available as well as a pretty nice coffee bar. Certainly beats the black coffee, cream or sugar or hot cocoa we had back in Connecticut!
Hot coffees, teas, protein shakes and more. Pretty impressive! The person doing the check in for open skate was also making the coffee. The staff was amazing and very nice.
If you tire while skating, there are a few games and a sitting area. Not a ton of chairs, but a hangout spot anyhow! We didn’t sit in there once, I’m proud to say!
The skate check in area had lots of skates in different sizes. If you are a skater, they had figure and hockey skates. Figure skates have a “break” in the front, but hockey skates do not. For little ones, there were also skate mates, similar to Great Skate.
This picture has wheels on it. For ice, it will just glide on the ice.
My husband took a picture of us skating! I never really learned to officially ice skate, but I always inline skated. They are pretty similar. After a few times around, I felt confident again in my ice skating abilities.
It has been about 6 years since I last ice skated! Plus, given all of my health issues, we were seeing how this went!
Around the arena were benches for hockey players, so if skaters needed a break mid skate, they could hop into the benches. Unfortunately, we did see some people quit on their first time around! Skating is hard! I don’t deny this at all. However, don’t give up.
Want to learn how to skate?
If you have kids that are trying to learn how to skate and are thinking that this might be a great idea for an outing, but they have never gone before, let me give you some tips.
- The skate mates are great-if the kids have ice skated before or/and have great ankle control.
- You really need to have man on man coverage if you are going with your kids and they don’t know how to skate or they are just beginners. I saw a dad with two kids and his wife, all that couldn’t skate. The dad was the only one who could skate and he was trying to control the chaos. This will not work!
- Roller skating and Inline skating is great practice for Ice skating, especially inline skating.
- Ice skating lessons are the perfect way to start. However, one on one or small classes for kids is really important. We tried doing classes with our oldest when he was four. Unfortunately, there were 4 kids and one instructor. My husband and I ended up teaching my son while the instructor held up the other kids.
Ice skating is the perfect summer indoor place to go, if you know how to skate or you are willing to learn! Temperature controlled and COOL! And, for the two of us it wasn’t very expensive.
AZ Ice Arcadia
3853 E Thomas Rd