My husband and I took our oldest son for a surprise trip to go Ice Skating for his birthday. We had brought him to lessons when he was three and four, so he had some previous experience with the ice.
We found City Skate through Groupon, and the three of us got in for about $20. Without the discount it would have been about $45.
Cityskate is located between Washington Street and Jefferson Street, and between S 1st Ave and Central Ave. Central Ave is closed off between Jefferson and Washington Streets for Cityskate.
Santa was also hanging out (almost literally because they have him on a platform on the stairs near the Squid Ink Sushi bar!) and available for pictures.
There is a little log cabin looking building where you go to check in and pay. There was a pretty sizeable line about 15 minutes before the opening on Sunday (which is 3 pm). If you want to get the most bang for your buck or don’t like crowds, you will want to get there early before the lights go on. The lights weren’t lit up during the day, which I’m sorry we missed. However, my kids go to bed early and I didn’t want to try something physically challenging for them at night!
This was the little “cabin” which was near Washington St. The price also includes skate rental. You can also bring your own skates if you have them. For the littler ones, all of the skates were double blades (kind of looks like an old fashioned sled). It helps them keep their balance a little better. We weren’t given an option on the blades. The boots were fairly modern and looked more like the inline skate boots.
There were also lockers available for free. Bring your own combo or key lock. They are offered if you trade your keys for your car. (no thanks!) We took our chances with our shoes, but kept other things at home.
There were two port o potty’s near the rink. I don’t know what condition they were in, but many passers by were also using the lonely two that were there. There are restaurants and shops nearby, but I don’t think they would be too accommodating for the skating crowd (just fyi!).
The beautiful tree was in the middle with a bench to sit down on (and take pictures!). Traffic was sort of flowing counter clockwise around this point. The rink was sort of like a shape of a wristwatch. The bands were where a lot of people were learning how to skate, and the middle was where people were going faster or sitting. Somewhat of a bottle neck in the middle!
There were plenty of benches to get your shoes on and off, as well as a rubberized mat for walking on to get to the rink.
If you have never skated before, I’m going to say this probably isn’t the event for you. Getting around all the crowds, then trying to get up and down the two stairs to the rink and adding in that there were places the ice was melting and uneven and then pretty much destroyed after an hour and a half. It’s very pretty and if you are adventurous, go for it. If you are a new skater or need to brush up on the basics, I highly suggest a local rink first! If you have little ones under 5, I wouldn’t recommend it either. The wait was uncomfortable for our six year old, and we were waiting right by Washington St with cars racing by.
Parking: We parked in a lot across from Talking Stick Arena (E Jefferson and 2nd Street), There was also a parking garage even closer just past E Jefferson and 1st street headed west (towards Central Ave).
CitySkate and CityScape
Central Ave and Washington St
November 28th, 2015 -January 11th 2016
Saturday and Sunday 3pm-11pm
New Year’s Day 11:30am-5pm
Santa @ CityScape Saturdays 12-5pm, Sundays 2-6pm