Colorado is made for ice and skates to practice a triple soucow or get some puck time. If gliding on silver blades with friends and family is more your cup of hot chocolate, Denver has plenty of places for both sport and casual ice fun. If you are looking for beginner classes that erase fear, graceful ice dancing instruction, tough-and-tumble hockey leagues or a beautiful place to glide across the glassy surface, read on. Outdoor rinks usually open in late November, cold temperatures permitting, so call ahead for times.
Southwest Rink at Skyline Park
16th and Arapahoe
Denver, CO 80202
Dance and skate under the light of the clock tower at 16th and Arapahoe at this Denver downtown outdoor ice rink. Thanks to the sponsor—Southwest Airlines—skating is free if you bring your own skates (rental is $2). The rink provides both ice and entertainment with Friday night DJs and Saturday night live music. On Saturday mornings, learn to skate with lessons and enjoy family fun on Sunday afternoons (free skate rentals for kids 12 under). The rink also organizes broomball games and offers free skating in December if you bring an unwrapped toy or pair of new socks for donations to Sun Valley Youth Center and Volunteers of America. The rink is open late November to mid February. Check the website for hours.
29614 Upper Bear Creek Road
Evergreen, CO 80439
If picture postcard is your idea of the ideal skating rink, grab your skates and look no further than Evergreen Lake. The 40-acre lake is far prettier than any Norman Rockwell painting with a pine-tree lined lake bank, a boardwalk for parents to keep track of their little skaters and a warming hut with a fireplace and hot chocolate. The rink is large enough to host outdoor hockey rinks, ice skating races and open skating at the same time.
Related: Top Zumba Studios In Denver
Edge Ice Arena
6623 S. Ward St.
Littleton, CO 80127
With two National Hockey League-size rinks, Edge is a full-capacity indoor ice arena. The arena is part of Foothills Park and Recreation District so the services are vast including public skate hours, freestyle skating times (figure skating) and drop-in hockey, as well as regulation-size broomball ice games. Edge Ice Arena has childcare, lockers rooms, rental skates and party rooms. The fees vary by age, from $3 to $7 with skate rentals at $3. Drop-in fees apply for hockey and freestyle skiing (coaching and private instruction available).
Big Bear Ice Arena
8580 E. Lowry Blvd.
Denver, CO 80230
What do you do with an outdated Air Force hangar? Turn it into an ice rink, of course. Big Bear Arena is indeed big and lofty with lots of opportunities for lessons of all skill levels, youth and adult hockey, open skating and group ice sessions for parties. Big Bear Arena also offers not-often-seen classes including PowerCoil skating mechanics instruction, yoga for skaters and ice dancing taught by US Figure Skating Gold Medalist Sara Hildreth. Fees vary by age. Check the website for details.
One Boulder Plaza
1801 13th St.
Boulder, CO 80302
One block off the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder, One Boulder Plaza ice rink is a family friendly ice rink with skate rental and a hot chocolate hut. The rink gives lessons for all talent levels and ages. It is available for party rentals and there are plenty of restaurants nearby for food. Coed broomball leagues play on Sunday night, with a portion of the registration fee going toward Community Food Share (CFS). Every Tuesday, bring a can of food to donate to CFS and skate for a discounted fee. If you rent skates, two hours of parking in the underground lot is free with validation. Admission fees are $4-$5, plus skate rental (helmets are also available for rent).
Kimberly Lord Stewart is a food author and journalist for CBS Denver local, Organic Food Reporter for Examiner.com, and the Food, Wine and Spirits editor for Denver Life magazine. Her book, “Eating Between the Lines” tells readers about the truth and myths of food labeling. Stewart is the recipient of two Association of Food Journalist awards for food news reporting and the Jessie Neal Business Journalism award. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.