Skating in the Square

Boasting the largest outdoor rink in Montgomery County, a day on the ice in Rockville Town Square is a great way to chase away the winter blahs. The rink is in its second year of operation in the middle of the action of the restaurants and entertainment of Rockville’s recently created town center.

The outdoor rink operates 7 days a week with hours beginning at noon on weekdays and 10am on weekends. The rink remains open until 10pm Sunday through Thursday and 11pm on weekends. The trees surrounding the rink are decorated with twinkle lights making an evening outing under the stars a memorable winter night.

Skating admission is “rolling” at Rockville Town Square’s rink. There are no designated sessions and skaters’ tickets are color coded in two hour blocks. For the best bang for your buck, arrive at the top of the hour to take in all 120 minutes of skating time allowed by your entry color. On the day of our visit the color ticket system didn’t seem to be heavily enforced by the rink guards. During crowded ice times the zamboni comes out at the top of each hour to resurface the ice.

Ticket prices for adult skating are $8 and children 12 and under take to the ice for $7. Skate rentals are $3 per person. The smallest skates available are toddler size 7 and double runner skates for beginners are available for toddler size 8 through youth 13. The facility has free helmets available for use but no “push toys” of any sort to help keep beginner skaters upright on the ice.

Rockville Town Square’s ice rink has an indoor kiosk for ticketing and skate rental but no restrooms or indoor waiting area. When I asked about the restroom situation, rink employees told me that you may use the restrooms in the surrounding restaurants if you take off your skates. I didn’t try my luck so I am not sure how pleased the local businesses are with this arrangement. The rink also operates locker rentals outside the kiosk. You can obtain a lock for free from the kiosk desk in exchange for your picture ID.

There are many opportunities in Rockville Town Square to extend an ice skating session to a full afternoon or evening outing. Family friendly restaurants such as Five Guys and Lebanese Taverna surround the rink as well as both an ice cream parlor and a frozen yogurt shop. Starbucks is located just around the corner for a post skating hot chocolate and the Rockville Branch of the Montgomery County Public Library is adjacent to the rink.

Parking

Rockville Town Square has several parking options. Street metered parking is available as are three lots within close proximity to the rink (lot a, b and c). The ice rink validates two hours of parking in the lots with purchase of admission. Additional parking time is $2 for 2 additional hours.

What to Bring

As with any family skating outing arriving prepared with the following gear can help maximize everyone’s comfort and safety. Bring gloves for everyone and helmets for beginner skaters. Thick pants such as fleece pants or snow pants are best for skating newbies that may spend a lot of time down on the ice itself. Also be sure to throw in a few pairs of extra socks if you are renting skates. Most rinks do not offer half sizes so adding an extra pair of socks can help with imperfect fitting skates.

The rink at Rockville Town Square is currently scheduled to remain open until mid-March though no official closing date has yet been set. Get out and enjoy the great outdoors this winter with a session of skating in the square!

Photo by Kim Engstrom

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