Now that the winter weather is finally upon us, finding indoor options to help our kids burn off some energy and have fun is high on our weekend priorities. The Gardens Ice House in Laurel, MD is a great venue to do just that!
With two rinks, a pro shop, a birthday party room and cafe, this ice skating venue in Prince George’s County has it all. We arrived after the start of the public skate session on a Sunday afternoon to a full but not crowded rink and no line to get in. Admission here is $6.60 per adult on weekday sessions and $7.70 for adults on weekends. Kids three and up and seniors get $1.00 off of the above mentioned rates.
Frequent skaters can buy a passbook good for 10 admissions for $45. Seasonal individual and family memberships can also be purchased. A three month family membership costs $175. At The Gardens Ice House you can bring your own skates or pay $4.15 for skate rentals which are available in full sizes only. The smallest skates available are a toddler size 6.
Once out on the ice we enjoyed the music and a few breaks in the “penalty box”. There are benches to sit on just outside of the rink for a break or you can head to the warmer lobby (with flat screen TV) or head directly from the rink to Ice Breakers Cafe. This heated eatery sells snacks, drinks, pizza and sandwiches .
We enjoyed a quick hot chocolate and then headed back onto the ice. Bring cash for smaller purchases, the credit card minimum is $5. There are several arcade games located in the cafe area though none were turned on on the day of our visit. Another flat screen TV is also located in here.
After two hours of skating, my kids were tired, happy and ready to go home. We waited around to watch the zamboni clean the ice and peeked in quickly to see an amateur hockey game before heading out. The Gardens Ice House is located in a large sports complex with the Fairland Aquatics and Recreation Center just next door.
Even with the freezing temperatures outside, the playground just north of the parking lot looked tempting to my 5 and 7 year olds. On a nicer day you could certainly combine a skating session with a picnic and play at the park after without needing to get back in your car.
Public skating sessions are scheduled Monday through Friday afternoons from 11:20 to 1:10pm, Friday nights from 7:30 to 9:30pm, Saturday from 1 to 3pm and 8:10 to 10:10pm and Sundays from 2 to 4pm. The Gardens also hosts many clinics, lessons, figure skating and hockey clubs and even a curling league.
Get out on the ice and enjoy winter any time of year at The Gardens Ice House!
- Note that the Ice Breakers Cafe is not open during the Monday through Friday 11:20 to 1:10pm public skate session.
- There are several vending machines selling snacks and drinks available at all times.
- Don’t forget to bring gloves and warm pants for everyone and helmets for beginner skaters. If you are renting skates you may also want to bring a few different pairs of socks in different widths to find the best fit since skates come in whole sizes only.
- Save the Date: on March 24 & 25, 2012 head to The Gardens Ice House to see the Figure Skating Club perform Beauty and the Beast on Ice. There are two shows each day at 1 and 3:30pm.