Getting outside for some fresh air and exercise with the kids can be tough during the winter months. The newly opened outdoor ice skating rink in Downtown Silver Spring just made this task a little easier!
Located in Veteran’s Plaza at the intersections of Ellsworth Drive and Fenton Street, the new ice rink is a great addition to the family friendly atmosphere of Downtown Silver Spring. The rink is open weekdays from noon until 10pm and weekends 10am through 10pm.
Figure and hockey skate rentals are available for toddler size 7 through adult size 14 with only whole sizes available. Double blade skates are an option for younger kids wearing size 8 through 13 and several helmets are in stock to be used by kids free of charge.
The rink is small in size which is great for kids. Even the shakiest of skaters can make it around the rink in just a few minutes. The colorful lighted “roof” and music playing over the sound system add to the experience. For the smallest skaters, push buckets are available to help them get their bearings on the ice. The rink does employ a rink guard who can assist skaters in getting up off of the ice in case of a fall.
Admission to the rink is $8 for adults and $7 for children and seniors. Skate rental for all is $3 each. There are no set sessions for skating here. When you purchase your admission you gain access to the rink for a two hour period determined by the color of your “sticket” that you need to wear on your jacket.
Several benches are scattered around the perimeter of the rink for skaters wishing to take a rest during their skating time. Soft surface restrooms are located inside the skate rental building so that you do not have to remove your skates in order to use the facilities. Personnel at the rink said that lockers should be arriving soon so call ahead to check or leave items like purses secured in your car (or at home!).
The outdoor rink is scheduled to remain open until March 13th. Lessons are not yet being offered but a plan to do so is in the works. Extended hours may be available on school holidays. Call the skate hotline to confirm openings in case of any inclement weather 301.588.1221.
Our visit to the downtown Silver Spring rink was by far the most outdoor fun and exercise we have had as a family all winter. My kids had a great time and are begging to go back. If you skate in the evening, there are plenty of options for a family friendly dinner surrounding Veteran’s Plaza. Adega, Chick-Fil-A, Baja Fresh, Austin Grill, Eggspectations, Lebanese Taverna and Nando’s are just a few of the options that you have within a 5 minute walk. Parking in the garage on Ellsworth Drive across from the rink is 75 cents per hour and can be paid with cash or credit card. The lot is free on weekends and after 7pm daily.
If you plan to skate with young kids or beginner skaters consider the following list to help make the experience as fun and safe as can be.
- Bring a helmet!
- Consider snow pants or heavy fleece lined jeans or sweats. If your kids fall a lot their pants will get wet from the ice. Bring an extra pair of pants if you plan to head out to eat after.
- Bring snow gloves or mittens to keep hands dry.
- Bring an extra pair of socks or two especially if your child wears a half size shoe to help them fit into their skates better.
- Stick around to watch the Zamboni – kids love to watch the ice get clean and shiny!
See you at the rink!
Photo by Kim Engstrom