When the weather gets cold and your kids are eagerly anticipating snow days, what better activity is there to enjoy as a family than ice skating? After all, even though Maryland occasionally gets snow in November or December, there’s a good chance there won’t be any snow until January at the very earliest. But when there are ice skating rinks only a short drive away, you can still enjoy a wintry atmosphere without actually waiting on Mother Nature to cooperate.
The Benefits of Ice Skating
Plus there are plenty of benefits to ice skating. It’s one of those activities that really lends itself to the whole family, because it’s an easy enough skill for small children to pick up on, but even adults will enjoy the chance to challenge themselves the next time they slide on a pair of skates.
Ice skating is a great form of physical activity. Being on your feet and pushing yourself across the ice gets your blood flowing and works several major muscle groups. Plus it’s a low-impact activity, so it’s good for your joints.
Trying to figure out the proper movements is good for improving your balance and developing motor skills (something that’s important for your children) and the relaxing motion of soaring over the ice is good for relieving stress.
Sometimes it takes a little while to get the hang of ice skating, so it can be good for teaching you to release your inhabitation and feel a little more comfortable in your own skin. If you slip and fall, that’s okay — you’ll get a good laugh out of it. You and your family or friends will likely leave the ice rink with plenty of good memories you’ll be enjoying all the way into spring and summer.
What To Look For In An Ice Skating Rink
Consider whether you want to skate inside or outside. Although indoor skating rinks can be just as much fun, some people might like the atmosphere of being outdoors in the fresh air.
You should also check on the availability of skates and helmets for rent. Many venues offer skate rentals, but a few of them will not have helmets available.
If you’re new to ice skating, don’t be shy about inquiring about skating classes. A quick basic tutorial might be all you need to feel comfortable moving over the ice. Of course, there will likely be intensive weeks-long courses available for anyone who is serious about developing their skills.
Here are some nearby ice skating rinks you’ll want to check out:
600 Quiet Waters Park Road, Annapolis
An Annapolis favorite, Quiet Waters Park always offers a nice escape from daily life. It’s a place where you can find yourself surrounded by nature and other friendly, fun-seeking locals. The outdoor ice rink is located in front of the Visitors Center, and it’s a laidback place for families to enjoy skating in a safe environment. Quiet Waters Park has skates, helmets, and walkers available for rent, and skate sharpening is available onsite.
Brigade Sports Complex, 64 Greenbury Point Road, Annapolis
The Naval Academy ice rink is impressive, to say the least. Olympic sized and surrounded by enough seating to hold nearly 700 people, the complex is actually home to the prestigious hockey teams of the US Navy (including men’s and women’s). But there’s also plenty of time for recreational skating, as open skating is available to the public several days a week. There are also plenty of skating programs, learn-to-skate lessons, and party options you’ll want to check out.
103 Crain Highway, Glen Burnie
Another outdoor option in the area is the ice rink at Glen Burnie Town Center. Surrounded by the shopping complex’s bright lights, which look particularly pretty against the night sky, you can enjoy an evening of recreational skating seven days a week from early November until the end of February.
8781 Piney Orchard Parkway, Odenton
Fun Fact: This ice arena was once the practice facility for the Washington Capitals. It’s now the designated home of several juniors, adult, and youth ice skating and hockey leagues. But when they aren’t practicing or competing, the ice area is open to the public for recreational skating — and it’s a great place to cut loose, gain confidence on the ice, and enjoy a favorite winter pastime.
5876 Thunder Hill Road, Columbia, MD
One of the featured facilities of the Columbia Association, this expansive indoor ice rink offers public skating, freestyle skating, learn-to-skate programs, stick and puck hockey, and options for ice skating parties.
3330 Northview Drive, Bowie
Now in its 50th year of offering ice skating, the Bowie Ice Arena offers recreational skating options for people of all ages, abilities, and experience levels. Plus it’s open year-round, which is quite a leap from how it was when it first opened as a seasonal facility. Although it does close for a brief hiatus every May and June, this is an ice arena where you can look forward to enjoying the ice skating any time of year.
If you want to learn more about all the great reasons Annapolis and Anne Arundel County are an ideal place to call home, reach out to Jennifer Schaub by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 720-244-5945.