Courtesy of Crown Center Ice Terrace
Crown Center Ice Terrace Indoor
The Crown Center Ice Terrace is located at the heart of downtown Kansas City.
By Evan Wood
Missouri's fickle winter weather can make it tricky to make outdoor plans. Everyone loves a good snow day, but it can be hard to tell when those are coming, if they come at all. But for ice skating, cold temperatures are all you need.
Alternatively, if you love to ice skate in winter but could live without the chilly outdoor elements, Missouri has great indoor ice arenas. Whether indoor or outdoor, there’s a certain thrill in skating fast across the ice.
This winter, we sought out four of the most unique skating spots in the state. If you're looking to go on a skate date, we know just the place. If you want to find a rink to skate with your family on New Year's Eve, this guide has all the information you'll need. Come with us and skate across the state, and discover the perfect rink.
Crown Center Ice Terrace is perhaps the most glitzy of all the ice skating destinations in Missouri.
Situated near the heart of downtown Kansas City and surrounded by the shimmering lights of Crown Center’s holiday displays, the ice terrace is reminiscent of skating at Rockefeller Center in New York City.
Of all the rinks and arenas in this list, Crown Center stands out as the ice skating date destination, partially because all of the amenities of Crown Center are on-site, including an aquarium, hotels, and dining. This makes it a great place to do a lot without the stress of driving. Crown Center’s location is also amenable to exploring downtown Kansas City or shopping at the plaza.
Amenities aside, the Ice Terrace itself, canopied by an elegant hightopped tent and lit up from within as well as by the nearby holiday trees, makes a beautiful backdrop for a romantic skate around the rink. One of the trees in particular is a 100-foot tall Christmas tree, dubbed the Mayor’s tree. It is shipped from Oregon, and arrives the same weekend that the Ice Terrace opens. Skaters looking for some holiday atmosphere should plan to be there when the tree is decorated during a special ceremony the day after Thanksgiving—an ideal alternative to Black Friday shopping.
Adding to the terrace’s amorous ambiance, the waters of Crown Center’s fountain are on display within view of the ice terrace year round, and music is always playing through the sound system.
Of course, the ice terrace still has plenty to offer families, groups of friends, and individuals who like to skate. The ice terrace also features specials such as two-for-one Tuesdays, and groups of twenty or more can make a reservation and get a special group rate. Even for skaters who have access to a rink or arena nearby, skating at the ice terrace with all its lights and sounds is a one-of-a-kind experience.
Admission is $6 but free for children under 4 and adults over 60. Skate Rentals are $3.
Ice skating on frozen ponds and lakes in big city parks is a classic way to enjoy the pastime, and rural Missourians today may still enjoy the outdoors in winter this way. However, with winter in our state being unpredictable at best, the organic approach to ice skating isn’t always a viable option.
In the pastoral spirit, the Steinberg Ice Rink in St. Louis’s Forest Park retains that classic skating-in-the-park feel that’s hard to come by anywhere else. It’s all the beauty of skating in the frosty winter park, plus the benefit of a modern facility with beautiful lighting and a constantly burning bon fire, and minus the risk of falling through the ice into a freezing lake.
If the picturesque rink is not enough, it also has an indoor space with WiFi and concessions—such as hot chocolate, beer, pretzels—and a view of the rink.
Overall, the Steinberg rink provides an idyllic location for families looking for a winter destination. In fact, many St. Louis families have made a tradition of skating the rink on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day.
The rink also hosts a few events such as Skate with Santa on Saturday December 7th, which is a great chance for kids to get out on the ice and pass along a few requests for presents. The Steinberg Ice Rink really gets at the heart of what makes outdoor skating so refreshing: it’s in a natural setting. And even Missourians who skate their own ponds, lakes, and creeks every winter will find it hard to beat warming up by the fire with a cup of hot chocolate and a pretzel.
Admission is $6, and skate rentals are $5.
3711 Kansas St, Jefferson City, Missouri 65109
Perhaps the best feature of the Washington Park Ice Arena in Jefferson City is that it remains open when warm weather arrives. With a season that runs most of the calendar year, Missourians with a flair for skating can still find a home for their hobby in the capital city. In a typical year, Washington Park Ice Arena is open from July until the following April.
The current season ends April 19th, 2014. Washington Park hosts a variety of sporting events and leagues, such as hockey and figure skating, and also offers skating lessons. The arena is also available for party rentals.
Jefferson City’s central location makes the ice arena available to many Missourians, who would otherwise have to drive a long distance to skate.
All of the sporting events hosted at the ice arena make for great spectator events, but the feature event of the year is the annual ice show, which will run February 28, and March 1 and 2 of 2014.
On top of traditional ice sports such as hockey and figure skating, the Washington Park Ice Arena also features a lesser-known sport: broomball. Broomball is a game in which players use a stick with a triangular head to hit a ball across the ice and into the opposing team’s net. Broomball may appeal to inexperienced skaters because broomball players wear rubber-soled shoes rather than skates.
League play is available in the spring. Hockey players, figure skaters, casual skaters, and even broomball players can come to Washington Park Ice Arena to skate this winter, this spring, or next fall.
Admission is $4.50 for adults and $3.50 kids 17 and under. Rentals are available for $2.50.
Ice skating at Linden Square is sure to provide an experience you can’t get anywhere else in Missouri. With the state’s only synthetic ice skating rink, the city of Gladstone is putting technology to work to keep Missourians enjoying the rink.
Where other outdoor rinks are subject to Missouri’s sporadic winter weather patterns, the synthetic rink in Linden Square is a clever way around the meticulous maintenance that outdoor ice requires.
Not only can it keep a consistent schedule—as opposed to waiting for the weather to cool down before opening—it also isn’t affected by the random bouts of seventy-degree weather in January that we’ve all experienced once or twice.
Because the new synthetic ice can dull blades quickly, visitors receive a pair of rental skates with admission and are asked not to bring their own. The ice rink staff works diligently to keep rental skates sharp for enjoyable, easy-gliding skate sessions.
The Linden Square Ice Rink also offers traditional holiday touches that you’d expect with outdoor skating, such as lighting displays and the Mayor’s Christmas Tree, which is lit on the first day the rink opens.
Anyone hoping to try the next big thing in ice skating will find it at the Linden Square Ice Rink, and those simply looking for a good skating experience in a relaxing, small-town holiday environment will also be satisfied with this high-tech rink in Gladstone.
Admission is $5; ice skate rental is included.