Outdoor skating a holiday refuge amid pandemic

Some ice rinks find ways to remain open in metro area, but others were not so lucky


Bryan Rankin did his best to keep up with his daughter on the ice. Alora, the Ponderosa High School sophomore, darted around the Parker Ice Trail Dec. 3, at times lapping her father.

Alora egged on her father, urging him to try synchronized spins as they glided around the short loop at Discovery Park. Bryan relished the daddy-daughter time.

“I feel extremely blessed we even have a place like this to go to because I know a lot of cities don’t have an ice-skating rink, especially outdoors and as nice as this one,” Alora said. “Also, amid COVID, it’s nice that we’re still able to come have an outlet.”

The ice trail at Discovery Park is one of only a handful of outdoor ice rinks still open following the level red public health orders. Masks are not required to skate, but capacity is limited.

In order to skate, visitors must fill out a registration form online and schedule a reservation two days in advance. Visitors can request a spot in a two-hour time slot. The trail is open through the winter. For more information, visit ParkerRec.com.

Mary Colton, Parker’s parks and recreation director, said in a Dec. 4 email that the ice loop is a winter activity that lends itself to being a safe, family atmosphere.

“With such limited recreational options available due to COVID-19, Discovery Park offers a unique opportunity to recreate outdoors for improved physical and mental health, which are so important to all of us right now,” Colton said.

But many communities aren’t so lucky.

The Rink at Belmar in Lakewood was forced to close after the state moved to level red orders Nov. 20. The 7,000-square-foot rink at the Belmar Shopping Center is a popular spot for outdoor skating in any other year.

Tom Quinn, executive director of Alameda Connects, a business association for the Alameda corridor, said the organization is searching for new ways to give people a holiday feel despite closures and indoor shopping limitations.

“What we really focused on is: ‘What can we do, with the restrictions, to keep the holiday spirit alive?’” Quinn said.

The shopping district will be decked out with holiday lights. The City of Lakewood is holding its yearly lamp post decorating contest at Belmar Park Dec. 18. Santa is making appearances at Belmar through Dec. 24 as well. For details, visit BelmarColorado.com.

Arvada unveiled its synthetic ice rink this fall in Olde Town Square, thanks to the Arvada Business Improvement District. Executive Director Joe Hengstler told Colorado Community Community Media it was the perfect time to open a rink following the strife caused by the pandemic.

The Streets at SouthGlenn decided against putting up its annual ice-skating rink this year due to COVID-19 concerns and looks forward to bringing it back in 2021, according to a spokesperson for the shopping district.

Evergreen could open skating at Evergreen Lake Dec. 18, weather permitting, according to the city’s recreation department’s website.

Bryan Rankin, able to catch his breath at the Parker Ice Trail Dec. 3, is thankful just to spend time with his daughter on the ice.

“Hopefully, normalcy kicks in soon,” he said.

Here is a list of outdoor skate rinks that are open — and two that are closed.

Rink at the Rock, Castle Rock

About: The covered ice rink in downtown Castle Rock is open through Feb. 15. The rink is reserved for private sessions Monday-Wednesday.

Where: 414 Perry St., Castle Rock

Open skate hours: Thursday 4-8 p.m.; Friday 4-8 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Cost: Adult (12 and up), $10; child (11 and under) $8; skate rental, $4

Masks: Required to be worn while skating. Highly encouraged in waiting areas.

Reservation: Not required.

Website: www.downtowncastlerock.com/rink-at-the-rock-1

Discovery Park Ice Trail, Parker

About: An outdoor, loop ice trail in downtown Parker, open through the winter.

Where: 20115 Mainstreet, Parker

Open skate hours: Monday-Friday 5-9 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Cost: Adult (11 and up), $8; child (10 and under), $6; skate rental, $4

Masks: Not required to be worn while skating.

Reservation: Required two days in advance online.

Website: www.parkerrec.com/1954/Parker-Ice-Trail

Olde Town Arvada Ice Skating Rink, Arvada

About: The new, synthetic ice rink opened in Olde Town Arvada this fall to bring a little joy to people’s holiday season amid the pandemic.

Where: 57th Avenue and Olde Wadsworth Blvd.

Open skate hours: Sunday-Saturday noon-8 p.m. (Hours subject to reservations).

Cost: Adult (11 and up) $8; child (10 and under) $5. Ticket includes skate rental.

Masks: Required at all times.

Reservations: Required for one-hour time slots. Online only.

Website: oldetownarvada.org/skating-rink/

Longmont Ice Pavilion, Longmont

About: A seasonal, full-service ice facility offering public skating as well as private rentals throughout the winter.

Where: 725 Eighth Ave., Longmont

Open skate hours: Monday 11:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 3-5 p.m.; Tuesday 3-4:45 p.m.; Wednesday 11:15 a.m.-1:30 p.m., 3-5:15 p.m.; Thursday 3-5:15 p.m.; Friday 11 a.m.-6:15 p.m.; Saturday 12:15-6:15 p.m.; Sunday 1:15-6 p.m.

Cost: Adult resident/nonresident (18-54) $5.75/$7.25; youth resident/nonresident (11-17) $5/$5.75; child resident/nonresident (2-10) $4.50/$5.50; senior resident/nonresident (55 and up) $5/$5.75; tot (under 2) free.

Coming soon: Evergreen Lake, Evergreen

About: The 55-acre lake in the Rocky Mountain foothills is nationally renowned for its ice skating, and it is scheduled to return just before Christmas. The tentative open date is Dec. 18, pending bad weather.

Where: 29612 Upper Bear Creed Road, Evergreen

Open skate hours: Monday-Friday 3-7 p.m.; Saturday 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sunday 8 a.m.-7 p.m.

Cost: Adult (19-59), $8; youth (4-18), $7; seniors (60 and up), $6; military, $6; tot (3 and under), free.

Masks: Not required.

Reservations: Required by time slots. Online only.

Website: www.evergreenrecreation.com/224/Ice-Skating-and-Hockey


The Rink at Belmar, Lakewood

Streets of Southglenn Skating at the Cube, Centennial

nick puckett


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