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Nov 21, 2011
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Brenton Skating Plaza

By Jared Curtis

Ice skaters have fun at Brenton Skating Plaza, 520 Robert D. Ray Drive. Hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday; 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday; and noon to 8 p.m. on Sunday. Monday through Friday admission is $3.50 for adults and $2.50 for kids 6-12 (5 and under are free) and seniors (62 and older). Friday (after 5 p.m.) through Sunday and holiday admission is $5 for adults, $4 for kids and seniors. Skates are available to rent for $3. For more information, visit brentonplaza.com.

Outside fun for all ages

When the temperatures drop, area ponds and lakes ice over. People used to flock to these frozen ponds to enjoy some ice-skating, but thanks to the Brenton Skating Plaza, there’s no need to venture out to the country when you can ice skate under the stars in downtown Des Moines.

“We are currently celebrating our sixth skating season,” said Robbin McClelland, general manager. “We’re the only permanent ice skating structure in the state, and we had more than 33,000 people skate here last year, our biggest total since opening.”

The skating plaza was created thanks to the Brenton Foundation.

“Mr. Brenton’s fondest memories as a child were ice skating and socializing at the rink,” McClelland said. “And he wanted to provide the opportunity for children and families to have those memories as well.”

The plaza is open on all major holidays including Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day from 4 to 9 p.m.

“Those are really nice family days,” McClelland said. “We open in the afternoon so families can enjoy their day and then come skate together.”

Skaters of all skill levels are welcome, and if you’re not sure about stepping out on the ice, the facility offers lessons.

“We have a skate clinic coming up on Monday, Nov. 28, from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. All of our coaches are on the ice answering questions. It’s a good time to find out more, and if you decide to register for the lessons, it’s $5 off the fee,” McClelland said. “Then we offer lessons that follow, and they become more in depth. Each year, more people show up and are interested in skating.”

Along with skating, the rising sport of Broomball also takes place at the plaza. The league starts Dec. 4, so sign your team up today.

“The broomball leagues really enjoy playing here because it’s outside,” McClelland said. “The popularity is building, and we have more teams signing up each year.”

Cheap Skate Night takes place Monday, and attendees can enjoy two-for-one admission from 2 to 6 p.m. and 7:30 to 9 p.m. On Tuesday, celebrate Student Night by showing your I.D. and receive admission and skates for $5. Thursday is KJJY 92.5 Family Night, and from 5 to 9 p.m., a family of four or more can get admission and skates for $18.95. Get ready to boogie on Friday with Rock the River, sponsored by KISS 1075, which has live music from DJ Cuz from 8 to 11 p.m.

“People love Rock the River because the DJ is right on the ice, so you can skate right up and request a song,” McClelland said.

Although some people might think of ice-skating as something only a child can have fun with, McClelland disagrees.

“Skating offers fun for all ages and is a great cardiovascular exercise,” she said. “Sure, we have a lot of kids here, but also plenty of adults who enjoy themselves here. We do it all from marriage proposals to family outings, so come out and skate while you enjoy the sites of downtown in a unique setting.” CV



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