Chill out with your kids at these Denver-area skating rinks
Joy Burns Ice Arena and Magness Arena, DU’s Ritchie Center
Public skate sessions several days a week, pick-up hockey games (for those 18 and older) and stick-and-puck sessions are available to the public at these NHL-sized rinks, open year-round.
Admission: Kids, $6; adults, $7; skate rentals, $3; ritchiecenterevents.du.edu
Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
It’s free, centrally located downtown just below the D&F Tower at 16th and Arapahoe streets, and lessons are available Saturdays from 9-10 a.m. And did we mention that it’s free?
Admission: Free; skate rentals, $6-$8; downtowndenverrink.com
Big Bear Ice Arena
Throw a party at this low-frills, double-rink facility housed in an old Lowry airplane hangar, which is popular with hockey players and offers tons of learn-to-skate programs for kids starting at age 3.
Admission: Ages 12 and younger, $5; adults, $7; skate rentals, $3; 8580 E. Lowry Blvd.; bigbearice.com
CNN says it’s one of the world’s 10 best rinks, and who are we to argue? Enjoy 8 1/2 acres of ice, including 11 pond hockey rinks and a public skating rink, then grab a cocoa at the Evergreen Lake House.
Admission: Ages 3 and younger, free; ages 4-17, $6; adults, $7; evergreenrecreation.com
The Rink at Belmar
Channel your inner Brian Boitano or Michelle Kwan under twinkling lights at this small, picturesque Lakewood rink— then grab some sushi, do some shopping or head to the movies afterward.
Admission: Ages 3-12, $8; adults, $10; $5 without rentals; belmarcolorado.com
GET YOUR LITTLE ONES GLIDING
Evergreen Lake skating teacher Renee Otero shares her top tips:
Outfit them right.
Dress your kids in comfortable layers. Make sure they wear waterproof gloves and a helmet (a ski helmet, not a bicycle helmet). Otero also does not recommend double-bladed skates. “There is no edge on them,” she says, “so kids can’t move beyond little baby steps.”
Make it fun.
If your child is fearful, go slow. Strap them into a pair of skates and then just pull them around the ice on a sled or put a chunk of snow on the ice and have them “stomp it.” Children can also try using “skate walkers,” which they can hold on to as they start to move around the ice.
Start by walking.
“At first, don’t worry about gliding. Have your kids try to just walk on the skates so they get the feel of balancing from one foot to the other. Once they’re comfortable with that, they can try a scooter push, where one leg is solid on the ice and they push off with the other one.”
Show them how to fall—and get back up.
Otero tells kids to fall on their “side bottom.” Next, show them how to get up: Get on all fours “like a dog,” then put one foot on the ice, followed by the second.