Just because the mercury has been rapidly dropping in your thermometers doesn't mean you should stay cooped up indoors all winter. Staying active in Ohio during the blistery months of December and January can be possible, thanks to the seasonal ice skating rink located at Lock 3 Park in downtown Akron. The 10,000 square foot rink (which is the largest seasonal rink in all of Ohio) allows every member of your family the opportunity to perfect their triple axles and figure eights in the heart of the Rubber City.
Lock 3 magically transforms itself from a concert venue and park with biking and running events in the summer, into an ice skater's haven in the winter! A massive decorated Christmas tree sits majestically on one end of the rink while holiday music blares from speakers to add some extra holiday flare. Folks of all ages circle around the man made tundra while others watch on nearby benches with their cocoa and coffee. If this doesn't make you like winter in Ohio, I'm not sure what will!
Ice skating outdoors beats any indoor rink hands down! There's nothing like having the brisk wintry winds blowing on your face as you zip around near the skyscrapers of Akron! The rink is open for business until January 27, 2013 on Thursdays from 11 AM to 9 PM; Fridays and Saturdays from 11 AM to 11 PM; and on Sundays from 11 AM to 6 PM. Admission is free for those who have their own skates, and just $3 for rentals (that's a far cheaper winter sport than skiing or snowboarding)!! With a wristband on, you are free to skate for as long as you want along the perimeter of the rink for casual skating, or in the center of the rink for more advanced moves.
If you are reluctant to go ice skating (either because you never have before, or because it's your first time in a long time), there is staff available to assist you. It's definitely something you should try so that you can scratch it off of your bucket list, and feel like a kid again! Also, Lock 3 now has a 150-foot sled riding hill adjacent to the rink for those who are looking for some extra excitement.
I try to make it an annual tradition to get down to the Lock 3 during the winter. When I get the chance to ice skate here, it always puts me in a good mood, and makes for a great day trip to downtown Akron. The rink is located right next to the historic Akron Civic Theatre, where you can catch a fantastic show. It also sits directly across from the Lockview, a restaurant known for their eclectic and delicious grilled cheese sandwiches and vast array of beers!