NEW JERSEY - Nothing spells the holiday season and winter more than a pair of skates. Ice skating is an ideal family fun activity and even the perfect date night. Taking a whirl around the ice at NYC's iconic Rockefeller Center with the world's most recognized tree in the background is a bucket list do for many.
However, with the Warinanco Skating Rink out of commission this year due to its extensive renovation, residents don't necessarily have to trek all the way into the city to take a spin on the ice. While it's true that lakes and ponds rarely freeze deep enough to allow safe outdoor skating, the Garden State does offer several indoor and even a couple of outdoor rinks that offer public skates. Some also have open hockey and recreation leagues for those that want to dig out the sticks and pucks.
The following is a list of New Jersey rinks that are open either seasonally or year-round. Most also offer skate rentals.
Union Sports Arena in Union has daily public skates, learn to skate programs, adult and youth open hockey, indoor soccer fields are available and the “Living Room” Café offers a warm place to sit and enjoy a snack.
Bridgewater Sports Arena in Bridgewater offers public skating, hockey programs, skating lessons, birthday parties, an arcade, laser tag and a snack bar.
Richard J. Codey Arena in West Orange offers public skating, hockey programs, skating lessons, party rentals and a snack stand.
The Old Bridge Ice Arena in Old Bridge is an indoor/outdoor rink and offers public skates on weekends and certain weekdays including Monday holidays from November through April. Skate rentals are available and they do have a small snack stand.
Protec Ponds in Somerset has daily public skates as well as ice skating and hockey programs. Skates can be rented and there's a snack bar to warm up at afterwards
The Woodbridge Community Center on Main Street in Woodbridge offers an ice skating rink that holds public skates on weekends and certain holidays. Rentals are available and the WCC Cafe offers hot chocolate, coffee and snacks. They also have a roller skating rink here as well.
The Roosevelt Park Family Ice Skating Rink is one of the few outdoor skating rinks in the Garden State. It is located on Parsonage Road in Edison and is open from November through April. It's closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, but offers public skates on Wednesdays through Fridays and on the weekends. The rink is also available for lessons and parties. Skate rentals are available as well.