What to expect at Slice of Ice in Red Arrow Park

Have you ever been ice skating at Slice of Ice in downtown Milwaukee’s Red Arrow Park? The rink is actually bigger than the one at Rockefeller Center in New York City! (That’s a fact.)To give you a behind-the-scenes look at what you can expect when you take your kids there, I spent the afternoon at the rink with my seven-year-old and my favorite family photographer, Melissa, from Little X Little Photography.

First, some basic info:

Hours: The rink is open Monday – Thursday from 11 a.m. – 8 p.m, Friday – Saturday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m, and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. From February 1st on, skate rentals begin at 2 p.m.

Parking: The rink is located across the street from the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts parking structure. There’s also street parking surrounding the park, but expect to walk a bit.

Price: It’s free to skate if you bring your own skates! Skate rentals cost $9 for adults 18 and up, and $8 for ages 17 and under. Sizes are available from toddler size 8 up to women’s size 11 and men’s size 14.

Photo by Little X Little Photography

Things we loved:

1. The View: The rink is right in the heart of downtown, so the urban surroundings are upbeat and exciting. The park is decorated with festive holiday lights, and popular music is amplified outside, which makes the environment even more fun and energized.

Photo by Little X Little Photography

2. The Zamboni: Every hour or so, the rink is cleared so that the Zamboni can come out and smooth the ice. It’s a natural time to take a break from skating, and it’s actually pretty fun to watch.

Photo by Little X Little Photography

3. The Starbucks Warming House: The warming house is where you rent and return your skates, and there’s also an onside Starbuck inside. It’s the perfect place to warm up and rest, and if you’re lucky you might be able to scoop up the table right next to the crackling fireplace.

Photo by Little X Little Photography

4. Bonding Time: As my son gets older, our interests seem to diverge more and more. (He’s into Pokemon, I’m into pedicures, and so on.) But we both love ice skating, and it was so lovely to have a day to spend just with him.

Photo by Little X Little Photography

Helpful Hints

Polar Pals: If your child has never ice skated before, or if they need some assistance, they can rent a Polar Pal that can help keep them upright. They cost just $1. (A $5 refundable deposit or photo ID is also required.) They are in high demand, though, so you may have to wait for one.

Photo by Little X Little Photography

Ice Sleds: Ice sleds for skaters with mobility impairments are available to use for free. Simply call with 24-hour notice to reserve a sled: (414) 289-8791.

Find out more about Slice of Ice on the Milwaukee County Parks website.

Find out more about Little X Little Photography here.

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