Ice skating is a pastime that has been enjoyed by children and adults for years. Whether you are looking for an indoor rink to cool down in over the summer months or to enjoy the winter elements by gliding across a frozen pond in a local park, New Jersey has it all.
Although ice skating is considered a winter sport, many area skating rinks offer the chance to lace up your skates all year long. Many provide the opportunity for amateur skaters to learn a few pointers or for the Olympic hopeful to practice jumps or aspiring hockey players looking for some ice time.
Looking for a great outdoor winter activity, but not enough snow to ride down a hill on a rubber tube or sled? As long as it is cold enough for county park ponds to freeze over, outdoor skating is permitted. Check out one of these local parks for an authentic outdoor pond skating experience.
• Dahnert’s Lake County Park, Midland Avenue, Garfield
• Saddle River County Park, Glen Rock area, Prospect Street, Glen Rock
• Saddle River County Park, Wild Duck Pond area, Ridgewood Avenue, Ridgewood
• Samuel Nelkin County Park, Rose Street, Wallington
• Wood Dale County Park, Prospect Avenue, Woodcliff Lake
New Milford borough outdoor rink
Borough of New Milford, 930 River Road, New Milford
New last year, the outdoor rink is located in the parking lot of the New Milford Swim Club, a short walk behind borough hall, right off River Road. The man-made frozen rink attracts a number of youngsters and their parents for open skating and is open from 4 to 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. on weekends, weather permitting during the winter season.
Borough of Bergenfield, West Church Street, Bergenfield
If you are looking for that old-time, small-town feel this winter, check out Cooper’s Pond in Bergenfield, where you can delight in gliding across the frozen pond surface when weather permits. The town also holds an annual Holiday at the Pond Celebration in December, featuring Christmas caroling and a tree lighting, along with other classic holiday festivities.
Englewood Field Club
341 Engle St., Englewood
The Englewood Field Club ice skating rink is a private members only outdoor rink open from around Thanksgiving until about the second week of March.
There are five hockey teams competing at the rink along with instruction and learn to skate for hockey programs. There are also figure skating classes and open skates for members. Call for membership information.
INDOOR SKATING FACILITIES
Fritz Dietl Ice Rink
639 Broadway, Westwood
Set in the heart of the Pascack Valley, the Fritz Dietl Ice Rink in Westwood has been a family favorite since 1958. The family-owned facility was founded by Austrian born Fritz Dietl, a well known figure skater and coach.
Although the facility was used as a training center for competitive figure skaters in early years, it has become more a family friendly recreational facility over time.
Although smaller than the newer skating facilities such as Ice House or Ice Vault with only a single ice rink, Fritz Dietl offers a comfortable environment for kids and adults of all ages to learn to skate or just brush up on their moves.
Fritz Dietl Ice Rink offers public sessions, daily figure skating sessions and group and private lessons by appointment. The rink also offers parties and ice rentals for special events.
111 Midtown Bridge Approach, Hackensack
Located in Hackensack, the Ice House contains four regulation size NHL rinks and has been a highly-used facility for training skaters and hockey players since its opening in 1997. It is the largest of the ice skating facilities in the Tri—State area. The facility has two levels, each providing a full view of the rinks.
For hockey lovers of all ages, Ice House offers programs in youth, high school and adult amateur hockey. More than 1,000 players from ages 5 through 16 are enrolled in the facility’s youth program.
If you are looking to learn more about figure skating or ice skating for recreation, Ice House offers “learn to skate” or private lessons throughout the year. For the more serious student who is interested in competing and perfecting his or her skills, the Ice House offers on and off the ice training programs, which include lessons in ballet and strengthening and conditioning.
Ice House has touted celebrity use with skaters such as Tara Lipinski, Sasha Cohen, Oksana Baiul seen gliding across the rink and sent nine skaters to the 2002 Olympics.
Although the Ice House offers training, facilities and programs that are heavily weighted in pursuing a professional level of skating, it is still a great place for the amateur skater who is looking for a fun recreational activity. With a full serviced food court, arcade room, meeting rooms and coffee bar, the Ice House is a local place where residents can spend a fun afternoon with friends with all the amenities they need within one facility. The Ice House has clinics and camps, birthday parties and even skate jam parties for teens, providing entertainment for a range of ages. It also features one of the largest pro shops in the area, and the facility as a whole can be considered a one stop shopping experience for all of your skating needs for the amateur, professional skater or weekend hockey player.
John T. Wright Arena at Mackay Park
130 W. Englewood Ave., Englewood
The John T. Wright Arena at MacKay Park in Englewood is a seasonal rink open from Oct. 1 through March 31 of each year.
Visitors to the rink can enjoy skating during public sessions or one of the other ice programs such as hockey clinics, skating school, open adult hockey leagues and birthday parties. The rink will no longer have a youth hockey program starting this year.
Ice Vault Skating Arena
10 Nevins Road, Wayne
Although slightly smaller than Hackensack’s Ice House with only two rinks operating year round, the Capital One Bank Ice Vault Skating Arena, located in Wayne, offers programs and amenities that rival the Bergen County facility.
The Ice Vault offers Euro Hockey as well as youth, high school and adult programs. The facility also holds a summer hockey camp which is hosted and attended by celebrity players such as notable past and present New Jersey Devils and announcers including Martin Brodeur, Chico Resch, Scott Stevens and Zach Parise.
The building, which takes up nearly two acres of the 7.5 acre facility, has an arena with more than 600 seats available for spectators as well as an elevated restaurant with 190 feet of glass overlooking the ice rinks.
Ice Vault offers “learn to skate” programs as well as a number of hockey programs and clinics, and is also open for public skating for residents who to spend an afternoon on the rink.
skating rates offer competitive pricing against Ice House and the Ice Vault also hosts birthday parties. Looking for a new pair of skates or need to replace a snapped hockey stick? The Ice Vault has a pro shop for skating needs.
Richard J. Codey Arena Ice Skating Rink
560 Northfield Ave., West Orange
Open year round, the Richard J. Codey Arena Ice Skating Rink in West Orange offers public skating sessions, figure and ice skating lessons, ice hockey for adults and youth programs and also has pickup games. Nestled in the South Mountain area, the original rink was constructed in 1958 and offered a seating capacity of 2,500 spectators. In 1983, a second rink was constructed to seat 500 spectators. More renovations were made to the facility in 2004 and 2005 adding a 14,000 square foot lobby, party and meeting rooms, pro shop, arcade and concession stand. The facility also has press boxes for viewing at the rinks and locker rooms for players.
The South Mountain Arena boasts activities for children and adults year round both on and off the ice.
The facility has been the official practice and training facility of the New Jersey Devils since 1986 and hockey fans can attend practices to see some of their favorite players hit the ice.
The Richard J. Codey Arena offers group skating lessons for children as young as 4 years old up through adults. Private lessons can also be applied for.
The Richard J. Codey Arena is located at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange. For more information, call (973) 731-3828.
OUTSIDE BERGEN COUNTY
Clary Anderson Arena
41 Chestnut St., Montclair
Montclair’s Clary Anderson Arena is managed by the Unites Skates of America and offers an array of ice skating activities during the season, which lasts from September through the end of May.
The facility offers pubic skating sessions as well and figure skating lessons, youth hockey and clinics. Visitors can also take advantage of private lessons if desired. The Montclair Inside Edge skating club calls the Clary Anderson Arena home and member is available to the club for anyone who is interested.
Are you in search of a place to host an exciting birthday party? The Clary Anderson hosts birthday parties on Saturday and Sunday afternoons and Saturday nights.
Floyd Hall Arena
One Hall Drive, Little Falls
Founded in 1998, Floyd Hall Arena is located on One Hall Drive in Little Falls, on the campus of Montclair State University. The year-round indoor rink is part of Floyd Hall Enterprises, named for Floyd Hall, the former CEO of Target and Kmart who also owns the New Jersey Jackals and Sussex Skyhawks minor league baseball teams.
The ice skating arena opened in March of 1998 with two NHL size rinks, an off-ice training area, meeting rooms, concession stand, pro shop and facilities for birthday parties. According to its web site, Floyd Hall Arena attracts more than 500,000 visits per year and has become the home to many groups including the Montclair Hockey Club, The North Jersey Figure Skating Club, the Clifton High School Mustangs and Nutley and Passaic Valley high school hockey teams.
The arena offers public skating sessions as well as a variety of skating and hockey instructional programs. Former New Jersey Devils defenseman Randy Velischek serves as an instructor at the arena and current Devils goalie Martin Brodeur and has enrolled his children in programs at Floyd Hall Arena. Thirteen NHL teams have practiced at the arena.