Friday, January 3, 2014

Totally Texas -- No ice, no problem at downtown’s new rink

Klyde Warren Park

Woodall Rodgers Freeway, between Pearl & St. Paul



My daughter was desperate to get her sons out of the house during winter break. And the boys were fresh out of Little Rookies hockey camp for kids, brimming with enthusiasm for their new-learned skill of ice skating. So why not, I said, try out the synthetic ice skating rink at downtown Dallas’s Klyde Warren Park?

We joined the eager skaters last Tuesday at the newly-installed Kelly & Norman Green rink, floored with synthetic ice guaranteed not to melt despite the spring-like temperatures earlier this week. My daughter skates occasionally, so she picked up three pairs of skates (none for me, thanks--I can barely deal with roller skates), available in sizes from toddler 8 to adult 12, and she and the boys made their way into the rink. Between the winter break for area schools and free skates on Tuesdays, thanks to El Centro College’s sponsorship, the rink was filled with skaters.

Former Dallas Stars owner Norman Green and his wife Kelly sponsored the 32 x 100-foot rink formed from Super-Glide synthetic surface that doesn’t require refrigeration in Texas’ changeable winter weather. The synthetic surface, smooth to the touch, is plugged as having the same qualities as ice. My family’s skaters found it more difficult to navigate on than real ice, although at least not as cold to fall on!

The difference in texture didn’t seem to faze the long lines of skaters waiting to take their turn. Klyde Warren, after all, is the only skating venue in downtown Dallas since Plaza of the Americas closed its indoor rink more than a year ago.

And the price is right--free for those with their own skates, or with complimentary skates on Tuesdays.

The rink itself is free. If you need to rent skates, they’re $10 on weekends and normally $5 weekdays.   But besides the Tuesday specials, kids age six and under get complimentary skates Mondays from 11 a.m. to noon; students with ID get half-price rentals Wednesday from 6-8 p.m., and Thursdays you can rent one pair of skates and get one free.

The rink’s hours are 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays, 10 a.m. - 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, noon - 6 p.m. Sundays. Try it to say you did it! But don’t wait too long. After January 31, the rink gets packed up and stored away until next fall.

For more information about the rink and Klyde Warren’s other activities, see

(Next Friday -- Heard Natural Science Museum’s animatronic dinosaurs--catch them while you can!)

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