With the frigid temperatures comes the more pleasant parts of winter: sledding, skiing, and ice skating.
Locally, skiing may not be a readily available option but ice skating certainly is. A newcomer to the Kalamazoo area who moved here over the summer recently asked about the best ice skating options on Kalamazoo's Reddit.
The question read,
Moved to the area over the summer and looking for a place I could ice skate on an indoor rink. I have my own skates. Any recommendations?
Considering I have the grace of a newborn calf trying to find its footing, I tend to stay away from activities that require me to have any kind of coordination. With that in mind, I have very little to contribute to this conversation. Thankfully, other locals do.
Here are at least 4 places where you can enjoy some ice skating this winter season:
1. Wings West
Located on Sports Drive in Kalamazoo, Wings West is home to the WMU Stallions. Aside from their games, they do offer "public skate" times pretty frequently. Admission will cost you $8 and, should you need to rent skates, that'll cost you $3. Find the full schedule here.
2. The Rink in Battle Creek
The Rink in Battle Creek is now family-owned and operated and wants to make ice skating available to all members of the community, according to their website. Skating will cost $7 per person with a $2 rental fee on skates. All skates are first come, first serve. Find the 'open skate' times on their schedule listed here.
3. John and Dede Howard Ice Arena
A little further away from the Kalamazoo area is the John and Dede Howard Ice Arena located in St. Joe. While they previously required reservations to use the rink, those will no longer be needed. The ice arena is family-friendly and offers frequent open skate times. Judging by their website, it doesn't look like there are any fees to use the arena however, you'll also need to bring your own skates. Find all of their information, including the schedule for opening skating, here.
4. The Ice Rink at Millennium Park
Millennium Park features a refrigerated ice rink that is now open for the season. Located in Portage, they do offer skate rentals, concessions, and more but, unfortunately, prices are not listed on their website. For more information, they recommend calling (269) 324-9200 during operating hours.
There was one more recommendation on the original post: The Greater Kalamazoo Skating Association. However, this seems like an adventure for those who are serious about skating versus those looking for a fun afternoon. You can find all of their information here.