It's Great to Skate!
Lace up the kids’ boots for some ice time in NJ.
Updated: December 2013
Ice skating is a wonderful activity for both kids and adults. Glide or fall, it is a fun way for families to spend time together that everyone can enjoy. Skating is also great exercise that provides a cardiovascular workout as well as helps to increase muscle and build endurance. Although many may associate it with winter, with the option of skating indoors or out, it is an activity that kids can participate in year-round.
Children as young as three years old can begin learning how to skate. While some children seem to take to it naturally, for others it may take some time and patience to get the hang of it.
Once kids have the basics down, they can skate around just for fun or participate in a variety of skating-based activities, all of which we’ve outlined here for you!
(Scroll down, or click here for our list of skating venues in NJ.)
My daughter began taking figure skating lessons after witnessing Sasha Cohen compete in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin. Figure skating is fun, creative, and also challenging. Kids can participate in figure skating individually or as part of team, recreationally or competitively—take your pick.
Within figure skating, there are many disciplines to choose from, including singles, pairs, and synchronized skating (where teams skate on the ice as a group, moving as one flowing unit at high speeds). Becoming proficient takes talent, time, and determination. Children will need to master basic skating skills before advancing to more advanced moves such as spins, turns, and jumps.
If this isn't intense enough for your kid ...
Ice hockey is an extremely fast-paced team sport. Whatever their age, players must wear protective gear, including a helmet, mouthguard, and shoulder pads. Before learning to play ice hockey, kids should be proficient skaters. Most ice hockey programs begin at age 4. Although people may think of ice hockey as a sport for boys, girls can participate as well.
Speed skating involves racing in a circle for a set distance, and the fastest skater wins. Although to some it might sound boring to skate in circles, flying around a rink at high speed can be exhilarating for even the youngest of competitors. Speed skating requires strength, skill, and concentration.
We’ve compiled a list of indoor rinks in the New Jersey area. Be sure to call or check the individual website in advance to confirm public skate times, skate rental information, and prices.
- Cutting Edge Ice Academy, Elmwood Park, 201-773-6647
- Fritz Dietl Ice Rink, Westwood, 201-666-9883
- Ice House, Hackensack, 201-487-8444
- Clary Anderson Arena, Montclair, 973-744-6088
- Richard J. Codey Arena at South Mountain, West Orange, 973-731-3828
- Richard J. Korpi Ice Rink, Bayonne, 201-858-6000
- Ice Land, Hamilton, 609-588-6672
- Old Bridge John Piccolo Arena, Old Bridge, 732-607-7971
- ProSkate NJ, Monmouth Junction, 732-940-6400
- The Arenas at Woodbridge, Woodbridge, 732-596-4103
- The Rock Ice Center, Dunellen, 732-752-8600
- Aspen Ice At Randolph, Randolph, 973-927-9122
- Mennen Sports Arena, Morristown, 973-326-7651
- Twin Oaks Ice Rink, Morristown, 973-292-5699
- Bridgewater Sports and Ice Arena, Bridgewater, 732-627-0006
- ProTecHockey Ponds Ice Center, Somerset, 732-868-9181
Randi Mazzella, mother of three, is a freelance writer from Short Hills. Check out her personal essays on parenting.