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Best Places To Go Ice Skating In Tampa Bay

October 30, 2012 3:00 PM

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(credit: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

(credit: Daniel Mihailescu/AFP/Getty Images)

iceskating Best Places To Go Ice Skating In Tampa Bay

(credit: Thinkstock)

People looking for refuge from Tampa Bay’s long, hot summers can hit the beaches or swimming pools to cool off, but another escape is readily available. Ice skating rinks have sprung up all over the area. Whether you’re an expert or someone just looking for a chance to try something new, there’s a rink near you.

Ice Sports Forum
10222 Elizabeth Place
Tampa, FL 33619
(813) 684-7825
www.theicesportsforum.com

The Ice Sports Forum is about 10 miles from the heart of downtown Tampa. Take the Selmon Crosstown Expressway and turn left on Falkenburg Road. Go about about a mile and a half and turn right on Elizabeth Place to find what is arguably the premiere ice skating rink in the Tampa Bay area. The Ice Sports Forum is the practice facility for the National Hockey League’s Tampa Bay Lightning and visiting teams. The Ice Sports Forum offers a chance for the most casual beginner to give skating a try with the help of professional instructors. For more serious skaters, there are figure skating classes and hockey leagues for all age groups. The fully stocked pro shop makes sure that everyone has the proper equipment for the best possible experience. Public skating is available at $6.54 and skate rentals are $2.81.

Westfield Countryside Mall
27001 U.S. Highway 19 N.
Clearwater, FL 33761
(727) 723-7785
www.westfield.com

Located in the heart of Clearwater, Westfield Countryside Mall has offered ice skating for the curious locals or nostalgic snowbirds long before the Tampa Bay Lightning came on the scene. Going north on U.S. 19 from the Courtney Campbell Causeway, you’ll take the Countryside Exit and the mall will be on your left. The rink offers rentals and lessons and a low-key way for anyone who’s never skated to get acquainted with the activity or a veteran skater who’s out of practice to get back in the swing of things. Rates start at $8 for admission and $4 for skate rental with a full line of lessons, organized hockey and figure skating programs. There are a number of discount programs available, including “cheap skate nights” and coupon books.

Related: Best Cycle Shops in Tampa Bay

Tampa Bay Skating Academy
255 Forest Lakes Blvd.
Oldsmar, FL 34677
(813) 854-4010
www.tbsa.com

The Oldsmar location of the Tampa Bay Skating Academy offers easy access to the Town ‘N’ Country area of Tampa as well as the Countryside area of Pinellas County. Heading west out of Town ‘N’ Country, you’ll take West Hillsborough Avenue about six miles to a right turn on Tampa Road. A mile up Tampa Road, you’ll turn right on Forest Lakes Boulevard. With two full-size ice rinks, TBSA has plenty of room for public skating, hockey leagues and high-quality figure skating lessons. Adult admission is $8 and for children it’s $7. Skate rentals are available for $3.50. Group rates are available.

Clearwater Ice Arena
13940 Icot Blvd.
Clearwater, FL 33760
(727) 536-5843
www.clearwatericearena.com

In the bustling gateway section of Pinellas County with easy access from the Howard Frankland Bridge, the Clearwater Ice Arena is about five miles east of the bridge on Ulmerton Road in the fabulous Icot business center. Its central location makes for access easy from Largo, Clearwater and Pinellas Park. Public skating rates start at $7.95 for adults and $6.95 for children six and under. Skate rentals start at $3.95. Most skating rinks offer hockey leagues for various age and skill groups, but Clearwater Ice Arena also offers a chance for unaffiliated players to play in pick-up games several times a week. Some of the pick-up games are by invitation only, so it would be a good idea to call for exact days and times. Budding young hockey players can receive coaching and playing opportunities in all age groups and aspiring figure skaters have skilled coaches available.

Ice Dreams Arcade
5309 29th St. E.
Ellenton, FL 34222
(941) 723-3663
www.ellentonice.com

Just south of the Sunshine Skyway off Interstate 75 is where you’ll find the Ice Dreams Arcade. Located near the famous Ellenton Outlet Mall, Ice Dreams is only about four miles south of the I-275/I-75 interchange. Marked by its unique igloo-style geodesic dome roof, it’s hard to miss. Public skating is available most days but some days, especially on weekends, the facility may be reserved for special events. Regular admission is $8 but seniors over age 55 can enter for $6.50. Skate rentals are $4. Discount coupon books are also available. Along with hockey leagues and figure skating lessons, the 115,000-square-foot center offers a full-service fitness center as well as indoor flag football and indoor soccer.

Related: Best Hiking Trails in Tampa Bay

Mike Hennessy is a veteran news man who has won Florida AP awards for feature reporting and covered almost every kind of story imaginable from on-the-scene coverage of Hurricane Andrew, to some of the highest profile murder and corruption trials in Florida history. Mike is versatile and has the curiosity it takes to get to the bottom line of any story. His work can be found at Examiner.com.

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