Skate Or Die

By the time I was five, my mom had already figured out I was a little too chubby and clumsy to be a ballerina, but when I decided I wanted to be an ice skater, she didn’t have the heart to tell me that might not be the best fit, either. For four years, I donned brightly colored leotards and caught the carpool to the local hockey rink, where I failed miserably at learning the simplest turns and spins. All I really wanted to do was skate — on some quaint little frozen pond, like in the movies, or at an outdoor city rink aglow with Christmas lights. Alas, the vast suburbia I grew up in had neither of those options. Denver-area boys and girls don’t know how good they have it.

The holiday season is upon us, and not one, but five quaint and festive outdoor ice rinks are gearing up for a long season of “Jingle Bells” and hot cocoa. WinterSkate, opening today in downtown Louisville (824 Front Street), has an old-fashioned neighborhood feel as well as free horse-drawn carriage rides, holiday music, concessions and a fireplace to warm up. At the Rink at Belmar, meanwhile, today’s grand opening will be celebrated with free skating all day and a free party at 6 p.m. with cocoa, cookies and entertainment, including a dancing Christmas tree and a candy cane on stilts. Belmar’s Stephanie Jackson says the rink, located in the shopping center’s outdoor plaza, literally sparkles.

Already open for the season are WinterSkate at FlatIron Crossing and Longmont Ice Pavilion in Roosevelt Park, 725 Eighth Avenue. The Pond at Southlands, 6155 Main Street in Aurora, opens Tuesday. For information, including hours, pricing and rentals, go to for WinterSkate,, or
Sundays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.; Thursdays, 2-10 p.m.; Fridays, 12-10 p.m.; Saturdays, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Mondays-Wednesdays, 2-8 p.m. Starts: Nov. 2. Continues through Feb. 16, 2008


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