Axels to Grind

How do you escape the pressures of the holidays, like, really quick? Bundle up, drop your packages in the trunk, pinch your cheeks until they glow and strap on a pair of silver skates, Hans Brinker, for a glide across the frozen expanse at one of the region's many old-fashioned ice-skating rinks, which never seem to go out of style. And unless you're Apolo Ohno, keep your sense of humor intact and be prepared to end up on your heinie at least once during the ride.

The following are open for business across the Front Range: The Rink at Belmar, Wadsworth Boulevard and Alameda Avenue in Lakewood, where skating is retro-hip and available daily through February 24; admission is $4 to $6 for a one-hour session, plus $2 skate rentals. Don't miss the free annual Dated Holiday Sweater Night on December 6; call 303-742-1520 or go to www.belmarcolorado.com. And just off the Pearl Street Mall, the Ice Rink at One Boulder Plaza, 1801 13th Street in Boulder, is also open daily through mid-February; admission is $3 to $5, with a $3 skate rental fee, or purchase a ten-visit pass. Call 303-209-3722 or go to www.bouldericerink.com.

The hottest event at WinterSkate, open daily through February 18 at 824 Front Street, Louisville, is the Holiday Magic family festival on December 8; a second WinterSkate is also open this year at FlatIron Crossing, 1 West FlatIron Circle in Broomfield. Skating fees at both are $3 to $5, plus $3 for skate rentals; visit www.bouldercreekevents.com for information. And finally, out in the Aurora boonies, the Pond at Southlands, E-470 and Smoky Hill Road, offers respite from shopping daily through March 1; skating costs $7 to $9 per hour (the latter price includes skates). Log on to www.shopsouthlands.com/thepond.asp for details.
Fridays, Saturdays, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Mondays-Thursdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 24, 12-4 p.m.; Mon., Dec. 31, 12-4 p.m.; Thursdays, Fridays, 4-9 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Starts: Nov. 17. Continues through Feb. 24, 2007

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd