Chill Out: Winter Sports in the Valley
Baby, it’s cold outside! But no matter what season it is, Valley dwellers love to get outdoors and play. Whether you’re a skier or a skater; an ice fisher or boater; we’ve got the lowdown on cool places to stay active this winter
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The best thing about ice skating in the Hudson Valley is it’s just the most amazing setting,” says Linda Magnusson-Rosario, an avid skater and president of the Hessian Lake Figure Skating Club, which meets at the Bear Mountain Ice Rink. It was there that Magnusson-Rosario fell back in love with the sport, something she hadn’t done since childhood. “Any adult who hasn’t skated in awhile should. There’s just a wonderful sense of grace, power, and glide,” she urges. “That look of pure joy a kid gets on their face? That’s what you get.”
Ready to strap on a pair of skates and brave a few turns around the ice? There are a number of diverse skating venues throughout the Valley. Bear Mountain, Windham Mountain, and the Pavilion at Mohonk Mountain House offer open-air skating, while several indoor rinks host year-round hockey and figure skating. And both Lake Taghkanic State Park and Polly Pond at Downing Park in Newburgh allow skating in appropriate conditions (though be forewarned: the ice is not groomed).
The Valley is also home to many other small ponds and lakes ideal for skating, but before you barrel out onto the ice to get your Kristi Yamaguchi on, check to see if the site has been designated as a safe-skating area by your town Parks and Recreation facility. If there are no signs indicating its safety, look for somewhere else to skate. In the unfortunate possibility you find yourself on cracking ice, lie down to spread out your weight and wait for help. And never try to rescue someone who has fallen through the ice — call 911.
Bear Mountain Ice Rink
Bear Mountain State Park.
845-786-2701, ext. 266;
Adults $4; Children (4-11) $3. Skate rental $4 a pair. Open through March 6, 2011.
Public sessions: Mon.,Tues., Fri.-Sun.
See Web site for times.
Skate under the open sky, surrounded by mountains, at the Valley’s largest open-air rink. Take the kids to the beautiful hand painted carousel featuring scenes from the park and 42 hand carved seats of native animals. Ice hockey, birthday parties, private sessions, the Hessian Lake Figure Skating Club, and rentals are offered.
McCann Ice Arena
Mid-Hudson Civic Center, Poughkeepsie. 845-454-5800, ext. 212;
Open year-round. Public sessions:
Mon.-Tues. 12-2 p.m.; Fri. 12-2 p.m.
& 7:15-9 p.m.; Sat.-Sun. 2-4 p.m.
There’s something happening for every member of the family at this large Dutchess County facility, including: Open freestyle sessions for advanced figure skaters, six days a week; advanced freestyle classes; learn to skate programs for kids, teens, and adults; Mommy & Me skating classes; Sticks n’ Pucks open hockey sessions; speed skating clinics; birthday parties; Dutchess Figure Skating Club; a pro shop; ice hockey lessons; and Friday Nite DJ Skate.
Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz. 845-256-2776; www.mohonk.com/recreation/ice_skating.cfm
Open through early April. Call for schedule and pricing information.
This unique open-sided pavilion ice rink features wooden roof beams, stone columns, and a statuesque 39-foot stone fireplace. Birthday parties, lessons, skating exhibitions, curling, broomball, and a skate shop are offered.
ICE SKATING (CONTINUED)
Conway Ice Rink
Hudson Valley Community College, Troy.
Open through March 13, 2011. Adults $3, children (2-17) & seniors (65 and up) $2. Skate rental $3. Public sessions: Mon.-Fri. 12-2 p.m., Sat.-Sun. 4-6:15 p.m.
This Capital Region facility has 18,000 square feet of ice. Learn to skate programs for beginners and intermediate skaters are offered through the college, along with weekend and evening skating lessons, a skate shop, and birthday parties. Group discounts are available.
Brewster Ice Arena
Open year-round. Adults $7, children (under 12) $5. Skate rental $3. Public sessions: Daily, check Web site for seasonal schedule information.
This massive northern Westchester ice mecca is open all year and has three separate ice rinks, a restaurant, and a gym, among many other amenities: a skating school with hockey clinics, group lessons, Future Rangers Beginner Hockey and Mini-Mite program, birthday parties, the Skating Club of Brewster, Recreational In-House and Travel Hockey Teams for adults and teens, Players Restaurant & Bar, and a pro shop.
Ice Time Sports Complex
Open year-round. Adults $8, children (5-12) $5. Skate rental $3. Public sessions: Tues. & Thurs. 11 a.m.-1 p.m.; Wed. 3:45-4:45 p.m.; Fri. 7:15-9 p.m.; Sat. 2-5:30 p.m.; Sun. 2-3:45 p.m.
This Newburgh sports facility runs skating programs all year. Don’t miss their Annual Holiday Showcase, Dec. 11, 6-8 p.m. Available activities include adult open hockey, birthday parties, learn to skate programs for children and adults, figure skating freestyle sessions, the Hudson Valley Figure Skating Club, youth and adult hockey programs and clinics, Sticks n’ Pucks, the Rink Side Sports Café, and a pro shop.
Windham Mountain Adventure Park
Open through March 21, 2011. Adults $10.
Skate rental $5. Public sessions: Daily, 10 a.m.-12 p.m., 1-3 p.m., 4-6 p.m., and 7-9 p.m.
This quaint open air skating area is located right near Windham’s famous snow tubing. Warm up next to the open-air fire pit.