Skating into the New Year and other places to skate

Hitting the ice at the Olympic Speedskating Oval in Lake Placid (Photo provided — Diane Chase)

My family always enjoys ice skating in the winter, whether it is an outside pond or inside rink. I like that I can just keep my ice skates in my van and always be ready for that impromptu skate. If you aren’t going to be around for New Year’s Eve, skip straight to the bottom of this column and see a listing of all ice skating venues around the Adirondack Tri-Lakes and High Peaks.

If you are looking for a unique, healthy alternative for ringing in the New Year, my family’s favorite options are Saranac Lake’s official First Night with 20 diverse performers and 40 scheduled shows at 10 different venues, as well as Lake Placid’s Skating into the New Year. We typically manage to attend parts of both events and still see fireworks at the end of the night.

The 10th annual Skating into the New Year begins Sunday, Dec. 31 at 10:30 p.m. at the Lake Placid Olympic Speed Skating Oval and wraps up at 12:30 a.m. There will be music, a bonfire, door raffles and sweet treats offered.

The cost for skating is only $5 for adults. There is no cost for children or students (with a valid student ID). The one request is for everyone to bring a nonperishable food item. All proceeds benefit the Lake Placid Food Pantry. It’s really a win-win.

Since the weather has been fluctuating lately some community rinks are being re-flooded to preserve that smooth icy surface. I always find it a source of relief that I know these rinks are safe and maintained by area Tri-Lakes towns.

Below is a list of outside rinks and indoor ice arenas that are community maintained. Ice times for indoor rinks can fluctuate. All outside rinks are weather dependent. Enjoy!

-Lake Placid 1932 Olympic Arena, 2634 Main St. (518-523-1655) admission

-Lake Placid Olympic Speed Skating Oval, 2634 Main St., admission

-Mirror Lake Beach Rink, Corner of Parkside Drive and Mirror Lake Drive, Lake Placid: hockey and free skate, weather dependent

-Lake Placid Ice Track, Mirror Lake- Free ice skating loop (check for closure signs)

-Wilmington Recreation Park, Park Lane: free outside rink, weather dependent, lighted area for evening skating.

-Saranac Lake Civic Center, 225 Ampersand Ave. (518-891-3800)

Outside rink: free, lighted for evening skating, and warming hut. Inside Civic Center: public skating hours vary, admission fee

-Bloomingdale Public Rink, Roosevelt Street: two rinks: one hockey, one free skate: free, lighted for evening skating, weather permitting. Hours of operation are: Monday through Friday from 4 to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m.

-Keene Community Center, 8 Church St., Keene: free outside rink

-Tupper Lake Civic Center, McLaughlin Avenue, (518-359-2531) free indoor public skating. Weekdays: noon to 3 p.m., weekend and holiday hours vary.

-Municipal Park, Demars Boulevard, Tupper Lake (518-359-3328): free outside rink, lighted for evening skating.

For information about Saranac Lake’s First Night, check out FirstNightSaranacLake.org. I hope you find that perfect place to spend time with your family and friends.

.Diane Chase is the author of the “Adirondack Family Activities” guidebook series, “Adirondack Family Time: Your Four-Season Guide to Over 300 Activities.” For more family-friendly activities go to www.adirondackfamilytime.com.

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