CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — While temperatures outside in the Richmond area are reaching close to 100 degrees, at the Richmond Ice Zone, it’s a cool 50 degrees, and nearly wintry.
“It’s wonderful,” said Gaby Corcoran, Richmond Ice Zone business manager and skating and program director. “I have a hoodie and a vest on. It’s great!”
From morning to night, at the privately owned ice rink in Chesterfield, recreational skaters, figure skaters, and hockey players leave the sweltering summer behind and embrace the winter sport.
This week, over a dozen figure skaters spun and leaped at the regulation National Hockey League-sized rink during early morning and afternoon practices. A cardio class kept another group of figure skaters in shape for their athletic feats.
At 6 p.m. midweek, at a Learn To Skate class, new participants learned balancing fundamentals so they wouldn’t take a tumble on the ice.
The rink opens to the public daily from 12 to 4 p.m. for open skate sessions. The entry fee is $16 with a $4 fee to rent skates.
On Wednesday, hockey teams had back-to-back practices from 7 p.m. until nearly midnight.
If you know of a child who wants a reprieve from the heat, there’s even a Summer Skating Camp planned from August 8 through 22 at Richmond Ice Zone’s sister rink, SkateNation Plus, in Glen Allen. The camp teaches the fundamentals of skating to the beginner or intermediate level skater, using a variety of methods including games. With full and half-day options, all camps include free skate rental for the week, snacks, and arts & crafts.
With temperatures expected to reach up to 100 degrees this weekend, those who want to escape the heat, lace up and hit the ice, can drop into open skate sessions at Richmond Ice Zone from 2 to 4 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday.
“People are glad to be out of the heat,” said Corcoran. “It’s great for parents to be able to watch their kids burn off energy in a cool environment. I had a mom tell me last night that she was so glad to be able to come and skate with her daughter and not have to worry about the heat. On a personal note, I love watching my son play hockey and I get to sit in a giant freezer.”