In Saugerties, the Kiwanis Ice Arena proclaims an "Olympic-size ice rink" and is a part of the Cantine Veterans' Memorial Complex. It's fully enclosed, so if the roads allow you to get there, you're good to go. Barry Mower, the day manager there, said that ice skating is more popular these days, because "When I grew up, we never had this ice rink."
The rink's been open since 2002. As far as attendance, Mower said that it's "not as good as last year, but it's not our busy season." That comes, according to this Saugerties native, right after the holidays.
The schedule for open skating includes two early-morning sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays, from 6:15 to 7:45 a.m. On Saturdays and Sundays - probably the busiest times for parties, lessons and hockey teams - open skating is between 2 and 6 p.m. On Tuesdays and Wednesdays, seniors skate for only $4 between 10:15 a.m. and 1:45 p.m.
Regular admission is $6 for adults, $4 for students six and up and free to kids five and under. Call the Kiwanis rink at (845) 247-2590 for exact open-skate times and upcoming special events, or go to the website at www.saugerties.ny.us/parks for more information.
The McCann Ice Arena in Poughkeepsie, within the Mid-Hudson Civic Center, claims official National Hockey League proportions: 85 feet by 200 feet (close to Olympic, which one source notes at 98 feet by 200 feet). It too offers ice time to many Hudson Valley youth organizations and hockey leagues. It's available for birthday parties and "private use," perhaps like that romantic interlude in Adam Sandler's Happy Gilmore.
Public skating hours appear to be somewhat limited at the McCann: Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays from noon to 2 p.m., Fridays 7:15 to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays from only 2 to 4 p.m. Extra hours have been added on New Year's Day: from noon to 2 p.m. Friday nights is a Deejay Skate for $10 per person. Otherwise, admission is $6 for adults and $4 for kids. Skate rentals are $3.
The McCann Ice Arena is at 14 Civic Center Plaza in Poughkeepsie. Call (845) 454-5800 or go to www.midhudsonciviccenter.com for more information.
For real atmosphere, you can't beat the Victorian open-air pavilion skating rink at the Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz. Unveiled in 2001, it features open sides and wooden roof beams. Stone columns and a 39-foot stone fireplace, built from conglomerate taken directly from the surrounding Shawangunk Mountains, complete the scene.
Being at the mercy of the elements, the 9,375-square-foot rink is open only from Thanksgiving through April. Mohonk also hosts curling and broomball events, and offers skating lessons, exhibitions and parties. Call ahead at (845) 255-1000 for information on open-skate times and rates. Day visitors may ice-skate midweek for a fee of $25 per person per session. Please call the Pavilion at
(845) 256-2775 to inquire about weekend availability for ice-skating. Fees includes complimentary use of ice-skates, access to the ice, and self-parking at the Mountain House. Reservations are not required, but it is recommended that skaters call the Pavilion prior to their visit for the most up-to-date information on the time and availability of skate sessions. Mohonk skate sessions are on a first-come, first-served basis.