Kansas City is rich in family-friendly attractions, and Crown Center’s Ice Terrace is no exception! A Christmastime tradition for many families, the skating rink is in the heart of the city, and draws locals and tourists alike. Surrounded by some of our most sought after destinations, including LEGOLAND Discover Center, SEA LIFE Aquarium and Hallmark’s Kaleidoscope just to name a few, ice skating does not have to be the only stop in mind when visiting.
My boys and I recently had the chance to head there on a warm winter day and were pleasantly surprised to know the fun doesn’t have to end after the New Year! In fact, we can continue skating through March 8, practically spring break. And if I have to be honest, being out on the ice is much more enjoyable with sun shining on our backs as opposed to the blusteriness of December or January. With light jackets and stocking caps in hand, we had the most pleasant afternoon.
We picked up a few tips along the way Kansas City area moms might want to have in their back pocket for when they are ready to blow off some steam and make the most of all our great town has to offer.
Tips for when heading to Crown Center’s Ice Terrace:
- Regular admission is $7 per person, but skaters over the age of 60 or 4 and under are free.
- Skate rental is $4 per person, but guest may bring his or her own and avoid the fee.
- Parents can rent helmets for children for $2, but many simply bring a bike helmet from home if they are afraid of nasty spills.
- Lockers are available to hold purses, coats and valuables. For 50 cents, you can lock up anything you have and not have to worry about a diaper bag weighing you down on the ice.
- Crown Center offers free parking on weekends. In fact, you can practically park within just a few steps of the Ice Terrace entrance.
- Make sure to layer clothing. With the protection from wind because of tall, surrounding buildings, your heaviest winter coat may not be needed. We made sure to dress in layers so we would be cozy when adjusting to the ice, and then cool off once we had made several trips around the rink. After just a few minutes, we were content with hoodies, stocking caps and gloves. The gloves were also nice when the little ones would fall and brace themselves with their hands.
- Wear tall socks. We made the mistake of not bringing warm, tall socks, and both boys ended up with blisters worn by the skates. Luckily, they are stocked full of Band-Aids for moms who neglect to think of these sorts of details like myself! The attendants at the skate counter were more than happy to hand out as many as we needed.
- There is a snack bar inside with hot chocolate, bottled drinks, and light snacks for when all of the skating makes kids hangry! Use the Zamboni breaks to grab a treat and sit outside on one of the plentiful benches and watch them clear the ice. For my boys, this was almost as fun as the skating itself.
- Weekends and holidays are obviously peak times to visit, but to avoid the crowds, try to arrive early in the day or afternoon. They are open daily beginning at either 10 or 11 a.m. Check the schedule for hours before you head out.
- The rink is also available for birthday parties. What a perfect way to celebrate a winter birthday and wear kids out for the afternoon! Group rates are available to purchase.
- Be prepared to feel muscles in your legs the next day you never knew existed. Between squatting to keep a toddler upright to trying to glide gracefully without falling, I definitely received my lower body workout for the week!
Even though my boys looked eerily similar to a newborn baby deer when they first took to the ice, they adjusted surprisingly quickly. After one trip holding on to the rail, they were brave enough to begin attempting spins and trying to keep up with the local skate club who were proud to show off mind-blowing jumps and leaps. Let it be known, they were most definitely not able to keep up with them, but it was cute watching them try. Afterward, we hopped on the streetcar to see the sights of Chiefs Nation and grab a cheeseburger and fries. Skating, after all, does work up quite the appetite.
Take it from me; this is a late winter activity you do not want to miss. Your kids and quads will thank you for making the trip!