Skate into an active winter season


With winter upon us, it’s important to find ways to stay active, especially in a state where we see so many months of cold and snow. I have the tendency to want to curl up on the couch and binge watch multiple seasons of my favorite television shows, so I have trouble finding motivation to exercise during this time of year.

Column by Hilary Igl Staff Writer
Column by Hilary Igl
Staff Writer

I’ve heard ice skating is a great calorie burner, while still being fun. I’m not much of a skater, but it has always been a talent I have admired. There are a few outdoor skating rinks in the area set to open in the beginning of this month (December) or whenever the ice is thick enough, which hadn’t happened yet. Instead, I went to the public skate at the Janesville Ice Arena.

My friend and I arrived about half an hour after public skate began Saturday night. The ice was filled with children, teens and adults of varying skill levels. I was impressed with how many kids were fearlessly skating around the rink. If they fell, they would get up, brush their clothes off and continue skating.

One of the only critiques I have was the ice was pretty rough by the time we were skating. I snagged a few large divots in the ice, but I was fortunate enough not to fall. I suppose the roughness shows how popular public skate is at this arena.

As I expected, the ice rink blasted upbeat Top 40s’ music over the loud speakers to keep people moving.  At almost every song break, the teens were off to the side of the rink on their cell phones (despite the “no cell phones in arena” sign), which was a bit disappointing to me.

At around 9 p.m., an employee set up a limbo game at the center of the arena. Most of the kids and teens lined up to see if they could skate under the limbo stick. Although I didn’t test my skills (skating is enough of a challenge without the added stunts) it was quite entertaining to watch.

My friend and I skated for an hour. Public skate was offered in two-hour segments Saturday, but we were tired after our many circles around the rink. For $6.50 per person and $2 rental skates, this was a fun and economical way to spend a night out, even if it was just an hour.

The Janesville Ice Arena offers evening public skating sessions every weekend, and will have additional public skating hours over winter break. For their events calendar, information about private ice rental, group rates and skating fees call: (608) 755-3015. Or visit:

RP Outdoors is an occasional column in the Royal Purple .

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