Cheap Date: Lace Up the Skates


It is that time of year again; when the cool, crisp winter air quickens your step and and the picturesque mountains are dusted with snow. With this winter chill comes all kinds of cold weather activities that are a lifestyle for Oregonians. Among them–Ashland’s outdoor ice skating rink, that was founded in 1996, opened for the season this week.

November 21st was the third annual First Frost celebration of the Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink. Close to 200 people showed up for ice sculpting by Roger Butterfield, a performance by the Southern Oregon Figure Skating Club, hockey exhibition games, and  the rec skate to live music from DJ Hope.

While the weather may make people want to hide inside– the ice rink offers people a fun activity to do outside during the winter months. The parks and recreation department offers a range of ice activities including adult hockey, figure skating lessons, and free skate sessions. Every day the rink is filled with people of all ages and skill levels testing their balance on the ice. Cory, a shift leader at the rink, says that the best part of his job is “seeing people come back all season, day after day, and getting better and better.”

SOU senior, Rebecca Lupescu remember a few years back going to the rink with her boyfriend. She recalls, she was sick and “god awful” at ice skating, while her boyfriend just glided along. Eventually she ended up “befriending this other lady who also wasn’t very good, and sat there watching my boyfriend.” Despite the cold, and her lack of skating ability Rebecca said she still enjoyed the date.

SOU junior, Atalie Frank agrees that a date at the rink is an excellent idea for those who are looking to do something romantic without breaking the bank. Frank says, “ it’s very cheap and all the lights make it romantic especially at night!”

Aspen Abbott, also a junior at SOU, and her friends are very excited to go skating at the rink. Abbott says, “[skating] is a great group activity no matter how good or bad you are at skating.” She can’t wait for her and her friends to go lace up their skates and hit the ice.

On most Thursday nights bring your student ID and get admission and a skate rental for 5 bucks, or if you have your own skates you can pay just 3 bucks to get in.

Ashland’s ice rink is located across from Lithia Park at 95 Winburn Way, for more information check the city’s website. It stays open until the end of February.