Places To Go Ice Skating

Hannah Elstro, MVC writer and photographer

Winter is in full swing, and with it comes many holiday traditions. Hot chocolate, lights, presents, and, of course, ice skating. 

Ice skating has a rich history, likely being invented as early as 1000 BCE. That history has continued to grow as sports, like ice hockey and ice dancing, continue to increase in popularity, bringing more notoriety to the beauty, agility, and grace of those who glide across the arenas. 

However, ice skating is not only for those in sports. In 2021, approximately 9.5 million people ages six and up skated at least once. And Indiana, as one of the northern states, has a large population of those interested in the ice skating experience. But where can they go? 

Well, Mt. Vernon High School services three towns: Fortville, McCordsville, and Mt. Comfort. However, many students also transfer from places like Greenfeild, Lawrence, and Fishers. The closest places to skate at, relative to MVHS, are in Fishers, Noblesville, Carmel, and Lawrence.

In Fishers, one of the closest places geographically to Mt. Vernon, there is the Indy Fuel Tank. The Indy Fuel Tank, known for often being used by Indiana’s own Indy Fuel hockey team for practice, is a large facility housing two rinks and a gym. Due to the large quantity of skaters during the public admissions time, the ice can be quite rough to skate on, with large gouges, bumps, and other similar defects which might make it difficult for beginning skaters to stay standing. Despite this, the rink itself is large and well-maintained, and most online criticisms seem to be for either the rough ice or customer service, which has little to do with the actual quality of the rink. The rink operates year round, as it is an indoor rink, and the admission is $9 per person, and $3 for the skate rental fee.

In Noblesville, another one of the closest towns to MVHS and the counties surrounding it, there is their Federal Hill Commons Ice Plaza. On their website this plaza is touted as a great place to “Skate, take a break, shop, grab lunch & come back,” but nothing is mentioned about the size of the rink. The rink itself is only a bit bigger than an indoor pool, which is great for young, local children, but might be too small for larger families to safely skate on. There are shops somewhat near it, but not directly next to it, and there is a large construction site near it. The rink is open from November 19th to January 9th. Tickets for those twelve and under are $11, including skate rental, and $13 for those thirteen and older.

For Carmel, there is the Ice at Center Green/Carmel Christkindlmarkt. According to the website, the rink runs from November 20th to December 24th. The biggest complaint seen online was that there were no referees and overcrowding. Tickets cost $12 per child ten and under, including skate rental, and $14 per teen/adult including skate rental. Attached to Ice at Center Green is Carmel Christkindlmarkt. This is open November 19th through December 30th, and is a large reason why many love this rink. 

The Christkindlmarkt hosts a village of 60 vendors next to what seems to be a rather large rink and venue. These vendors offer a variety of authentic German foods, drinks, and gifts that are, according to their website, sourced from Germany and German-speaking countries. Many online said they had a very good experience with the food, atmosphere, drinks, and the skating itself. 

Starting on November 26th, Lawrence holds a rink for its Winterfest in their Winterfest Civic Plaza. The rink itself is 60 by 80 feet, and is open for special events, such as their “Sensory Skate” on the 15th, or private bookings. They are only open Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, and it costs $5 for those twelve and younger, including the skate rental, and $10 for those 13 and up. According to their website, Lawrence’s rink is made from “a special synthetic material that recreates the glide of natural ice.” However, the Winterfest also includes movie nights, holiday markets, and live music, depending on the time. 

Unfortunately, there are actually very few rinks near MVHS. Many towns, such as McCordsville, Greenfield, and Mt. Comfort, do not have any sort of ice skating options, which is why almost all the rinks are ten to thirty minutes away. Despite the drive, though, ice skating at any of these locations is worth it, as it is a very fun holiday tradition that should be preserved.

An instructor demonstrates techniques to a student in private ice skating lessons at the Indy Fuel Tank rink.
During the public skating times at Indy Fuel Tank, there were also several events happening, including private lessons for ice dancers, individual practice for those in a children’s hockey team, and those in the public enjoying the ice.
Many adults as well as young children enjoy ice skating in the winter time, as evidenced by how packed the rink was.