Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ice in the Green Park

In continuing with our Local Tourist Challenge, Shane and I decided to go ice skating in Discovery Green (  I first saw the rink last year, and really wanted to go, but of course, never got around to making it.

So, this year, I was determined to ice skate on the tiny rink where the model boat basin on Kinder Lake ususally lies.  The fact that the City of Houston has managed to put ice, and keep it frozen, in the middle of Discovery Green throughout our unusually hot holiday season is astounding.  That being said, the ice does melt quickly, and so be prepared for small puddles of water on the rink. 

From the website, here are a few quick facts about the rink:

At 7,200 square feet and ice at a frosty 22 degrees, with over 17-miles of cooling pipe under the ice!

Recycled water from Kinder Lake is used to help chill the ice.

Power used for the rink, including freezing of the surface, is 100% renewable energy.

The Ice at Discovery Green is dedicated to Houstonians Jack Bennett and Evelyn Hoop Bennett. Jack and Evelyn met in 1936 on the ice at Houston’s old Polar Wave Ice Palace, just blocks away from Discovery Green. The couple fell in love on the ice, married, and continued to skate their entire life, well into their 80s. Until recently, the distinguished Mr. and Mrs. Bennett glided around the ice hand-in-hand, Jack in his coat and tie, and Evelyn always graceful in a stylish dress and pom-pom-topped skates. A true love story on the ice. A truly inspiring couple for skaters of all ages.

The rink is open most nights until 11 PM.  We went in the evening, and, in my opinion, it really is the best time to go.  The colors, the lights, the artwork, everything looks so beautiful, not to mention romantic.

Discovery Green at night
 The process of buying the tickets ($10.00pp) and getting the skates was rather painless on a Thursday evening. It probably is a lot more hectic on a weekend.  I was surprised to find a little food stand (the Snack-N-Skate Shop) with popcorn that looked scrumptuous and instant hot chocolate, among other goodies. 

If you have $1.00 in quarters, and are lucky, then you can store your shoes in a tiny locker (I mention luck because on a full day, the 30 or so lockers are probably completely full), otherwise you are stuck having to hide your stuff under the benches around the rink. 

We were definitely the only adults without children, and after almost tripping over a few 6 year olds, we decided to call it quits rather quickly.  The rink is too small and wet to truly enjoy the skating part of it.  I felt like I just traveled a few feet before I had to start maneuvering my turns (and, much like Zoolander...I'm left-turn challenged).  However, the experience is definitely one worth having.  It is the closest you can get in Houston, to skating at the Rockeffeller Center in New York City.

I definitely want to return to the Ice Rink for the Silver Screen at Discovery Green, and other of the scheduled events.

1 comment:

  1. Here, let me add the photo credit for you: Photo by Jeff Balke. (That's for the second photo, which came from his Flickr feed.)

    You're welcome!