Every winter, across from Lithia Park, a seemingly simple parking lot turns into one of the hottest attractions in downtown Ashland. The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink, open until Feb. 26, is popular with everyone from toddlers clinging to their parents' legs to pro skaters, gliding over the ice like fish slipping through water.
The first element you'll notice if you go to the rink is the glassy white ice and a large blue Zamboni machine, waiting at ease for when it will be needed to smooth out the surface. The ice iron doesn't idle for long, considering the hordes of people who huddle in the rink most nights. Music, from Jimi Hendrix to modern pop songs and ballroom dance, fills the air, competing with the sounds of laughter and people talking. Insert yourself into this jumble and it makes for the perfect winter evening or afternoon diversion.
Located at 95 Winburn Way, the rink has a facility that rents skates, from kid-sized up to adult size 13, and sells gloves, hats and hot chocolate. A small cafe is also on the premises. Plus, the playground is right across the street, which is a great escape for apres-skating playtime.
An Ashland Day is a series of photo-driven looks at Ashland outdoor activities. To share your favorite place to go or thing to do, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The hours vary daily. Check out the Ashland Parks and Rec department or www.ashland.or.us/Files/IceRinkSchedule_NovDec12-13_Online.pdf for more information.
Amelia Covert Zeve, 13, is an Ashland-based writer and wilderness enthusiast who attends Ashland Middle School. Contact her at email@example.com.