Jan. 8—The Mentor Ice Arena offers a variety of things that continue to be a draw to children and adults, according to Colleen Thomas, program director.
The arena hosted an annual Mentor Skate Day on Jan. 7 at 8600 Munson Road. The event was free, open to the public and helped to bring in all ages of people to try ice skating, Thomas said.
"Nation Skating Month was created by U.S. Figure Skating in 2018 throughout the country," she said. "The month they chose is January to help gain more interest and information in regard to the sport of ice skating."
Though the event was busy, there was a short wait for skates, Thomas said. Helmets were required for anyone under 11.
"We have them free, though a limited amount," she said. "Bike helmets work just fine."
The arena's open skates, open for all ages, have a themed event once a month. It also offers teen nights for middle and high school students, and on every Friday, the arena offers a home school skate.
In addition, learn to skate classes, adult classes, youth hockey teams, figure skating and synchronized skating all take place at the arena throughout the year. It also has an adult hockey league for the summer, spring and fall.
"The arena offers a special sport class by the Special Sport Organization that matches each skater with a one-on-one helper for each for anyone with any type of disability," Thomas said. "This brings so many smiles to many faces in this group. Through the holidays, we offer three open skates a day for families to enjoy together and we offer family skate with Santa."
Many of the arena's events feature a DJ.
"We are the only rink in Lake County, so we draw from surrounding areas because of all that we offer," Thomas said. "We are a two and a half arena facility that is open year round."
Thomas said people enjoy ice skating because it's a social experience for friends and families.
"Ice skating is a lifelong sport, as well as a great workout and also helps balance and encourages confidence," she said. "This year's theme is, 'Join the Fun, Skating is for Everyone.' That is why this event was started. It is a great lifetime sport for everyone."
Much of the credit for the arena's successes goes to the staff, said Mentor Ice Arena Manager Bill Furman.
"From the staff responsible for developing our programs to the staff responsible for providing a great arena experience to keep our skaters coming back, every one of our team members can claim a portion of responsibility for the growth of the skating sports in Mentor," he said. "We also credit all of our user groups and customers for the continued rise in numbers. These groups work hard every day to deliver on a great experience for their members."
Many friends continue to be made at the arena and those friends tend to remain together either on or off the ice for many years, Furman said.
To learn more about the arena, visit its website www.mentoricearena.com or its Facebook page.