Skating Away the Stress at Ontario Ice Skating Center

Maureen Wolff  |  Contributing Writer

With its vintage posters, Pac-Man machine and quarter slots, the Ontario Ice Skating Center is just rundown enough to have that well-loved, old-school vibe. Less than 30 minutes from APU, the place evokes a sense of childhood nostalgia hailing back to the good ol’ days I spent wobbling around my local rollerblading rink. Nine dollars and 50 cents will cover skate rental ($8 admission if you bring your own), then it’s time to hit the ice.

On a particularly warm Saturday evening, the cool air blowing off the ice provided sweet relief from the 90-degree heat. Skill levels on the ice varied wildly from timid adults waddling like penguins around the outskirts to the girl spinning and gliding effortlessly in the center of the ice. I’d put myself somewhere in the middle of this spectrum, maybe a little closer to wobbling status.

Though I’ve done my fair share of roller skating, I’ve only ice skated once before in my life. The second my blades hit the ice, I was clinging for dear life to the walls around me. But to my dismay, the area where skaters could hold on quickly ended. Like a baby bird traumatically pushed out of its nest too early, I was forced to rough it with nothing to hold on to but my belief in myself.

Without warning, the house lights turned off, the disco lights turned on and the music turned up. Revolving disco balls sent bright streaks of light across the rink as a mix of Top 40, techno and timeless classics had skaters busting a move on the ice.

A word to the wise: Don’t get overly ambitious and try to sing, dance and skate at the same time. It gets tricky (speaking from personal experience) and could also potentially become painful.

If you’re in need of some end-of-semester stress relief, “Skating with Disco Lights” runs every Friday and Saturday 8-10 p.m. Bring your inner child and some friends who don’t take themselves too seriously, because you can never be too cool for the ice, pun intended.

For Ontario Ice Skating Center’s hours and programs, visit

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