Winter offerings

Skating and other activities at Dayton’s MetroParks

Photo: A broomball game taking place on the MetroParks ice rink

By Nick Hrkman

Skate into the Holidays

Keep your cabin fever at bay this winter by visiting the ice rink at RiverScape MetroPark. Whether you’re enjoying a fast-paced game of broomball or just want to relax and enjoy the panoramic view of the Great Miami River and downtown skyline while gliding around the region’s largest outdoor skating rink, RiverScape MetroPark offers activities and fun for all ages.

Staying physically active is more challenging during the winter than it is in warmer months. Skating, curling, and broomball can keep your body moving in a social atmosphere. If you’ve never tried these activities before, learn from helpful instructors during a Try It! session that will prepare you for a full season of entertainment, recreation or competition.


According to the United States Figure Skating Association, ice-skating is an aerobic, low impact exercise that helps tone muscle, strengthens leg and core muscle groups, and improves balance, agility, and flexibility. Recreational skating can burn up to 250 to 810 calories per hour, which is about as much as the average adult would burn by running five miles in the same time.

In addition to the health benefits, skating is fun! MetroParks Ice Rink hosts themed skates throughout the season, including School Pride Night, Michael Jackson Skate, ‘80s Skate, Sweetheart Skate and more. If you have a holiday like Martin Luther King Day or Presidents’ Day off, spend the day at the rink during special hours (see schedule online or in the latest issue of ParkWays). The rink will feature extra decorations around Christmas and New Years Day that you can appreciate from the heated, café-style seating area.

Don’t know how to skate? Ice rink lessons are offered as a three-week program available in December, January, and February. Upon signing up for the class, you’ll receive two free ice rink admission coupons at the first lesson. If you don’t have your own skates —don’t worry. Skates are provided as part of the lesson.

Family and individual season passes can be purchased at a 20 percent discount through Nov. 23. Season passes include skate rentals and 25 percent off all products, such as hot chocolate and funnel cakes, from the RiverScape Café.

Hate waiting in the cold for your skate rental? Thanks to Mechanical Systems of Dayton’s heating element, your wait will involve up to 90 percent less teeth chattering!


Looking forward to watching curling at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang? Try it yourself!

Learn about rocks, houses, brooms, and other curling terminology during the Learn to Curl event at RiverScape MetroPark on Nov. 30 at 6 p.m., presented by Curl Troy. If you’re already familiar with the Canadian craze, join as a team or an individual and play six games every Tuesday starting Jan. 9. The games last an hour and a half.

Register on Curl Troy’s website:


If you’re looking to try a new team sport, sign up for broomball. Related to ice hockey, players wear shoes rather than skates and use a broom-shaped stick to move a ball around the rink to score goals.

“We have folks who suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome who, no matter how cold it is outside, will come out to play because they enjoy it so much and get to have a chance to play on a team with their friends,” says Brian Buttrey of the Dayton Broomball Association.

Team registration begins after the Try Broomball event on Nov. 26. During the Try It! event, Dayton Broomball Association members will teach you the rules and basic techniques of the game. Afterward, you will be able to put what they learned to the test during a quick scrimmage. Helmets, sticks, and balls are provided, but it’s highly recommended that you bring your own gloves, kneepads, and shinguards to protect against falls and collisions.

To learn more, visit

Have a Parker Party

Private rink rentals can be booked online, but fill up fast! Reserve the rink for your event and get 50 cups of hot chocolate and 50 pairs of skates. Parker the Penguin can be added to the party for an additional fee. Rental spaces are available on Sunday evenings from 6 to 8 p.m.

How To Go:

RiverScape MetroParks Ice Rink

237 E. Monument Ave., Dayton Ohio 45402

Admission fee: $5 daily

Ice skate rental: $2 daily

Skaters ages 3 and younger are admitted free with a paying adult.

For current rink status, please call the ice rink at 937.278.2607.

During periods of inclement weather, the ice rink may not be open.

For up to date closures, please visit the RiverScape Facebook page.

Opening Day:

Nov. 24, 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.

For more information regarding hours of operation, please visit

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Reach DCP freelance writer Nick Hrkman at

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