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Escape summer heat at a North Pinellas ice skating rink

Sweltering heat. Humidity that is hazardous to your hair.

It's a veritable pressure cooker out there.

How about leaving the hot and steamy days and nights to the romance novelists and head for the ice ponds instead?

Here in North Pinellas, we are fortunate to have three frozen venues to call our own: the small but mighty ice rink anchoring Westfield Countryside Mall and two larger rinks, the Clearwater Ice Arena and Tampa Bay Skating Academy, both of which have rink temperatures averaging between 55 and 60 degrees.

Dress appropriately with layered clothing.

Ring rookies will want to start out on the public skating sessions, then perhaps advance to figure skating or hockey lessons. All three rinks offer skate rentals and private and group lessons designed for various ages and ability levels.

So c'mon, let's go for a spin.

Tampa Bay Skating Academy

255 Forest Lakes Blvd., Oldsmar

(813) 854-4010

tbsa.com

Billed as Florida's first twin ice rink, TBSA offers two NHL regulation-size rinks. One rink is being remodeled and will reopen in August. Sessions include public skating, figure skating, hockey and broomball. A dance studio is on the premises, as well as a full-service pro shop and Slapshots Bar and Grill, which offers wine and beer.

TBSA at Westfield Countryside Mall

27001 U.S. 19 N, Clearwater

(727) 723-7785

tbsa.com

Call it cool, but not cold, this 103-by 55-foot mall rink is a great place for skaters and spectators alike. In addition to public skating sessions, the rink offers lessons for figure skaters and beginning hockey players and the opportunity to be part of a performing drill team. There's a party room for birthday and other celebrations and a food court nearby.

Clearwater Ice Arena

13940 Icot Blvd., Clearwater

(727) 536-5843

clearwatericearena.com

In addition to public skating, sessions are held for figure skating, hockey and broomball. Live disc jockeys spin the tunes on Friday and Saturday nights. Special parties take place in the Chillerz club room with its own private access to the rink. There's a pro shop and snack bar with beer for adults.

Submit ideas for Diversions features to Terri Bryce Reeves at treeves@tampabay.rr.com Events must take place in North Pinellas.

Escape summer heat at a North Pinellas ice skating rink 07/28/11 [Last modified: Thursday, July 28, 2011 3:15pm]
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