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Areas just south of Hall offer family ice skating options
0211-GO-THE-ICE-RINK
Ice skaters glide around the rink set up outside in downtown Sugar Hill. The rink, which is the same size as Rockefeller Center rink in New York City, is open to public skating until Feb. 15. Other indoor rinks in Cumming, Duluth and Alpharetta are open year-round.

Ice skating in North Atlanta

The Ice Rink at Sugar Hill
What: Public skating
When: through Feb. 15
Where: 5039 West Broad St., Sugar Hill
Cost: $12 adults and $10 children
More info: icerinkatsugarhill.com

The Ice
What: public skating, lessons, parties and hockey
When: Year-round
Where: 1345 Atlanta Highway, Cumming
Cost: $7 adults, $5 children younger than 5 plus $3 skate rental
More info: www.theice.info/Live/default.html

The Cooler
What: Public skating, lessons, parties, hockey and figure skating
When: Year-round
Where: 10800 Davis Drive, Alpharetta
Cost: $9 to $12, with $3 skate rental fee.
More info: www.coolerathletics.com

Atlanta IceForum
What: Public skating, lessons, parties, hockey and figure skating
When: Year-round
Where: 2300 Satellite Blvd., Duluth
Cost: $8 adults and $4 children plus $4 skate rental
More info: www.iceforum.com

In other parts of the country, it’s a popular winter pastime. But not as many children in Georgia spend the season ice skating.

However, opportunities are available in the region for people of all ages to skate. Both seasonal and year-round skating rinks can be found just outside Hall County, including rinks in Sugar Hill, Cumming, Alpharetta and Duluth.

“We are open to the general public, any age,” said Carmelia Ferguson who owns the Ice Rink at Sugar Hill with her husband. “It’s big for families to come here.”

The Ice Rink is situated nicely at 5039 W. Broad St. in downtown Sugar Hill, within view of the city clock tower and under a massive white tent.

“It’s an outdoor skate rink for the city of Sugar Hill,” she said. “It’s very big — the biggest one in Georgia — and the same size as the Rockefeller Center rink. It’s very beautiful, with lights during the night and a disco ball to color the ice at night. It’s very popular with teenagers.”

The Ice Rink is open 4-10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, 1-10 p.m. Sunday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.

Ferguson said they have skates for size 8 toddlers to size 15 adults. Admission is $12 for adults and $10 for children, which includes the skate rental. They also have a private teacher, who has been offering skating lessons.

Opportunities to skate at this rink are coming to an end, however. The rink opened in November, and it will close for the season Monday.

But year-round rinks are just a bit farther of a drive from Gainesville.

The Ice, a skating and ice hockey complex at 1345 Atlanta Highway in Cumming, offers more than public skating opportunities.

“We have public skating Tuesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays,” The Ice manager Steve Whitfield said. “All those times are available on the website, and we actually add some additional times during the spring and summer, too.”

The Ice has a learn-to-skate program Tuesdays and Saturdays as well, for anyone age 5 and older who wants to learn.

Whitfield said other programs include learn-to-play hockey, a youth hockey league and travel program and private skating lessons.

Birthday parties are very popular at The Ice as well, he said.

“And we have the Atlanta Amateur Hockey League, which is an adult hockey league that plays out of here, too,” he said.

The Cooler, at 10800 Davis Drive in Alpharetta, offers the same opportunities, with public skating sessions, ice skating lessons, plus hockey and figure skating teams and leagues.

The Cooler is one of the largest skating centers in the region, with two ice rinks and a roller arena.

Public skating times are available every day of the week at the Cooler, and the cost to skate varies from $9 to $12, with an additional $3 skate rental fee.

Finally, Atlanta IceForum has a location at 2300 Satellite Boulevard in Duluth, which offers public skating, lessons, parties, hockey and figure skating.

Atlanta IceForum also has multiple public skating sessions seven days of the week. Admission is $8 for adults, $4 for children and $4 to rent skates.

Between the four nearby skating rinks, Hall County residents can lace up their skates and get on the ice.

“We have a lot of people come here from Gainesville,” Ferguson said.

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