Photo: Connor McCourtney
For a fun, cheap date (but not too cheap), look farther than Drake University’s Agora and Jethro’s Barbecue—Brenton Skating Plaza has great deals daily and offers 2-for-1 admission during “Cheap Skate” hours every Monday night from 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Normal prices are $3.50 for adults and $2.50 for children, with skate rental costing $3. From 11 a.m.-2 p.m. every weekday, it costs $5 for admission, rental and includes hot chocolate and a cookie.
Located at 520 Robert D. Ray Drive, about 10 minutes from campus, Brenton Skate Plaza is ideal for those who are young and old; and for novice or expert skaters.
According to Brenton Skate Plaza employee Kaci Mclain, Brenton is the only ice rink in Des Moines that offers public skating seven days a week. The ice rink opens right before Thanksgiving each year and closes around Spring Break time. The rink is scheduled to close Sunday, March 6 this year.
Brenton Skate Plaza also offers broomball: A sport in which players wear rubber-soled shoes and use a broom-like stick to hit a ball into a net. Brenton Skate Plaza has a broomball league that practices every week during the winter.
For his first time skating on ice, first-year student Ethan Clevenger chose Brenton Skate Plaza because the rink is so close to campus.
“It was my first time skating, but I picked it up pretty quick,” Clevenger said. “It was a fun social activity that you could do with lots of people. A great way to get out of the residence halls.”
Ten-year-old Amber Swinehart began taking ice skating lessons at Brenton Skating Plaza last winter. She was a beginning skater and fell down her first time on the ice, earning a large bruise on her shoulder. However, Swinehart kept returning to the ice and became instantly charmed by the sport.
“I wanted to learn how to skate and I was determined to get better,” Swinehart said. She has returned to the ice rink this winter with her grandmother, Suzanne Stevens, to carry on her love for ice skating.
“It’s an outdoor skating rink, which we really like,” Stevens said. “And the people who work here are pleasant and helpful.”
Brenton Skate Plaza can also be rented out for parties and offers a live DJ every Friday night. For a full list of prices and public skating hours, visit brentonplaza.com.