Although I come from the arctic northwest (of Michigan) where outdoor skating is free, $1 is awesome for a nice maintained ice rink to skate on.  Also, skate rental is free!  I'm talking about Rosa Parks Circle here in downtown Grand Rapids!

In Traverse City, dubbed "Hockeytown North",  there is always the catch of "the human Zamboni", which means skate as fast as you can with shovels until the entire surface is clear.  Or, skate on one of the public "man made" ponds.  Which consists of a puddle made with our firetrucks, and naturally frozen.  Once in a while they squirt some water on the ice to resurface it.  If you can skate one lap, you deserve a medal and lucky to leave with your life!

But really, I could not believe it when I was told there was a professionally maintained outdoor rink in the middle of downtown Grand Rapids.

I think one of the coolest things I learned while researching Rosa Parks Circle is that below the ice there are 166 fiber optic lights designed to represent the sky of Michigan as it appeared at midnight, January 1, 2000.  How cool!  Digging further into the story behind what was originally named "The Monroe Mall Amphitheater" is the incredible woman behind the facility design, Maya Ying Lin

Another really cool thing I thought I'd pass along is free skating lessons and demonstration every Friday for all ages and skill levels.   There is a warming shelter on-site as well.

Great skating for a buck?  Free rentals?  Free lessons?  Why not make your way down to Rosa Parks Circle for some great exercise with the family?  I'm sure the kid's thumbs could use a break from the Xbox and allowing blood flow back into their cheeks!

I'm not one to NOT practice what I preach.  "Why don't you get your lazy butt out of that studio-office chair and ice skate yourself, Dano!" you might be saying?  Actually, I ice skate as much as possible :)

Come on down.  It's great!  Also, it's across the street from the radio station.  So you might see me there from day to day.  Hope to see ya!

~Dano