Photo of the City of Howell's ice skating rink, courtesy of Howell Area Parks & Recreation.
Are you tired of being stuck inside during these long winter months? Do you miss the feel of the great outdoors? Looking for something different to do with friends, family, or perhaps a significant other this Valentine’s Day?
East Lansing’s Downtown Management Board (DMB) and Downtown Development Authority (DDA) are planning a pop up skating rink to be installed this February in Valley Court Park. The rink is expected to be open for two weeks, from February 11 through February 25, and will be free and open to the public between the hours of 3-9pm as long as the weather allows.
“The idea came about a year ago,” says Amy Schlusler, DMB Coordinator and Community Development Specialist. “The Downtown Management Board, which represents 45 local businesses, sent out a survey asking what kinds of activities they would like the Board to consider.” The responses proved to be almost unanimous; Schlusler reports that “there was a heavy response that people were interested in a skating rink,” and the Downtown Management Board has been working on the project ever since.
The City is finalizing plans now, and the rink is expected to look similar to those in neighboring cities Howell and Holland. “The City of Howell has one a little smaller, 40 by 60 ft., it’s their second year and it seems fairly successful,” comments Schlusler.
The rink is expected to accommodate 40-50 skaters at once. “People are invited to bring their own skates,” says Schlusler. The City is currently unsure whether they will be able to help in providing any necessary equipment.
If the community responds well to this year’s rink, the DMB hopes it will become an annual tradition for students, families, and local residents of East Lansing. They hope you’ll consider lacing up your skates and heading to Valley Court this February to try out our first ever outdoor skating rink for yourself.