Geau Claire: Lunch break open skate

Story by Courtney Kueppers, Copy Editor

It’s hard to enjoy the season when Mother Nature seems to really hate the Midwest this winter, but Hobbs Ice Center, 915 Menomonie Street, has a solution. Ice skating can be the perfect activity for a date or to enjoy with a group of friends and at Hobbs you don’t have to brave the conditions to enjoy the seasonal activity.

With the exception of Holidays, Hobbs Ice Center offers Lunch Break Open Skate on the Hughes Rink Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. as a way to break the monotony of the day-to-day grind.

Hobbs Ice Center manager Patrick Newkirk said the program, which runs until May 23, has been well-received historically and this year is no different.

 “In the last three years we have seen gradual and consistent increase in attendance. Especially this year we have seen a spike in attendance,” Newkirk said.

It’s a fun and simple way to do something fun and get off campus and college kids are taking advantage of it, Newkirk said. If you don’t have access to a car don’t let that stop you — hop on the bus!

“It was initially that working people could take a lunch break to come skate,” Newkirk said. “But college kids come a lot because for the most part it works for their schedule at least one day a week and the nighttime open skate may not work.”

It was a spot on the calendar that wasn’t usually booked by one of their many groups, Newkirk said. So they decided to open it up to the public and for $3, which includes skate rental, I stopped in to check it out.

I definitely understood the positive reaction. It’s a nice atmosphere. With music playing there were parents with their kids: some of them were very speedy while pushing around the PVC pipe skating aids. There were also elderly people and college age students.

It’s a cheap way to get out of the campus bubble and do something that is out of your daily routine: a little physical activity but mostly just fun.

I encourage you to check it out once or twice. Instead of just sitting down with Erberts and Gerberts in the same booth in Davies every day, shake it up and lace up the skates.

If you can’t make it to Lunch Break Open Skate, Hobbs Ice Center also offers open skate to the public Sundays 5:30- 7:30 p.m. and Wednesdays 6:30-8:30 p.m. with a $6 admission fee and $3 for skate rentals. It pays to go during the day!