Detroit Zoo visitors can execute an Axel, complete a camel spin or simply float freestyle this winter on a new skating rink located in front of the frozen façade of the Polk Penguin Conservation Center.
The 1,548-square-foot Winter Rink, which can accommodate 31 skaters, is open now through February 2017. Guests ages 4 and older can skate between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. daily (last session is sold at 3:30 p.m.), weather permitting. Skaters under 12 years old must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
A limited number of skates are available for rent for $7, which includes a 25-minute skating session. The cost for guests who bring their own skates is $3. Personal skates must be inspected by the rink attendant to ensure proper sharpness; sharpening will be provided.
“This is a perfect fit for the season and another great reason for families to visit the Zoo during the winter,” said Ron Kagan, executive director and CEO of the Detroit Zoological Society.
The Winter Rink is not made of ice, but of a synthetic plastic known as Glice® – a material composed of heat-pressed layers of polymers – so no water or electricity is required for operation. The Detroit Zoo is one of only two zoos in the country to install a Glice® rink (the other is the Columbus Zoo). Visit www.glicerink.com for additional information.
The Polk Penguin Conservation Center opened in April and is home to more than 80 penguins of four species – king, gentoo, macaroni and rockhopper. It features a 326,000-gallon aquatic area, an underwater gallery with a vast acrylic window and two acrylic tunnels that provide breathtaking views of the penguins above, around and below, allowing guests to get nose to beak with the charismatic birds.