The Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex is probably best known to most residents as a public ice-skating rink, but the venue itself offers much more, including figure skating, youth sports such as hockey, basketball and indoor soccer, as well as a field-goal kicking program coached by former Jacksonville Jaguars place kicker Mike Hollis, who played with the team from 1995 to 2001 and made one Pro Bowl.
The NHL-sized ice rink is open to the public year round, seven days a week. The public skating times Monday through Friday are 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., but the venue is open during the evening on Tuesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday night. Check the venue's website for its special event schedule, including figure skating and ice hockey.
Pricing for skates and admission ranges from $9 to $12, depending on the night. Skate sizes Youth 6 through Adult 14 are available.
As with other ice rinks, skaters are cautioned to participate at their own risk, although the rink does employ rink supervisors to make sure things don't get too hectic. Beginning ice skaters should make their first trip to the rink at an off-peak time, as the rink can get quite crowded on weekends, making it difficult for beginners to safely navigate the rink.
TIP: Wear knee and elbow pads for protection, as well as a light coat or sweater (the rink is quite cold). Without protection, the hard ice surface can cause quite a bit of damage.
The Jacksonville Ice & Sportsplex offers "Learn to Skate" classes for inexperienced beginners who prefer professional instruction prior to stepping into the rink. Those who have previous experience with inline skates will likely find the transition to ice skates smoother than those who don't, but the learning curve varies from person to person. Skaters will standard roller-skating experience will likely find the transition more difficult than those with inline-skate experience, but naturally less difficult than those with no previous skating experience.
RELATED: Top 10 Jacksonville Attractions
Instruction camps for youth and adult ice hockey are also held at the Ice & Sportsplex. The eight-week program covers the basics of ice hockey, including skating basics and the game's standard terms and rules.
Figure skating courses, aimed at intermediate to advanced level ice skaters, are also held at the Ice & Sportsplex, as are several annual figure-skating performances and exhibitions.
Because of the regulation-sized rink, the venue also holds minor league ice hockey games, including playoff games.
Jax Ice & Sportsplex is also available to rent for events and birthday parties, including a private rental option.
The venue is located at 3605 Philips Highway in Jacksonville. It opened in 1992 and was previously known as "Skate World."