Who doesn’t love the opening of “A Charlie Brown’s Christmas”? Giant puffy snowflakes float from the sky; the Peanuts gang is out skating on a glistening frozen pond.
But if you grew up in the lower three-quarters of Indiana, chances are you probably never experienced the exhilaration or beauty of skating all bundled up outdoors over a real body of water as Charlie Brown did.
Unlike our deep-freezing neighbor states to the north, Indiana is latitudinally challenged when it comes to outdoor winter sports. Our winters come and go in bursts of freezing and thawing — more conducive to turning roadways to rubble than solidifying surface waters into thick, sheets of smooth, safe ice.
Still, several Indiana cities have put the worry of skating outdoors on thin ice on ice by converting city parks and greens into safe ice rinks for the season. While most, as to be expected, are still in the northern tier of the state, one is centrally located just north of Indianapolis.
The Ice at Center Green | Carmel
In the heart of Carmel, The Ice at Center Green provides a fun and affordable way for families and friends to get outdoors and enjoy chilly winters together. The rink, right beside Carmel’s majestic Palladium concert venue, is now in its third season. Skating sessions continue until March 1, weather permitting. Weekend sessions do sell out; it is recommended that visitors purchase session tickets online ahead of time (especially if you are coming from a distance).
4-9 p.m. on Thursdays (no sessions); Noon-1:15 p.m., 1:45-3 p.m., 3:30-5 p.m., 5:30-7 p.m., and 7:30-9 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.
10 Center Green, Carmel
Other cities offering outdoor ice skating
NIBCO Water and Ice Park
303 NIBCO Parkway
Headwaters Park Ice Skating Rink
333 S. Clinton St.
Merrifield Ice Rink
1000 E. Mishawaka Ave.
Howard Park Ice Trail and Pond
219 S. St. Louis Blvd.
Central Park Plaza Ice Rink
70 Lafayette St.
The Riverside Skating Center
100 Tapawingo Drive North