National Skating Month is an opportunity for rinks and local programs to celebrate skating, alert local media and invite members to perform and host activities that will attract new families to the wonderful world of skating. Through a series of organized on- and off-ice activities, everyone enjoys a fun-filled day at the rink!

Most important, celebrating National Skating Month on a local level draws attention to your program and ice facility. Upon registration, posters, postcards and a media packet, with sample press releases and announcements on CD, are distributed to participating clubs and programs. Other promotional items included in the kits are items to raffle, bookmarks, skating stickers, logo pencils, skate-shaped Post-it notes, Snowplow Sam zipper pulls and other great stuff.

2012 National Skating Month Resources and Links

Cold, gold on Albany's ice
National Skating Month at Tucker Road Ice Rink
T.I. Community Day on Ice
Thousand Islands promoting ice sports in community

Click here for more information on the new U.S. Figure Skating Skate Coach App Series, a comprehensive collection of digital Apps that are now available in the iTunes App Store.

National Skating Month Contest

This year, National Skating Month celebrates its 10th anniversary, and to celebrate, U.S. Figure Skating hosted a video contest. Skaters who passed a Pre-Preliminary test (moves in the field or free skate) in the last six months were invited to record a 30-second video explaining why they love figure skating. This year's winner, 10-year-old Maya Schwartz of Skating Club of San Francisco stood out with her enthusiastic and unique video. As the winner, her video will be played on the Jumbotron at many U.S. Figure Skating events including U.S. Championships and Four Continents. She will also receive tickets to the Smucker's Skating Spectacular at U.S. Championships at the end of January and a prize pack from U.S. Figure Skating. Click here to see Maya's video!

Four runner ups were also selected and will receive a prize pack from U.S. Figure Skating. The runner ups include Christina Bouwman of Portland Ice Skating Club, Emily Warren of Skating Club of Amherst, Trevor Bucek of Northern Ice Figure Skating Club, and Karin Buffie and Jacia Christiansen of Eagan Ice Crystal Figure Skating Club. Click on each of their names to see their videos!

National Skating Month 2012

National Skating Month 2012 Roundup

Click here to view photos from the 2012 National Skating Month!

As more events occur, we'll post new updates.

Glenview Ice Center, Glenview, Ill.
The Glenview Ice center hosted a two-week event leading up to January 1st, the start of National Skating Month.

The festivities included daily public skate sessions and lessons, tons of activities for kids and even a visit from Ronald McDonald! The event concluded with a Family New Year's Eve Party on, Dec. 31 at the ice center and had balloons, a kid-friendly New Year's toast, public skate, live-entertainment and crafts.

The Figure Skating Club of the Quad Cities, Davenport, Ia.
The Figure Skating Club of the Quad Cities hosted a "Skate in The New Year" on Friday, December 30th at The River's Edge in Davenport, Ia. They had approximately 270 skaters on a public ice session. As a result of the event, skaters that night signed up for our local Parks' Department Basic Skills program and many more expressed interest in learning to skate, taking flyers on the Basic Skills Program. They also had more than two dozen club members helping on/off ice, as well as coaches. As a result of our media release, two TV channels covered the event and interviewed board members and skaters. At half-time after an ice make, two skaters performed Basic 8 freeskate programs and our River's Edge Beginner Synchronized Team performed their "Candyland" program. It was a great success!
Honnen Ice Arena, Colorado Springs, Colo.
January 7, 2012, Honnen Ice Arena and Colorado College Skating School hosted 2012 Great Skate. Located in Colorado Springs, Colo. on the Colorado College campus, this annual event has been very successful.

There were more than 200 skaters at this event which offered free skating, free skate rental and free lessons. Helping make the event very successful were several volunteers which included a number of high school seniors from Air Academy High School, competitive skaters, parents and the rink staff and coaches.

Registrations for the upcoming classes, as a result of the event, were great. There were 25 new sign-ups and several more who took information home, planning on signing up later. We are a small operation so these numbers were outstanding.
Capital Clubhouse, Waldorf, Md.

The celebration at the Capital Clubhouse took place Saturday, January 7th. There was a public skating session which had roughly 300 people come through the doors during the event.

Some of the event attractions were:

  • Correct skate fit and lacing demo throughout the event
  • Free 15 minute beginner skating lessons
  • Games and Fun center ice for the little ones with parents
  • Skate with Snowplow Sam
  • $15 Discount on LTS Basic Skills registration
  • Candy and stickers for participants
  • FS exhibitions by Basic Skills Skaters levels Beginner through Pre-Juvenile

    A Celebration of Bay Area Skating

    The San Francisco Bay Area kicked off their National Skating Month celebration with a gala performance under the holiday lights at the Union Square outdoor rink in the heart of downtown San Francisco. A great big thank you goes to Willy Bietak for donating the ice time for the event. National Skating Month materials as well as buttons promoting the 2012 U.S. Championships in San Jose were distributed to both the skaters and the audience.

    For the second year, three Bay Area clubs, Peninsula FSC, St Moritz ISC, and the Skating Club of San Francisco worked together to the produce the exhibition. Skaters were selected from each club with an eye toward the 2012 U.S. Championships. The line-up included Polina Edmunds, Wilbur Ji, Nancy Xu and pair partner Robert Przepioski, Gwendolyn Prescott and Kevim Shum, all competing in the upcoming U.S. Championships. In addition, skaters just returning from the U.S. Junior Championships; Elizabeth Park, Juliana DeContreaus, and Sarah Feng and her dance partner Anthony Ponomarenko, all performed. A youth synchronized flag team, the Treamorettes, opened the event. The event concluded with a grand finale and a celebration of Anthony's eleventh birthday.

    Two special events marked the celebration. First, special recognition went to Maya Schwartz, winner of the National Skating Month video contest and member of the Skating Club of San Francisco. Secondly, Kristi Yamghuchi, with her mom Carole and her two children Kira and Emma (who is now skating) were special guests of honor and came to support the young skaters of our community. It was truly a perfect night under the stars.

    Germain Arena, Estero, Fla.

    This year, Germain Arena, in Estero, FL hosted their 5th National Skating Month Open House on Saturday, January 7th. The event was open to the public of all ages, and in total, 241 skaters took advantage of the $1.00 public skate session. During the session, a quarter of the ice was sectioned off for group lessons. The U.S. Figure Skating coaching staff donated their time to giving free 20 minute group lessons to all. Each group learned the basics to the sport of skating. During the event, there also was an information booth where new faces could pick up literature on all of the recreation programs for skaters held in the building. At the end of the event numerous prizes were raffled off. A special appearance was also made by "Swampee" the Everblades (ECHL) mascot. Overall, it was a day of fun and excitement. All of the new faces had smiles on from such a positive experience. Thank you U.S. Figure Skating for sponsoring a great event and pushing us to reach out to our community so they may experience the joys of ice skating!

    Twin City Figure Skating Association, Bloomington, Minn.

    On January 16, 2012 the Twin City Figure Skating Association in collaboration with Minnesota NAPVI (The Minnesota Chapter of the National Organization for the Visually Impaired) hosted an adaptive skating day at the Bloomington Ice Garden, Bloomington, MN.

    TCFSA provided the ice and sent out a request for volunteer coaches and helpers. We wanted to have a coach available for each visually impaired participant. The ages of the skaters were 2 years to 10 years of age. The coaches were emailed the instruction manual prepared by Mandy Benavides.

    We had four skater volunteers to help the coaches with off ice; such as putting on skates, making the children feel comfortable and helping them get used to the feeling of the skates and the rubber floor they would be walking on.

    Everyone came away from this event with big smiles and a lot of enthusiasm for future opportunities. The coaches discussed how adaptive skaters could be integrated into a club's Basic Skills program. Thank you to the coaches and skaters who volunteered their time for this event. A special thanks to B. L. Wylie for her support and input. This event was a huge success for all who participated.

    Albany Figure Skating Club, Albany, N.Y.
    Blizzard conditions and a closed Northway did not keep our skaters away. While temperatures dropped to below freezing and the snow fell though out the morning, Our Skatefest held in Albany, N. Y. at the Empire State Plaza was a huge success.

    With registered numbers exceeding 210 skaters and a waitlist of approximately 75 more, local area coaches taught those who have never skated before and those who have the fun and joy of skating. This studio rink sized outdoor rink facility led charm and ambiance as skaters learned the fun of skating.

    The highlight of the day included visits from both Sara and Emily Hughes who spoke with every skating group and signed autographs during the day.

    This SkateFest was sponsored by ORDA, Nysogs, and the NYSUT with hot chocolate donated by SEFCU. Mascots visited from the Albany Devils and Siena College and raffle prizes were donated by the Albany Figure Skating Club and the Lake Placid Olympic Arena and ORDA. Our staff of volunteers, led by Hudson Mohawk Figure Skating Club President Tommie Palladino, worked endlessly to help make this event the huge success that it was. It was a wonderful day with fun had by all. True to the Northeast, we did not let a little snow get us down!

    Rinks Side Sports, Gurnee, Ill.
    Rinks Side Sports, in Gurnee Ill., and Radio Disney partnered up to celebrate a special day. What a success! We had games and raffles, and tons of future USFS members! We gave out medals to all the skaters that stepped on to the ice. Some memorable quotes for the day: A mom quoted "Amelia is skating around with her Olympic Medal on!" also "I can't get my daughter off the ice, she has been skating for 2 and a half hours straight!"
    Huntsville Skating School & Training Academy, Huntsville, Ala.
    We celebrated National Ice Skating Month in January at the Huntsville Skating School & Training Academy in Huntsville, Ala., and it was a huge success! We had a couple of special events, including a "National Ice Skating Month Extravaganza"- a special public session hosted by the Skating School. We had several ice skating contests (ice skating limbo, red light/green light), on-ice dance party, and a free skating class. Teacher Assistants of the Skating School were skate guards during the session, going around to offer free instruction. In addition, we had a whole week of "Bring a Friend" to skate class.

    Jacksonville Ice and Sportsplex, Jacksonville, Fla.

    The Basic Skills Program of Jacksonville was kept busy celebrating National Skating Month this year. the year 2012 began with our partnership with Adventure landing, a local amusement park, who built an ice rink to celebrate the holidays. Jacksonville Ice and Sportsplex held free Learn To Skate Classes and our skaters performed every day during the Holidays to showcase their talents and share their love of figure skating with the Jacksonville community.

    On January 7th, we held our annual Winter Back To School Bash where 800 participants experienced the joy of Ice Skating with free Learn To Skate and Hockey Clinics. Four Jacksonville Television and Radio Stations sent out reporters to cover this exciting event.

    Due to the overwhelming response to our free clinics, attendance at the first week of our Winter Learn To Skate and Learn To Play classes, which began the following week, was record setting.

    Our National Skating Month celebration culminated with our first annual "Improv On Ice" Exhibition where 35 skaters from Basic 1 through Senior FS participated in our Introduction to Interpretive Showcase. Fun was had by all as they skated to music they had received just minutes before actually taking the ice. All skaters were winners and awarded a special gift commemorating their participation in the event.

    Hessian Lake Figure Skating Club, Bear Mountain State Park, N.Y.

    For National Skating Month 2012, the Hessian Lake Figure Skating Club held an open house on Saturday morning January 14 and on Sunday morning January 15 at the Bear Mountain Ice Rink in Bear Mountain State Park, N. Y. The public was invited to attend these sessions and skate free of charge. Rental skates were offered free of charge to those who did not bring their own skates and free lessons were offered to all of the skaters who attended these two sessions. Also, free refreshments were provided along with the items from the U.S Figure Skating National Skating Month package to all in attendance.

    Genesee Figure Skating Club, Rochester, N.Y.

    The Genesee Figure Skating Club held a very successful NSM event on Saturday, Jan. 28. We greeted more than 150 guests for the event. They enjoyednearly two hours of skating (free, of course) and were treated to several demonstrations of skating elements by many of the club's junior members at all levels. Our junior skaters were on hand throughout the session to help any of our guests with their skating.

    We signed everyone in and distributed information on our club programs and activities including our Basic Skills and Bridge Programs. We gave away a number of prizes from the NSM kit (gloves and bags). We gave away nearly all of the welcome gifts, magazines and brochures from the kit as well. Our host facility at RIT provided free rental skates and everyone enjoyed free pizza and other goodies at the conclusion of the session.

    We did not do a lot of advertising for the event. We put up a few posters and asked our junior skaters to "invite a friend." Several of our skating moms and dads made some phone calls to various groups to which their children belong. We certainly had no trouble filling the ice.

    Ellenton Ice and Sports Complex, Ellenton, Fla.

    Through the month, there was lots of publicity and excitement leading up to the event, and there was a record number of skaters signing up for our discounted eight-week series of Basic Skills Classes.

    Our event included exhibitors:

  • Southwest Florida FSC with a DVD of our Holiday Show running, and info on all the club activities
  • Tropical Spice on Ice Adult Synchronized Skating Team
  • Hockey Zone Pro Shop
  • Southwest Florida FSC consignment dress and skate sale

    Activities Included:

  • Free exhibition show featuring Snowplow skaters all the way up through Olympians Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig
  • Free skating with free skate rental included
  • Free lessons with our staff of coaches and Olympians Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig
  • On-ice games, bubbles and prize giveaways
  • Discounted Basic Skills Lesson packages

    The exhibition show was attended by more than 300 spectators and roughly half of them stayed on to try out free skating. To sum up our experience with a National Skating Month Event, it was well worth the planning and implementation. The excitement generated and the numbers of new skaters now exposed to the joys of skating can be summed up in one word: SUCCESS!

    Ozark Figure Skating Club, Springdale, Ark.

    On Saturday, January 21, Ozark Figure Skating club hosted, "It's Great to Skate" event at the Jones Center in Springdale, Ark. There was an adult hockey exhibition, figure skating exhibitions, free classes, on ice games and youth hockey exhibitions. In addition, there was a silent auction, 50/50 raffle, a resale shop and a bake sale. Tables with information about the figure skating programs and the hockey program were available for the participants and each participant received a goody bag. More than 100 people attended the classes with ages ranging from 3-to-47. Strike, mascot for The Naturals (Minor League Baseball team), came and joined the skaters for a day of fun on the ice. It was a wonderful experience for both the skaters, and the public.