Daytrippers: Extended skating season at oversized Providence rink

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- Looking for a way to enjoy all this ice? Take advantage of the skating season in Providence, Rhode Island - which has been extended due to the cold weather. The Alex and Ani City Center in the heart of the downtown area features a 14,000-square-foot rink, with a surface that's roomy and well-groomed.

IMG_0153"The rink is twice the size of Rockefeller Center," says special projects coordinator Allison Spooner. "We have families coming from Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts."

Little ones can rent a penguin skate aid, which helps them learn the sport by keeping steady on their feet. "We’ve had these for about a year and pretty much every weekend there’s a waiting list for them," says Spooner.IMG_0177

The rink was built in 1998. For the first time, it has partnered with Alex and Ani, the popular jewelry and lifestyle business, based in Rhode Island. The city of Providence is also a "college town," full of art and culture.

"We’re one of the top food cities in the country," says Kristen Adamo of the Providence-Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau, noting families can find plenty of places to warm up and eat-up after a skating excursion. "There’s restaurants you can’t find anywhere else. If you like Italian, you can head to Federal Hill. There’s some cool, funky diners. Providence is the birthplace of the diner."

IMG_0171In fact, tourism is alive when the Ocean State is frozen. "You can look at different hotels and they might have an arts package. They might have a romantic getaway, a girlfriend's getaway. It's a really affordable time to visit Providence," says Adamo. "It’s a really cool, young, fun place to visit."

Dust off the skates and practice some fancy footwork in the Renaissance City while enjoying New England's annual deep freeze! "You can really make a fun day," says Spooner.

The rink is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. until March 15. Adults skate for $7, while a kids' ticket costs $4. Rentals are available. Click here for more information.