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In time for the Holidays: Outdoor Ice Rink for Birmingham

Make a new holiday memory at the outdoor rink, Shops of Grand River

Who needs the Rockefeller Plaza when we’ve got our slice of ice in Birmingham? Here’s to the visionaries who know that we want to ice skate even if – especially if – our Thanksgiving or Christmas get-together requires a hit from the AC to get the house comfortable again.

The Shops of Grand River have brought us an opportunity to ice skate outdoors this season. After years of envy over the outdoor ice rink in downtown Knoxville (you can’t grow corn on Rocky Top but you can have a smooth outdoor ice rink?) and Nashville’s ICE exhibit at the Opryland Hotel (yes, and it’s INTERACTIVE, how ever you interact with ice outside of a glass), I say it’s high time we had our own moment.

The ice rink is set up on the Coach/J. Crew side of the complex, and they’ve created a central Alabama winter wonderland with potted fir trees and twinkling lights. Whether the weather is frigid cold or damp and balmy, the scientific wonders that make it snow in Mentone can give us the next closest thing to a frozen lake, all without the danger of drowning.

Take your kids to try out the ice rink. There are skates to rent and the skating area is perfect for young tikes and manageable enough for you to go around several times without appearing winded (i.e., weak) to your tweens. The food court has everything you will want to eat, like salads for you or chicken nuggets for them. Get the hubs or the sitter to skate with the kids and you could even have some good shopping time.

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Note to Gen X moms: Do you remember learning to play the Ice Castles theme song on the piano? Do you remember your crush on Robbie Benson*? Let your inner figure skater out at the rink, but don’t close your eyes in a moment of euphoria. The rink is too small for that, there are small children, and Robbie isn’t there to guide you.

*Millenial moms: Robbie Benson was the voice of Beast in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. But he was  a blue-eyed heartthrob before all that. Don’t judge.

Wait, Gen X moms: Just learned that Robbie Benson has an autobiography out titled, I’m Not Dead…Yet! which of course seems like a very bad sign. Turns out his work is also a medical memoir (I must confess, I was not familiar with the genre outside of perhaps the category of posthumous biography). Benson has had four open heart surgeries. The book is described as “essential reading for heart patients and their loved ones.” And here’s an update for you. Benson is also a songwriter and singer. One of his songs is Let’s Get a Colonoscopy! I KID YOU NOT. If the Millenial Moms have read this far, they are definitely judging now.


  • Charlie

    Where do you get the skatesn