Jefferson City’s only public ice arena is open year-round for the community to enjoy ice activities. From a leisurely skate with friends to hockey games and cosmic skate nights, there is always fun happening on the ice.
“Ice arenas are typically only found in larger cities,” said Missy Morarity, the program manager of the ice arena. “Yet, we have had an ice arena in Jefferson City for over 60 years, through floods, tough economic times and many changes. The citizens have always supported the WPIA.”
The ice is open almost daily to the general public during the public session hours, but due to clubs and programs sharing the ice, times may vary. There is an updated calendar online that has the schedule for public sessions, programs and special events, so you can find your opportunity to hit the ice.
“The ice arena is unlike anything else in the area,” Morarity said. “It is an inexpensive place to bring the whole family for a fun time, and we have some time for the public to skate almost every day of the year.”
One of the most popular uses for the ice is hockey. Catch a University of Missouri hockey game right in your backyard. The Tigers use Washington Park Ice Arena as their home rink!
There is also the Mid-Mo Tigers which is a youth, club hockey program that consists of boys and girls ranging from 4-18 years old. The club strives to teach the core fundamentals of ice hockey along with sportsmanship.
“When you start playing hockey, you make a connection with the ice,” said Chad Brown, hockey director of the Washington Park Ice Arena. “Kids develop agility, strength and confidence as they play with a team consisting of kids from different towns and cultures.”
Whether your child is a fan of hockey or you’re just looking for ways to get your kid moving, hockey is a fun sport that can be enjoyed for life. There are many benefits of playing hockey, like other sports, such as boosting self-esteem, developing teamwork and leadership skills and improving agility and fitness.
Try Hockey for Free
If your child is interested in giving hockey a try, but not ready to enroll in a program, then check out the Try Hockey for Free events where kids have an opportunity to get on the ice and play the game at no cost. Bring socks, athletic clothes and winter gloves — a hockey helmet and stick will be provided to borrow for free.
Intro to Hockey Skating
This is a beginner youth program that is centered around learning to skate with hockey in mind. This program would be best for a child who is new to skating and has an interest in getting started in hockey. Once skating skills have been built, moving up to the Learn to Play Hockey program would be the next step. A helmet is required.
Learn to Play Hockey
This program is an introduction to hockey for children ages 5-12 that teaches basic fundamentals and prepares athletes for competitive play. This program does require basic skating skills prior to enrolling in the program. This program also requires full hockey equipment that can be rented from the Mid-Missouri Tigers Youth Hockey Club.
Don’t miss our Skate with Santa event on Saturday, December 16 from 1-4 p.m. where Santa will make an appearance at Washington Park Ice Arena and take some laps around the rink to work up an appetite for all those cookies and milk.