Iceskating: Avalon vs. Cooler

Which has the best value for the price?


A cool snapshot of the beautiful lights at Avalon. Credit: Avalon website

Marjorie Hsu, Co-editor in Chief

Although the cold has come, many people enjoy the chilliness of ice skating this time of year. A lot of people in the local area often enjoy ice skating at Avalon for the beautiful lights and stores and food shops around. Some people also go to the Cooler for any time of the year to enjoy a bigger rink. But, if you just wanted to maybe go once or a couple of times, what could be

the better deal?

The time of year for ice skating at Avalon is limited as it opened Nov. 24 and will close  Jan. 20. The shopping mall usually does this like years prior because the skating rink is outdoors. Although it may seem unfortunate, Avalon also offers more flexible skate times when it’s in season compared to the Cooler. This is because public skate times for the Cooler are scheduled very specific times on certain days that vary with the holidays, whereas you can go to Avalon anytime during their open hours. However, when you pay the admission price, you only get to skate at Avalon for one hour and 45 minutes and at the Cooler you get to skate for two hours. 

For prices, those nine and older are $18 with skate rental at Avalon, and it’s $13 with skate rental at the Cooler. If you already own a pair of ice skates, gliding at the Cooler is only $9. Avalon has higher prices because of the location and how beautiful the surroundings are. If you’re looking for a refreshing atmosphere with family or friends, Avalon is a pleasure for the eyes and night. The Cooler is a much nicer price and comes with a bigger rink and more supportive sides to hang on to. This can help beginners feel safer and not as overwhelmed with too many people. 

It’s best to go to Avalon on a weekday night—but not Friday—because during busy times the rink can feel a bit too crowded with people, especially due to how the place is so popular and given the rink size. There are decent bars to grasp when trying to get the hang of how to skate, but they are not as firm as the Cooler. Otherwise, checking out other stores or having many different options to eat such as gelato, pizza, or cheesecake are also a great way to spend time under the golden soft lights at Avalon.

A fair warning is that some of the skates at Avalon differ in style from figure skating to hockey styled skates which you can ask to switch to whichever is more comfortable. People tend to prefer the figure skate styled ones with the toes picks because they have longer blades in the back that offer more stability while skating. For those who are more comfortable on the ice may want the shorter sharp cut blades on the hockey style to try sharper turns or speed up for fun. 

The skates at the Cooler are all standard, but some may have laces that are a bit worn out, so asking for another pair with better laces would be better. It’s important to secure the feet real tight while ice skating or a person can be easily susceptible to ankle injuries. This doesn’t appear to be a huge problem at the Cooler as it was only a few pairs of skates that had this and the laces weren’t completely falling apart. Their skates’ blades are long enough to be pretty stable.

The Cooler may not offer as much variety of food options as Avalon, but their concession stand has a nice menu variety with options like garlic knots, french fries, chips, and more. If a person is waiting for the skate time to start they can also often encounter more professional skates on the other rink performing cool spins and moves or hockey players practicing.

Both places have their pros and cons, but if one wants to really value the experience of ice skating at a better price the Cooler is better. However, if someone just wants a taste of ice skating, but want to do other things for a hangout in a scenic area, Avalon is the way to go.