For a number of Minnesotans, first steps are quickly followed by skating lessons, and early next month residents and visitors will have a new place to skate: the Mall of America.
Stationed around the star sculpture outside the north entrance of the Bloomington mall will be an oval-shaped rink, which is being dubbed Skate the Star. Admission will be free for everyone when the rink opens to the public on Saturday, December 8, and it will remain open until January 27.
Mall of America senior vice president of business development Jill Renslow is calling the 12,000-square-foot rink a long-held and finally-realized goal for the mall.
“We have always wanted to bring [a skating experience] to life for our guests who visit Mall of America during this cherished time of year,” said Renslow in a statement. “We want our guests to experience the unexpected when they visit each year. That is why adding this ice rink is such an exciting addition to our holiday line-up.”
Visitors are welcome to use their own skates, but for those without, skate rentals will be available for $5 a person. One-hundred percent of the proceeds from the rentals will go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Twin Cities (BGCTC).
The funds will help the BGCTC run activities for and provide support to more than 9,000 area kids, from kindergarteners through graduating high schoolers.
“Skate the Star is a unique opportunity to bring our entire community together this holiday season and we are very proud to be a part of it,” said Terryl Brumm, BGCTC president and CEO, in prepared remarks. “We can share the impact we are having on youth in the Twin Cities, engage new volunteers and supporters, and have a little fun on the ice at the same time.”
The rink is being constructed by Minnesota Ice, a local company, and will be made using 18,000 gallons of water. The project is being sponsored by UCare. Hours of operation and other details about the rink can be found on the Mall of America website.
Adds Renslow on this new entertainment offering of the mall: “We look forward to seeing visitors from all over the world enjoy Skate the Star at MOA.”