Lace up your skates for opening day at Brenton Skating Plaza – City of Des Moines, IA | Wonder Mind Kids

press release

DES MOINES, IOWA – Thursday, November 17, 2022 – Just in time for the winter holidays, Friday, November 18 marks the first day of ice skating season at the Brenton Skating Plaza (520 Robert D. Ray Drive) in downtown Des Moines. Open skating sessions are offered from 5pm to 11pm and opening night includes a special visit from Santa and a Christmas tree lighting ceremony.

From November to March, Brenton Skating Plaza offers open-air skating for all ages. Located on the Principal Riverwalk along the Des Moines River, this facility and family entertainment opened in 2006 thanks to a donation from the Brenton Foundation.

Open skating sessions are limited to 210 skaters at a time and each session lasts one hour and 45 minutes. To reserve your session, online registration is now available at If space permits, there will be walk-up entry. Ice skate rentals are available for those without a pair of their own.

The opening night celebrations will be streamed live via the City of Des Moines SkyCam at and on Mediacom Channel 7 (777 HD).

In addition to the grand opening celebrations, Des Moines Parks & Recreation has a variety of activities planned for the season:

  • learn to skate (Nov 19, Dec 3, Jan 7 & 21, Feb 4 & 18; 10:30-11:30)
    Free skating lessons are held throughout the skating season, led by professional skating coach Darlene Lewis. All skills welcome. Ages four and up – adults can join in too! Pre-registration required.
  • Senior Skate (Every Wednesday; 2-3:45 p.m.)
    Are you over 60 and enjoy ice skating? If so, then this session is for you! For only $5 (admission and skate rental), it’s a great opportunity to train outdoors and mingle with fellow skaters!
  • Adaptive skating (Dec 1, Jan 5, Feb 2; 11am-1pm)
    Specially designed classes allow people with a range of physical or developmental abilities to skate. For only $5 (admission and skate rental), this skating program is designed to engage these individuals in the sport for leisure and enjoyment. All ages welcome.
  • homeschool skate (Dec 1, Jan 5, Feb 2; 1:30pm-3:30pm)
    Des Moines Parks and Recreation invites homeschooled students to spend an afternoon at the ice rink. For only $5 (admission and skate rental) at Homeschool Skate, you can get some fresh air and skate with your friends. Age 18 and under.
  • student night (Every Thursday; open to closed)
    Calling all students! Every Thursday, Des Moines Parks and Recreation invites students to skate! Students must show school ID to receive special $5 admission with skate rentals.
  • MLK Jr. Fundraiser and Skate Day (January 16; 12pm-9pm)
    Donate non-perishable groceries and/or new adult-sized socks to Central Iowa Shelter & Services on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Free entry and skate rental with donation! All ages welcome.
  • Family Skate Date (January 21; 12pm-2pm)
    Join our 2nd Annual Family Skate Date with Des Moines Parks and Recreation! This is your chance to get safely to Brenton Skating Plaza for ice skating and family-friendly games (Limbo, Four Corners, etc.) on the ice. All friends, family, guardians and loved ones are invited. Registration includes admission, skate rental, pointed hat and free refreshments. All ages are welcome. Pre-registration required.
  • Superhero and Princess Skate (February 4; 9-11 a.m.)
    Special guests will be at the Brenton Skating Plaza to meet and greet skaters. We encourage people of all ages to wear their favorite superhero or prince/princess outfits. Come along to the ice rink and take a picture! All ages are welcome. Pre-registration required.
  • Military Appreciation Skate (February 4th and 5th; open to closed)
    Conscripts and alumni receive free entry and skate rentals for themselves and up to three family members. A military ID or other proof of service is required. Free American flags will be given to all skaters (while supplies last). Military Spotlight Skate occurs once per session. All ages welcome.
  • Instructor Appreciation Skate (February 11; open to closed)
    Teachers get free entry and skate rental on this day. Teachers must show their school ID. If you are not a teacher, support local schools and donate classroom supplies (i.e. pencils, crayons, tissues and markers). From 18 years.
  • Skate for Valentine’s Day (February 14; 5-9 p.m.)
    Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Brenton Skating Plaza! Buy One Get One (BOGO) admission and skate rental. Two skates for the price of one! This is the perfect family or date activity for that special holiday. Participate and each skater will receive a cookie and a flower. All ages welcome.
  • Day After Valentine’s Day Skate (February 15; 5-9 p.m.)
    Did you forget that today is Valentine’s Day? Worry not because Des Moines Parks and Recreation has you covered! Join us for Buy One Get One (BOGO) admission and skate rentals. Two skates for the price of one! Each skater receives a cookie and a flower. All ages welcome.

Brenton Skating Plaza can also be rented for private events, a popular option for birthday parties and company outings.

For more information on these activities, holiday periods and regular opening hours for open skating on the course, go to or call 515-283-ICED(4233).

Al Setka
Chief Communications Officer, City Administrator’s Office
(515) 283-4057

About the city of Des Moines
The city of Des Moines is the capital of Iowa and our 17 departments serve more than 214,000 residents and 52 neighborhood associations. Des Moines is a leader in sustainability and offers residents vibrant neighborhoods, a vibrant and active downtown, and plenty of recreational opportunities.
Des Moines continually improves neighborhoods, public safety and the quality of life by providing exceptional city services and reliable infrastructure, while fostering an engaged and compassionate community for all who visit and live in Des Moines. Visit, Facebook and Twitter for more informations.

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