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Skating stands the test of time at The Cooler

‘Have an Ice Day’ on one of three arenas at The Cooler.

Canoe Kids
By Melissa Lowrie
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Photos by Melissa Lowrie

Melissa Lowrie
Melissa Lowrie

If you are looking for an indoor activity that will burn some calories and perhaps remind you of your youth—check out The Cooler.

I spent a great deal of the 80s on roller skates. Very little of my time was spent on ice skates, but that’s the beauty of this place. Pay one fee and you and your kids can do both.

My kids are split down the middle on blades v. wheels debate, so an afternoon in Alpharetta was just the ticket. And if your kid picks ice skating then changes his mind after 10 chilly minutes hugging the rail, he can swap the ice skates for rollerblades or traditional roller skates. The $3 skate rental covers both.

With two ice arenas and a roller arena, there is usually something happening here. There are adult and youth hockey leagues and plenty of ice skating lessons offered, from beginners to Olympic hopefuls. There is a pro shop on premises as well as a gym and a snack bar.

The Cooler’s motto is: “Where fitness meets fun.” The Alpharetta Family Skate Center is all that and more. It is indeed a fun way to burn off some of the winter energy kids seem to store. (Unless it’s homework time, then exhaustion sets in.)

Opened in 1997, The Cooler has a well-established reputation for family entertainment and is easy to find on Davis Drive just off the Mansell exit from Ga. 400.

Ice skating rates are $8-9 depending on the day of the week and the session time. The roller rates are $7-8. The Cooler offers a discounted rate of $4 for ice and roller sessions for children 5 years old and under as well as skaters 55 and older. It’s important to call ahead or check the website for public skate session times as they are subject to change. The website is:

Don’t think parents have to skate with their children. On the contrary, about half the parents I saw were watching from the bench. Just be sure to bring a coat if you plan to watch the ice skaters. There’s nothing to be afraid of, though, skating is like riding a bike.

This outing garnered a huge thumbs-up from my kids; my 10-year-old can’t wait to go back and is hoping for a skate party for her birthday. “The Cooler is my favorite so far,” she said of our recent adventures.

So it seems what was cool in 1984 is still cool today—as far as roller skating goes anyway.

If you can’t make it to Alpharetta for a free skate, take your Canoe Kids on another adventure. Wherever you end up, have a great time.

Get there early and you may have all three arenas to yourself. Traditional roller skates are available if rollerblading isn’t your cup of tea.

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