by Ryan Cox ’18
Few things in Rhode Island are more picturesque in the wintertime than downtown Providence, especially while the city is decorated for Christmas. The skating rink at the Alex and Ani City Center in Kennedy Plaza offers ice skating for all ages in the heart of downtown Providence.
The rink is flanked by the historic Biltmore Hotel and Providence City Hall on one side and by Burnside Park on another. While the Christmas tree overlooks the rink, nothing could be more Instagram-worthy.
Since Kennedy Plaza is the hub for all RIPTA buses, including the 55, the rink is easily accessible for all Providence College students. Riding the RIPTA is free with a student ID, so there is no need to worry about finding parking in the city. If you do want to drive downtown, however, two hours of parking is free on designated streets daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. until Jan. 1, as part of Providence’s “ThinkPVD” campaign.
The rink is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., from November to March, so the skating season has only just begun. Tickets are generally $7 and are good for four hours of skating.
Every Wednesday night is College Night from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., and ticket prices are $5 with a student ID. You can bring your own skates or rent a pair for $6. The rink offers locker rental as well for $3. All things considered, a night at the Kennedy Plaza skating rink is under $20 per person.
Since there is so much to do in downtown Providence, it is very easy to make an entire afternoon or night out of a trip to the skating rink. With the Providence Place Mall and Thayer Street so close by, it is easy to go for a meal or hot chocolate before or after skating.
Mira Magner ’18 says, “The skating rink downtown is a lot of fun! It’s a great place to go with friends on the weekend, or with family when they come to visit.” It is also a great place to go on a date, she explains, “I took my boyfriend once when he came to visit, and we both had a great time! We went out for hot chocolate and walked around downtown after and it was super cute.”
“It’s really cool that they have an outdoor skating rink in downtown Providence. Not only is it in a cool location but it’s something fun to do. I love that it appeals to everyone, and anyone can go,” said Kasey Cardin ’18.
According to East Side Monthly, “Nothing says ‘holidays in the city’ like ice skating in the middle of downtown…There’s no more heartwarming time to do it than when you can skate under the giant Christmas tree.” For more information on the rink at the Alex and Ani City Center, check out theprovidencerink.com or call (401) 331-5544.