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Swim, skate, climb indoors when WNY winters limit fitness choices

You can glide along at several outdoor rinks in the region – including the Ice at Canalside, Martin Luther King Park rink and Rotary Rink in the city. You can ski. But winter weather in Western New York can get finicky.

No problem. There are plenty of indoor options for those who want to get some exercise, even feel something under their feet, without feeling rain, sleet, snowfall and a swift wind at their back.

Among them:


Let’s Get Physical: BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York hosts activities that include Zumba and yoga, sport games, Imagination Playground and more from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays through May at the Explore & More Children’s Museum in East Aurora. Free with museum membership or admission; BlueCross BlueShield members get $1 off admission by showing member ID card. For more info, visit

[RELATED: Racquet sports, bowling and dance also are part of the WNY indoor fitness mix]


Griffin Vaccaro glides along the ice at Northtown Center in Amherst. (Mark Mulville/Buffalo News file photo)

Many of the municipal rinks offer discounts for town residents. Double-check times and availability before heading out to one of these spots:


City-owned: Open public skating may be the least expensive in the region at $2 for adults and $1 for children 5-17 and free for 4 and under at three ice rinks: Lafayette Ice Rink (; 873-8481); Timothy J. Burvid Rink, and the Bud Bakewell Rink. (See schedules for the latter two at or call 875-4820 for more info.) Skate rental at the rinks costs $3.

HarborCenter: Rinks 1 and 2 on the sixth floor offer open skating at various times, depending on tournaments and other events. Rates run from $1.25 an hour for kids 6 and under to $6 an hour for adults; skate rental costs $3 and BlueCross BlueShield members get a $1 discount with their insurance card. See hours at or call 855-4501. Full-equipment, pick-up hockey skate and shoot for those 16 and over runs from 7 to 8 a.m. Wednesday. Cost is $10; goalies are free.

Buffalo State Ice Arena: Rates of $3 for adults and $2 and under for children during varying times. Find them at


Northtown Center: Information about open skating, fitness options and roller hockey under the Youth and Recreation tab at or by calling 631-7555.


Town Recreation Center Arena: Offers open ice skating from 7 to 9 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 2:45 to 4:35 p.m. Sundays, as well as soccer, indoor volleyball and a host of other activities. Visit the Youth and Recreational Services section at or call 897-7218 for more specific information.


Town Arena: Public skating generally runs from 11 a.m. to 12:50 p.m. Tuesday to Friday, 8 to 9:50 p.m. Friday and 2 to 3:50 p.m. Sunday. To double-check, visit the Recreation Department tab under Municipal Departments at or call 649-8771.


Cornerstone Arena: Offers $4 “cheap skates” from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday to Friday and $6 open
skating for from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. (; 438-7698)


Two rinks: Resident access cards and seasonal passes are available for open skating at Lincoln Arena (833-7757), and Brighton Arena (833-7757). Click on the Youth, Parks and Recreation tab under Departments at


Town Ice Rink: Offers adult and public skates several times each week free for senior citizens, $4 for town residents and $6 for nonresidents. Visit the Ice Rink Schedule under the Youth & Recreation tab at or call 674-6086 for more info.


Rainbow Rink in North Tonawanda is family owned and offers lots of skate time. (Robert Kirkham/Buffalo News file photo)

Rainbow Rink: Admission is generally $5 ($6 on weekends) at this family-owned, family-friendly North Tonawanda rink. (; 693-1100)

Spinners Family Skate Center: Open weekends and for private events. Join this West Seneca rink’s Facebook page or call 826-6260 for skate times.



With daily rates from $1 to $3 and winter seasonal rates from $50 to $150, the Cazenovia and Lovejoy pools are among the best swimming bargains in the region. For information on senior, lap and open swimming, click here or call 851-5998.


Tonawanda Aquatic and Fitness Center: This spot includes a gym and pool. Town residents may invite non-resident guests for a fee. For more information, look under Town Facilities at or call 876-7424.


Sky Zone (425 Cayuga Road, Cheektowaga): Along with several trampolines to bounce on, this center in an office park near the Buffalo Niagara International Airport offers ultimate dodgeball, a foam zone, and morning and weekday evening fitness classes. Rates vary. (; 206-3300).


Twitter: @BNrefresh, @ScottBScanlon

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