Skating Fridays

Traveling with Skates: A Guide

Nashville Ford Ice Center

Every once in a while, I get the opportunity to travel for work. If and when that happens, I like to see if there is a rink nearby. For those of you who are curious, here is the process I use and recommend.

  1. Google the city where you’ll be and add “ice skating” to your search
  2. Go to the rink website to see if ice skating is offered year-round (some are temporary rinks that are set up only in the winter)
  3. Check their freestyle or public schedules for available times
  4. Call the rink to ask if pre-registration/pre-payment is required and if they allow non-members to do a walk-on session for freestyle. I know of a few rinks that require advanced purchase and skater registration for freestyle: Yuerba Buena in San Francisco and the Ice Den in Scottsdale, AZ.
  5. Check Google Maps to see how far the rink is from where you’re staying. Go to the Uber/Lyft app to see how much you’ll pay for a ride if you don’t already have a rental car.
  6. Factor all these things into your decision on whether you want to skate.
  7. Pack your bags (bring your skates, soakers, hard guards, gloves, a jacket, skate towel and anything else you’ll need)
  8. As you go through TSA, you might want to give the screener a heads up that you have skates in your bag (assuming you are not checking your bags). They should let you through, but if needed, you can point them to the TSA website that clearly states that ice skates are permitted as a carry-on.

Oh, and that’s me skating in Nashville, TN for work last week. I skated at the Ford Ice Center, which is Scott Hamilton’s rink, but sadly, I did not see him. I had the ice to myself for a half hour before 2 other adult skaters joined me. And yes, that clock says 5:59 AM!

Happy skating!


  1. August 30, 2019 / 2:06 pm

    Your early rising is impressive! I did the “research and skate” thing a number of times when I was traveling a lot for work too. I found it was another great way to feel at home in a strange place. Of course, knowing that you’re sharing a rink with Scott Hamilton is pretty cool too. Travel safely, Eva!

    • evabakes
      August 30, 2019 / 9:15 pm

      I usually have to skate the earliest freestyle session because my meetings start at either 8 or 9. That gives me enough time to get back to my hotel, shower and get to work!

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