Once again this holiday season, Downtown Noblesville will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland, with Federal Hill Commons’ annual Ice Plaza serving as the center of it all.
“The way that it’s lit up and the decorations just add a little flair to Downtown Noblesville during the holidays,” says Brandon Bennett, director of Noblesville’s Parks and Recreation Department. “It gives it more of that small-town feel. People just like the fact that they can drive past it and see it.”
From Nov. 23 through Jan. 6, the Federal Hill Commons’ Ice Plaza will be open to all, offering up a unique ice skating experience in the heart of Noblesville. For a cost of $12, individuals can skate on the Plaza all day long, coming and going as they please. This $12 fee also includes ice skate rental, which come in sizes for the whole family.
Unlike some other ice rinks, the Ice Plaza’s $12 skating fee allows visitors to come and go from the rink as many times as they’d like throughout a day. Bennett says there are many reasons why this is the case.
“People don’t ice skate year-round here [in Indiana], so you might get out there, and 20 to 30 minutes in, your feet hurt,” Bennett says.
By allowing ice skaters to come and go throughout the day, the hope is that they will venture to nearby businesses for a meal or some shopping.
“You may want to take a break, go grab some lunch and do a little shopping, and you can still come back later on and get your money’s worth,” Bennett says. “With other rinks around us, it’s done by the session, so you have to get your time in during that session. We’re a little more flexible. If you want to come back six times that day, then great. You can come back six times.”
In addition to giving Ice Plaza patrons this freedom, the rink’s daily open-door rate allows them to support Noblesville merchants as well.
“We wanted to make sure that what we were bringing to Downtown Noblesville was going to be a benefit to everyone — that we wouldn’t just have ice skating out there,” Bennett says. “We wanted to get the local merchants involved as well and try to help them drive business.”
Through their community-minded efforts, the Ice Plaza has gained support from many businesses in the area.
“The Ice Plaza has been well received from the business community and we have a number of returning sponsors as well as new partners this year, including (as of today) First Merchants, Gaylor Electric, Indiana American Water, IU Health Saxony, Hamilton County Tourism, McGavic Outdoor Power, Cathedral High School, CSI Signs, Burtner Electric, Midwest Paving, Pediatric Dentistry of Noblesville, Peterson Architecture and Stony Creek Early Learning Center,” says Kristi Spehler, community development manager with Noblesville’s Parks and Recreation Department.
In keeping with the holiday spirit, the Ice Plaza will host some seasonal festivities.
“There will be some themed nights and a couple small events surrounding the rink, including the Christmas Cottage, which is also out there at Federal Hill Commons,” Bennett says.
Like previous years, the Ice Plaza will also team up with area schools for fundraisers too.
“There might be a night where a particular school will hold their PTO night and a percentage of our revenue will go back to the school as a fundraiser for their PTO (Parent Teacher Organization),” Bennett says. “That’s a win-win for both of us. It brings more skaters to us, but it also generates revenue for them.”
“We did the PTO nights last year, and the schools weren’t all able to schedule something,” Spehler adds. “So they’ll definitely want to look into that for this year. We’ll be working with them again.”
As a born-and-raised Noblesville native, Bennett just sees the ice rink as being yet another piece to the city’s overall charm.
“I’ve watched this place evolve over the last 40 years,” Bennett says. “And somehow, as much as we’ve grown, we’ve managed to maintain that small-town feel. I think things like the rink are what allow us to do that. We’re excited about keeping that community feel here.”
The Federal Hill Commons Ice Plaza is located at 175 Logan Street in Downtown Noblesville. You can also give them a call at 317-776-6350 or visit their website at FederalHillCommons.com.