‘Tis the season for sparkling lights, cozy hats and gloves, steaming cups of cocoa, and best of all, ice skating. If your ideal winter day or evening includes all of these elements, you are in luck. Westfield’s Grand Junction Plaza is the newest addition to Indy’s long list of fabulous places to go ice skating. Located within walking distance of Westfield’s Main Street, along with all the restaurants of Park Street, this enhancement to the city’s growing list of amenities is an exciting addition to downtown Westfield.
Spending the winter season in Indy doesn’t have to mean holing up indoors until spring! We love to see opportunities for cold-weather outdoor fun popping up in our area. Here’s everything you need to know before heading to Westfield for a spin around the Ice Ribbon.
The Ice Ribbon debuts on November 18, 2023, and will close for the season on January 13, 2024.
The Ice Ribbon at Grand Junction Plaza
Grand Junction Plaza’s Ice Ribbon is the first to bring the skating ribbon concept to Central Indiana, making it a worthy destination for both Westfield residents and visitors alike. Other midwestern locations to embrace the skating trail design include Chicago’s Maggie Daley Park and South Bend’s Howard Park. Now, the experience of outdoor skating through a lighted wintery path is just a short, fifteen-minute jaunt from Indianapolis.
What is Glice?
The Ice Ribbon is constructed from a synthetic ice material called “Glice.” This high-density polymer material is smooth, shiny, and comes exceptionally close to providing an identical experience to skating on real ice. Glice requires no energy to cool in warm temperatures, making it an ideal substance for use on rinks in Indiana, where winter temperatures can be unpredictable and often warm. Glice is also gentler on skate blades, allowing them to go longer between sharpening and increasing their overall lifespan.
If you’re skeptical about skating on a plastic material, visit the Ice Loop and let the Glice on the rink defy your expectations. Each sheet of Glice is imbedded with lubricants that provide skaters an authentic icy glide around the ribbon.
Skating on Glice does have a slightly different feel from real ice, but for families with young children or new skaters, this could be a benefit. When visiting with a five-year-old who is new to skating, we found the slight grip of the Glice polymer gave him the chance to spend more time mastering the footwork necessary for skating and less time slipping and falling to the ground!
The Ice Ribbon Experience
Ready to plan your trip to Westfield’s Ice Ribbon? Here’s everything you need to know before your visit.
Your first stop upon arriving at Grand Junction Plaza is the Cafe Pavillion. Step inside this sleek, naturally-inspired building to the front desk where your digital tickets will be scanned for admission. Around the corner to the left of the desk is the skate rental station. Skate sizes start with children’s 10.5 and go up to adult size 16. Grab your skates, then take a seat on one of the small round seats lining the curved exterior wall to try them on. Free lockers are available here as well, on a first-come, first-served basis, along with restrooms. Once you’ve found the appropriate size for each member of your crew, remove your skates and carry them outdoors to prevent damage to the blades and the interior floors.
An enclosed area full of long benches invites you to sit down to put your skates back on. From here, you’re just steps from the entrance to the rink. Once you get your footing, set off around the ribbon for views of glittering Christmas lights strung through the center of the plaza, decorated trees, and festive decor throughout the rest of the park. The surrounding decor and natural elements create a more immersive experience than a traditional rink, blending the feel of an ice skating rink and a stroll down a wintery wooded path.
For those interested in practicing their figure skating pirouettes, a larger, more open section of the rink is found near the entrance. This area provides space for a few tricks, a good spot to stop and take a break along the edge, or a vantage point for photos.
Visiting the Ice Loop with a child or an inexperienced skater? Adorably-designed skate aids that look like whales are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Find them in the open skating area near the rink entrance. Skate aids may be used free-of-charge and are a great option for kids who need some help getting their feet under them as they practice their skating skills.
Lockers are available inside the Pavillion near the skate rental desk and are also free to use. Some cozy cafe seating is located indoors, along with outdoor tables for those needing a hot chocolate break.
It’s important to note that tickets for the Ice Ribbon must be purchased online in advance. No tickets are sold onsite. Book your skate session online before you go or come prepared to purchase them on your mobile device.
Tickets are $10 for ages 10 and under and $12 for ages 11 and up. This includes your skate rental.
Season and Hours
The Ice Ribbon at Grand Junction Plaza opens for its inaugural season on Saturday, November 18. On opening day, you can expect food trucks and special activities to enjoy as a family.
After November 18, the Ice Ribbon will be open Thursday-Saturday each week (closed Thanksgiving Day) through January 13.
*The following skating session schedules are accurate at the time of publishing, but subject to change. Please verify session times directly with the venue.
Thursday: 4-5:30 & 6-7:30.
Friday: 4-5:30, 6-7:30, & 8-9:30
Saturday: 12-1:30, 2-3:30, 4-5:30, 6-7:30, & 8-9:30
Special hours for winter break will be announced.
Holiday Events in Westfield
Westfield in Lights
December 2, 3-6 pm
December 2 promises to be a magical day at Grand Junction Plaza! Get the full holiday experience at Westfield in Lights. The free event will feature photos with Santa, costumed characters, carnival games, live music, caricature artists, food and retail vendors, and even some friendly llamas. The highlight of the evening will be the Tree Lighting Ceremony at 5:50 pm. Hop on over to the Ice Ribbon to complete the experience.
Check out our guide to the best hot chocolate in Indianapolis.
Also new in 2023, WinterFaire at the Children’s Museum of Indianapolis is sure to enchant.