Featured image: Bumper cars on ice is the newest type of winter fun at The Providence Rink at the Alex and Ani City Center in Providence, Rhode Island. (photo credit: Alex and Ani City Center)
Kids and adults alike love bumper cars. We’re thrilled with rolling and twirling around the arcade in a rubber tube with a seat, steering, and wheels. Bumping into each other and ricocheting into someone else fills us with delight.
It’s loads of fun on a concrete floor, so imagine how much fun bumper cars would be on an ice rink. Well, it’s real, and you can experience it for yourself.
Bumper cars on ice have existed since 2010, when the first models appeared briefly at Idaho IceWorld in Boise. In 2012, Director Mike Albrecht at the Howelsen Ice Complex in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, started offering rides during the public skating season.
Six years later, they’re still a hit.
Unlike traditional bumper cars, the on-ice versions are motorized and have joysticks for navigation. Each car has four wheels with tiny cleats like the wheels on a Zamboni.
In 2017, two more arenas added the on-ice bumper cars. In October, Delaware Online announced the new rides at the Centre Ice Rink at the Delaware State Fairgrounds. Then, three days before Christmas, the Boston Globe wrote about the nation’s first outdoor on-ice bumper cars at The Providence Rink at the Alex and Ani City Center in Providence, Rhode Island.
At the rink in Rhode Island, even Mayor Jorge Elorza joined in on the fun.
Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza enjoys his ride on the new on-ice bumper cars at The Providence Rink in December 2017. (photo credit: Alex and Ani City Center)
Here are the basics at any on-ice bumper car rink if you decide to go.
- Each bumper car has a total weight limit of 300 pounds.
- To operate a bumper car alone, you must be at least six years old and 42 inches tall.
- Operators carrying passengers must be at least 16 years old, and the passenger from 3 to 5 years old.
Howelsen Ice Complex
Address—285 Howelsen Parkway, Steamboat Springs, Colorado (157 miles northwest of Denver)
Hours vary by month. Check the calendar on the Howelsen Ice Complex’s website for updates.
Rates—$12 per person for Bumper-Cars-On-Ice (20 minutes) and $19 per person for a combo bumper car/ice skating package, which includes skate rental. The package contains the 20-minute bumper car ride and allows skating for the rest of the session.
Reservations—Call (970) 871-7033, or stop by the complex’s front desk. Payment is required when you reserve.
For more information, visit the Howelsen Ice Complex’s website or call (970) 871-7033.
Centre Ice Rink at the Delaware State Fairgrounds
Address—18500 S. DuPont Highway, Harrington, Delaware (68 miles south of Wilmington, Delaware, and 88 miles southeast of Baltimore)
Hours—8-10 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 7:45-9:45 p.m. Saturday, and 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m. Sunday
Rates—$5 per person per five-minute ride
Reservations—Buy tickets at the rink.
For more information, visit the Centre Ice Rink’s page or call (302) 398-3269.
The Providence Rink at the Alex and Ani City Center
Address—2 Kennedy Plaza, Providence, Rhode Island
- Monday-Thursday—Shared bumper cars and skating, 4-10 p.m., and full bumper cars, 10-11 p.m.
- Friday—Shared bumper cars and skating, 4-10 p.m., and full bumper cars, 10 p.m.-midnight
- Saturday—Shared bumper cars and skating, 10 a.m.-6 p.m., and full bumper cars, 10 p.m.-midnight
- Sunday—Shared bumper cars and skating, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.
The Providence Rink plans to operate the on-ice bumper cars until Sunday, March 18, weather permitting.
Rates—$12 per person for 20 minutes
Reservations—By phone only; call (401) 331-5544. Payment is required when you reserve.
Arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled reservation time with your entire party.
For more information, visit The Providence Rink’s website or call (401) 331-5544.