Here’s a look inside the new ice skating rink at Esplanade Mall

A permanent ice skating rink heads back to the New Orleans area.

A new ice skating rink opens in Esplanade Mall. Penguin Ice Skating brings a permanent ice skating rink back to the New Orleans area.

The new attraction is located on the second floor of the shopping center, near the Target entrance.

penguin ice skating

Although the rink is actually synthetic, director of skating and resident “ice princess” Sarah Zanolli says the “glide is the same” as real ice. Professionals use this type of surface for strength and endurance training.

“For beginners, it’s a little bit easier to get started,” Zanolli said.

Zanolli describes the rink as similar to a plastic cutting board, sprayed with a solution to make it slippery like ice. The rink is around 2,000 square feet.

Penguin Ice Skating was a dream of Zanolli, a figure skater from New York, and co-owner Dennis Guderen, a former hockey player, that has now turned into a reality. Zanolli said when she first moved to New Orleans she was disappointed that there wasn’t a place to skate. The pair teamed up to open the new rink after meeting on the ice skating rink at NOLA Christmas Fest.

“It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to bring ice skating to New Orleans,” Zanolli said.

Now, Zanolli carries the torch as “ice princess of New Orleans” ready to help locals get on the ice and try something new.

“We really hope to grow skating as a popular activity here in Louisiana,” Zanolli said.

Penguin Ice Skating offers public skating sessions during mall hours. Esplanade Mall hours are Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and  Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Admission is $15 per person, which includes skate, helmet and pad rentals.

The business also hosts birthday parties, team building events, group lessons and looks develop a learn-to-skate program.

Zanolli says their future goals include offering classes to prepare skaters for figure skating and ice hockey.

For more information, visit Penguin Ice Skating’s Facebook page.

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