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KIDS KICK/Top Ten Reasons to Skate Over to a Caps Practice

Margo Osborne
By Margo Osborne
Posted on Jan 20,2010
Filed Under Entertainment , Local Style,
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Photo by FLICKR/johnalexgolden/2417187670/<br /> <br />Watching the Washington Capitals practice at the Kettler Ice Arena with your kids?  Priceless. Watching  this adorable kid head down towards the plexiglass and his dad snap a shot of him with his Treo? Just too classic to pass up.
Photo by FLICKR/johnalexgolden/2417187670/
Watching the Washington Capitals practice at the Kettler Ice Arena
with your kids? Priceless. Watching this adorable kid head down
towards the plexiglass and his dad snap a shot of him with his
Treo? Just too classic to pass up.

ALEXANDRIA, VA. - Do you have kiddos in the house chanting, “Rock the Red?”  Are the Caps ticket prices too steep for you?  Want to give your kids the opportunity to see their hero Ovechkin in a more intimate setting?

In David Letterman-fashion, Kids Kick, with credit for the assist, has compiled its own Top Ten Reasons to Take the Kids to a Caps Practice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex in Arlington.

Photo by Margo Osborne/Local Kicks <br /> <br />Reagan Osborne gets her Red On.
Photo by Margo Osborne/Local Kicks 
Reagan Osborne gets her Red On.

10.  It is open to the public and nearly 1.5 hours of fun!  Morning skates are optional for the players, but it appeared most, if not all, of the players were on the ice doing passing and shooting drills this past Saturday.  Although it was a practice, it still had a game vibe as kids were lined up along and beating against the glass.

9.  There is a myriad of opportunities to witness these practices.  Practices start at 10 am on game days, 10:30 on non-game days, and 11 am on the day after games.  (These are subject to change without notice.)

8.  It is an easy commute to the Kettler Capitals Iceplex whether you are traveling from Fredericksburg, Manassas, Maryland or Alexandria.  From the Masonic Temple, it is approximately six miles away.  It is located atop and on the eighth level of the Ballston Public Parking Garage and connected to the Ballston Common Mall.  It is also metro accessible on the orange line.

7. What an affordable day of fun!  Admission is free of charge, and it only costs $1 to park in the Ballston Public Parking Garage.  The Iceplex website suggests drivers enter the garage directly from Glebe, but drivers can also enter from Randolph Road and proceed up to the eighth level.

6.  There are two NHL ice rinks at the Iceplex, so after the practice, your kids can show off their skating skills too and practice body checks on you!  Weekend public skate hours are Saturday at 12:15-1:45 pm and 8:00-9:00 pm and Sunday at 2:15-3:45 pm.  Admission rates are $7 for children and $8 for adults with a $3 skate rental fee.  The special $1 admission sponsored by Arlington County takes place on Tuesdays from 2:15-3:45 pm.

Photo by Margo Osborne/Local Kicks <br /> <br />Reagan Osborne gets her Red On, even more...
Photo by Margo Osborne/Local Kicks
Reagan Osborne gets her Red On,
even more...

5.  If you have little ones who aren’t skating yet, there’s an inventory-packed team store and restaurant on the ground level.  The team store carries the Alex Ovechkin Streetwear line exclusively in the area.  The Sports Page menu includes breakfast items, snacks, pizza and sandwiches.  There are also vending machines located on both levels.  

4.  It might be fun to make a day of it in Arlington.  In the Ballston Common Mall, there is a Regal Ballston Common 12 movie theater.  There are several restaurants in the mall, and a food court is located on the lowest level.  

If you want to venture outside of the mall, Whitlow’s on Wilson reigns supreme in the department of kid-friendly restaurants.  Kids eat free with every paying adult Tuesday through Sunday from 4 – 7 pm.  They are located at 2854 Wilson Boulevard, less than two miles from the Iceplex.

3.  If you and your kids are patient, you might even score a few autographs after practice.  Formal autograph sessions are not associated with practices, but if you don’t mind waiting after practice outside at the players’ entrance under the big Capitals logo, you might see your favorite players.

2.  It can get your kids psyched for joining the Caps Kids Club and participating in upcoming Kids’ Days.
  The $15 Kids Club membership includes a Slapshot bobblehead, free open skates, player meet and greets, and game day activities.  The practice we attended this past weekend also featured a Kids Club Day, which included games, face painting, photos with Slapshot, and Jason Chimera and Mike Green signing autographs.

1.  And the number one reason to take your kids to a Caps practice:
  As parents, it’s an assurance you will feel like you accomplished a hat trick – a bit far fetched in terms of hockey, but not in terms of your kids!

If You’re Going...

Photo by Margo Osborne/Local Kicks <br /> <br />The Ferlazzo boys are proud of their Green and Chimera autographs.
Photo by Margo Osborne/Local Kicks
The Ferlazzo boys are proud of their
Green and Chimera autographs.

Plan on it being packed with Caps fans.  This little known secret is quickly becoming a known fact!  Arrive early if you’d like a seat in the bleachers.  There are approximately ten rows of bleachers that run the length of the rink only on one side.  There are additional viewing areas behind the goalie on both levels, again only on one side.  There are even some arm chairs in the viewing area on the upper level.

There are plenty of restrooms on both levels of the Iceplex.

The mall stairwell does not have exit doors at each level, but the garage stairwell does.  One of the several elevators was not working.  I overheard several fans complaining that exiting the Iceplex and getting to your vehicle was never an easy task.

For additional information on the Washington Capitals and the Iceplex, see their websites www.capitals.nhl.com and www.kettlercapitalsiceplex.com.  “The Rink on the Roof” is located at 627 North Glebe, Arlington, VA  22203.  Their phone number is 571-224-0555.

Kids Kick is a new feature of Local Kicks. Contact Margo with your story ideas and submissions at jmombo@cox.net.



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