Fun on the Ice 101: Introductory Programs at Prince William Ice Center

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By Amy Taylor

Sponsored by Prince William Ice Center

From beginners to professionals, Prince William Ice Center offers something for skaters at all levels. If you’ve never laced up a pair of skates or you’re just a bit shaky on your feet, these programs could be right for you or one of your children.

The Washington Capitals Learn to Play Hockey program

This beginners’ hockey program, for players 5 to 9 years old, comes with a terrific price tag.

“The Caps LTPH program is a fantastic way for young players to try the sport of ice hockey without the huge financial investment. Thanks to money from the NHL, NHLPA, and Washington Capitals, every player registered gets a full set of equipment for free! The only cost is the program fee of $170,” said Zachary Vit, Hockey Director at Prince William Ice Center.

The 8-week series takes place on Saturdays and is designed for entry-level players to get them to the next level. Because athletes develop at different paces, graduates from the program have different options as they move on from this program.

“Once the player graduates from the program, they can move onto the Patriots Youth program or continue in the Prince William Ice Center Learn to Play Hockey program to strengthen their core skills before moving on further,” Vit said.

For more information on the program, visit

Learn to Skate

If skaters aren’t quite confident enough in their skating skills yet to tackle hockey, they can enroll in the Learn to Skate program. This program is the most entry-level program at Prince William Ice Center.

“Kids of all ages (and even adults) begin here to establish basic skills in a weekly group class. Once students reach a certain level, they move into more specialized program like Learn to Play Hockey, advanced group skating lessons, or private training with PWIC coaches,” Marina Khaltourina, Skating Director at Prince William Ice Center said.

The classes range from six to eight weeks long. Students are monitored throughout the course and graded at the end to see if they’ve gained the skills to move on.

“The ultimate goal for prospective hockey players is to move into the Potomac Patriots program, while skaters can aim to skate recreationally or train to skate competitively in various USFSA competitions,” Khaltourina said.

For more information on the program, visit

Snow and Story

One of the fastest growing programs is the Snow and Story program, designed for toddlers through kindergarteners.

“The Snow and Story program is a fun and inexpensive way for young kids to try a new activity! Kids come to the rink dressed in snow clothes, play on the ice with toys (no skates), then have some hot chocolate while listening to story time,” Maureen Brennan, Events and Group Sales Manager, said.

Birthday Parties

Birthday parties are another popular offering. For groups of up to 8 kids, you can book your child’s next birthday party that includes:

  • One hour in a party room with an assigned party host
  • Admission and skate rental to the public skate session
  • Admission and skate rental for two adults
  • Two pizzas and two pitchers of sodas
  • Two-for-one skate passes for your guests to use on another visit
  • Complete set-up, service and breakdown

They offer extra upgrades so you can design the party your child wants.

For more information on Snow and Story or birthday parties, visit

Public Skate Session

Skaters of all skill levels are welcome at public skating sessions. Enjoy one and a half to two hours of skating where you can go at your own speed and practice at your own pace.

During public skating sessions, depending on the number of skaters, the ice may be cut during the session for safety and for a better skating experience.

Skate aids are available for rental during public skate sessions.

For more information on public skate sessions and to check out the calendar, visit



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