UNMC opening seasonal ice rink soon


Jared Barton

Students skating at an ice rink
Students skate at the UNMC ice rink last fall. Photo Courtesy of the University of Nebraska Medical Center

The University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) will open their annual ice-skating rink to the public on Friday, Nov. 29.

Students, faculty and staff of the Universities of Nebraska at Omaha, Kearney and Lincoln, as well as UNMC and Clarkson, skate free by showing a valid student ID. The ice rink is located at 4016 Emile St. in Omaha, near the Blackstone District. Parking is available in lot 15, on 40th Street.

This year, UNMC has lowered the admission fee to $5 for non-University of Nebraska skaters. The rink will be open Tuesday to Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Sunday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. every week until Sunday, Feb. 2.

The rink will have extended hours over the universities’ winter break, from Dec. 16-Jan. 5: Sunday through Thursday 11:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Christmas Eve hours will be from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. They will be closed on Christmas Day but will reopen for the new year.

Assistant Vice Chancellor for business and Finance William Lawlor said UNMC is very proud of their ice rink.

“We think it’s the best outdoor skating rink in the city,” Lawlor said.

This year, as in the past, the skate rink will host the 10th UNMC Skate-a-thon for Parkinson’s. The event will begin Jan. 24 at 2 p.m. and conclude 24 hours later on the Jan. 25. The event is intended to raise funds for UNMC’s Parkinson’s research and help families of Parkinson’s patients.

The Skate-a-thon started in the flooded, frozen backyard of the Weubben family. Colleen Weubben was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2005, and her family started the skate-a-thon to help families in similar positions. In 2011, the skate-a-thon found its current home at UNMC.

The rink may close due to weather, in the event temperatures go below zero degrees. Ensure they are open by checking their website or the Weather Channel.

“We want people to come out and discover what a hidden gem the UNMC Ice Rink really is,” Lawlor said.

Lawlor says barring any bad weather, the rink will be open 9 weeks this season, and UNMC hopes they have a good turnout.

“It’s a perfect way for families to go outdoors, get some exercise and enjoy a fun winter activity,” Lawlor said.