MOLINE – With the days getting closer and closer to spring, some winter cold still hangs on at Center Ice at Bass Street Landing.
This outdoor skating rink opened in 2012, and is ready to welcome travelers who enjoy the ice or want to know how to enjoy being on the ice.
Center Ice is 65 feet wide and 120 feet long. It has concessions, as well as skate rentals. Times on the ice are in 90-minute segments; visitors need to sign up for these. Children 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult.
With time ticking away for the rink, anyone who wants to visit should do so before mid-April, when it closes for the season. Skaters are welcome to bring their own equipment, or skates can be rented from the center. A maximum of 200 skaters are accepted for each session.
Especially good for travelers is the free parking. The KONE parking garage, for example, offers free parking when it is not in use. KONE is beside the rink.
Tenderly cared for, the ice at the rink stays cold enough for skating. Too cold? Visit one of the heated bathrooms and a warming room. Adults also can find shelter at the pub, which boasts a large TV screen.
Bass Street Landing specializes in outdoor events. Of interest on warmer days is a raised stage for performances during special events and a water feature that seems to scream "play." The public is welcome to explore this fountain that has zero-grade entry. In other words, you can walk right in. Outdoor seating is available, too.
When finished skating, an additional stop can open the world of John Deere's Harvester Works. There is a tour schedule, and reservations are necessary. They must be made 48 hours in advance, so a little planning is a good idea.
Each tour lasts 1.5 hours; participants must be 13 and older. No video cameras or cellphones are allowed, and participants must wear shoes that are not sandals or open-toed.
Thinking ahead can make the difference between being out in the cold and having a chance to visit a busy factory with warmth.