By Dan Wing

Philadelphia now has another option for some “ice” skating.

The artificial surface at the skate rink at the Piazza in Northern Liberties will be open until February 23rd.

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It’s ice-skating, with no ice. The surface is more like a cutting board, which is then sprayed with a glycerin-base to make you glide, according to Steven Murphy, an artificial ice specialist with Artificial Ice Events.

“Now when you skate on ice, the reason you can skate and go forward is because there’s a chemical reaction that turns the ice into water and the water turns back to ice, and that’s what makes it so you can glide on real ice. When I spray that solution, it causes the same chemical reaction,” Murphy explains.

Murphy says some families feel the artificial surface is better for kids and rookie skaters to learn on.

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“There’s a 10% drag on this compared to ice,” he says.

Murphy adds that the surface is commonly used by speed-skaters and hockey players looking to train, and it’s very similar to a runner using ankle weights.

The skating rink at the Piazza is open from Monday through Thursday from 4 p.m. – 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. – 11 p.m.

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