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Kracken Community Iceplex family guide

Skate aids help young beginners. Photo courtesy of Kracken Community Iceplex.

Family guide: Kraken Community Iceplex

Everything you need to know to get them out on the ice

The first thing you might want to know before you head to the Kraken Community Iceplex is this: What, exactly, is a Kraken? Don’t be embarrassed. There are a lot of us out here who had to look it up when Seattle’s uber-popular ice hockey team got its name.

A definition for the uninitiated (thank you, Wikipedia): 

The Kraken (/ˈkrɑːkən/): a legendary sea monster of enormous size said to appear off the coasts of Norway. . . the first [description of] the Kraken was an octopus of tremendous size that had a reputation for pulling down ships. 

If that doesn’t describe the spunky professional hockey team that operates out of Kraken Community Iceplex in north Seattle, I don’t know what does. The facility is well-named, too – it is, indeed, a place for the whole family and whole community of greater Seattle to play and celebrate.

What can you do at the facility? Glad you asked. Below are answers to all your pressing questions about Kraken Community Iceplex.

What’s at the Iceplex that might interest my family? 

The Iceplex encompasses 172,000 square feet and includes 3 ice rinks, each meeting the NHL standard of 200 feet long by 85 feet wide. The facility has a bar and grill, a Starbucks coffee shop, and a team shop and is home to the Virginia Mason Franciscan Health Medical Pavilion, where team members are cared for.

Can we see any players there?

Kraken fans are invited to come watch their team practice on The Starbucks Rink, which can accommodate up to 500 fans. Go to the practice viewing schedule for updates. 

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Watch a Kraken game while skating. Photo courtesy Kraken Community Iceplex.

When can we skate as a family or let the kids skate?

Public skate sessions are offered over lunch hours, weekends, and evenings. Times are subject to change, so be sure to always review the public and drop-in skating calendar before you go. Click on “public skate” to view only those sessions on the skate center’s busy calendar. All ages and levels are welcome, although the Iceplex recommendation is for ages 4 and older.

What does it cost to attend a public skating session?

$16.50 regular admission. Kids aged 3 and under skate free. Skate rentals are $6, and skating aid rentals (to help younger kids move around the ice) are $9. A 10-punch public skate pass is available for $150. A 10-punch public skate matinee (always check times and public skate titles) pass is available for $130.  

Everyone in the family who is skating needs to have an active DaySmart account. Registration sales are final. 

Kracken Community Iceplex guide

Skate under the green lights for St. Patrick’s Day. Photo courtesy Kraken Community Iceplex

Upcoming theme skates

March 15: Join Buoy, the Kraken team mascot, for the “Mascot Madness” skate from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. Mascots will be available for autographs ahead of the skate. 

March 17: Skate under green lighting in celebration of St. Patrick’s Day with traditional Irish music in the background. The skate takes place from 1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.

Are there times when I can skate with my young kids?

Yes, welcome to Tot Play Hour, an hour of fun on the ice with your littlest kraken. During this session, balls and piles of snow were set out for open play on the ice. You can rent skates and skate aid seals or wear sneakers or boots. Helmets are recommended but parent supervision is required. Each session costs $13 per adult, but children age 6 and under are free. Skate rental rates are the same, but plastic seal rentals to keep kids up (think play push toy for kids learning to walk) are $7.

Tot Play Hour is listed on the Iceplex Public Skate page and categorized as “other” on the calendar page. If you click ‘other’ under the Select Activity drop-down, it will be easier to see. It typically runs every Monday at 10:30 a.m. and Friday at 11:20 a.m.  

Kracken Community Iceplex Guide

Tot Hour at the Iceplex. Photo courtesy of Kraken Community Iceplex.

I have a child with special needs and/or sensory issues. Can I still bring them to the Iceplex?

Yes. If your child is one for whom the noise or stimuli of the rink or a hockey game may be overwhelming, ask for one of the Iceplex’s loader sensory bags. The bags contain fidget tools, noise-canceling headphones, feeling thermometer cars, weighted lap pads, and a special badge that alerts staff to individuals with sensory needs. You may also want to ask about visiting a quiet Sensory Room on your visit, although rooms are not always available.

The Iceplex offers occasional “Sensory-friendly public skates.” For upcoming dates, check the Public Skate page.

What about skate aids and accessibility?

The Iceplex also has skate aids (for example, large plastic seal-shaped push sleds that help young skaters stay upright). They are available for rental on a first-come, first-served basis. If you know your child or a parent will need an aid, arrive early to obtain one.

Wheelchairs are allowed on the ice during public skating. Adding a brightly-colored attachment is recommended to make sure the wheelchair is visible to other skaters. All locker rooms are wheelchair accessible, and the Starbucks Rink has dedicated viewing areas for those in wheelchairs.

Smartsheet Rink has clear panels in the player benches to allow sled hockey players to see the ice from the bench. Seattle Adaptive Sports operates the Kraken’s affiliate sled hockey team, which means members may participate in the annual NHL Sled Hockey Classic tournament.

Are animals allowed?

Registered medical or emotional support animals are allowed. Pets are not.

Can we hold my kid’s birthday party at the Iceplex?

You certainly can, for a fee. Kraken Community Iceplex offers birthday party packages that include access to a party room, food and beverages, admission to a public skate session, and rental skates for all guests at the party.

Before you decide to have your party at the Iceplex, be sure to review its party rental FAQs as well as its cancellation or rescheduling policy. Here are the birthday party basics: 

  • 45-minute pizza party for 10. The birthday kid + nine friends. 
  • Semi-private party room. The room is divided into two party sections. 
  • Cheese pizza & assorted Pepsi sodas and water for 10. Dessert is not included. Families are welcome to bring their own. 
  • Kraken gift for the birthday kid + Kraken party favors for the guests.
  • Skate rentals and admission to the public skate session for the 10 party kids following the pizza party.

The birthday party package price is $399, with up to four spots for additional party guests at $35 each. Note: The Iceplex does not allow outside food beyond the birthday cake/dessert.

Rent a whole rink? It’s possible. Each rink comes with music, a mic system, and a scoreboard. Contact the Iceplex events team if a family reunion on the ice sounds like fun to you and yours. 

What times are parties scheduled?

Time slots are as follows: 

  • Fridays: Pizza party from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. with skating from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. 
  • Saturdays: Pizza party from 2:45 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. with skating from 3:30 p.m. to 5:15 p.m. Or, pizza party from 5:30 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. with skating from 6:00 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. 
  • Sundays: Pizza party from 12:45 p.m. to 1:30 p.m. with skating from 1:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m. Or, pizza party from 3:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. with skating from 4:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. 

Tell me about 8-week “Learn to Skate” programs.

The Iceplex offers various levels of youth camps from September through March. $224 per 8-week session. Classes include a 30-minute class followed by 30 minutes of free skating and are designed for new skaters as well as skaters who have achieved higher skate levels:

  • Snowplow Sam levels 1 – 4 are co-ed and for ages 3 to 6
  • Basic Skills levels 1 – 3 are co-ed and for ages 7-17
  • Hockey Skating levels 1 – 2 are co-ed and for ages 5 – 17
  • Figure Skating (after completion of Snowplow Sam 4 or Basic Skills 2) is co-ed for ages 3 and older.

The Emerald Edge program is for skaters ready to bridge from the Learn to Skate level to figure skating and who are already skating at Basic Skills levels 4 – 6 or Pre-Freeskate/Freeskate. Each session includes a 30-minute class followed by 30 minutes of free skating. Priority registration is given to skaters currently in Kraken Community Iceplex programs and opens on February 15 at noon. Crasche helmets are recommended. The cost includes skate rentals for those who do not own them. The cost is $250 to $450.

Does the Iceplex offer summer camps?

Yes, it does. And February and March are a great time to register before they fill up. All classes take place Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. Skaters sign up for a week at a time. Most summer camp programs run between $450 (half-day) and $810 (full-day) per week, plus $17.50 for an annual USA Learn to Skate registration.

If your child already has a valid USA Learn to Skate number, contact Iceplex guest services at 206-279-7770 to process your registration without applying for the US Learn to Skate registration. Rental skates are provided if your child does not do not have their own. 2024 summer camp dates are as follows:

  • May 10-12
  • Week 1: June 24-28
  • Week 1: July 8- 12
  • Week 2: July 15 – 29
  • Week 3: July 22 – 26
  • Week 4: July29 – Aug 2
  • Week 5: August 5 – 9
  • Week 6: August 9 – 11
  • Week 7: August 12 – 16
  • Week 8: August 21 – 25

What gear does my kid need to attend a summer camp?

Helmets are mandatory for all ages and levels in the Learn to Skate program. Hockey helmets with facemasks are recommended, but bike, ski, and skateboard helmets will work. Don’t dress your skater in full hockey gear. Pieces of equipment will be added as kids progress in their skating skills. Other recommended clothing includes gloves or mittens, warm, layered clothing, thin socks, and no jeans. 

I think visiting would make a cool school field trip. Is that possible?

The Iceplex welcomes groups of students on school field trips from preschool through high school and offers both interesting academic information and the opportunity to skate. Students may participate in open skating sessions, receive lessons, and have the chance to watch the Seattle Kraken practice. The cost is $11 per person with a minimum of $450 per hour rental fee. You can upgrade your group visit to include pizza. 

What might kids learn on a classroom or homeschool field trip?

A selection of 30- and 40-minute STEM-based hands-on learning activities with materials, prep work and teaching notes are available on request for teachers to deliver at school before or after your field trip. Here’s a look at some of the lessons:

  • Make a balance (K-3) helps students explore the concept of balance and make a balance toy to experiment with. Participants take home their balance.
  • Ice cube fishing (K-4) lets students explore an experiment in the science of how ice is made in an ice rink
  • Friction Pucks (K-8) explores the science and engineering behind hockey pucks and friction.
  • Explore temperature change (K-8) helps kids to look at the concepts of heat transfer and temperature change in the context of the ice rink environment and experiment with insulators. 
  • Make a Balancing Butterfly (K-8) explores the concept of balance in skating. 
  • Make catapults (K-8) teaches kids how a  hockey stick functions as a powerful lever.
  • Make fizzing snowmen (K-8) is a lesson in the science of ice and snow and chemical reactions.
  • Make paper helicopters (K-8) gets kids to explore the science of spinning, with emphasis on figure skating. 
  • Make Pinwheel Rockets (K-8) explores the science of spinning, with an emphasis on figure skating. 
  • Make snow lime (K-8) explores the science of ice and snow, then learn about chemical reactions by making “snow slime” to play with and take home.

What do the curriculum materials for educators look like?

The Iceplex offers three curriculum programs to educators, including:

The Kraken Floorball program provides a PE curriculum aligned with SHAPE America national standards to introduce hockey to new participants. The program also provides equipment to Title 1 schools and community organizations serving low-income youth. 

Equipment sets include nets, sticks, balls, and instruction manuals for schools and community organizations. The Kraken will host teacher-training days where physical education teachers and afterschool providers learn how to integrate floorball into their PE classes and programs.

The Lessons from Willie program takes its lead from Willie O’Ree, a major change agent in the hockey world. Share the story of his career and how his journey paved the way for many players of color to participate in the sport. Award-winning documentary ‘Willie” is a tale of battling adversity that goes beyond the hockey rink. With this tool, teachers, coaches, and parents can facilitate a meaningful lesson around social justice and racism through the experience of Willie O’Ree using the educator’s guide.

The Future Goals program critical skills education platform teaches important skills that help prepare kids for success in life. Using the fast-paced, exciting game of hockey as a learning vehicle, the program helps students understand the real-world applications of science and math principles. The course reinforces concepts like scientific thinking and data analysis, incorporating science and math skills through highly interactive gameplay.

What other activities or programs will my family find at Kraken Community Iceplex?

The Iceplex offers something for just about everyone in every age group and at every level of skill. Along with public skate times, kids Learn to Skate, hockey and figure skating training programs, and birthday parties, the facility offers:

  • Viewing of Seattle Kraken Training Camp & Practices 
  • Adult Learn to Skate Programs 
  • Adult Learn to Play Programs 
  • Youth Hockey Leagues 
  • Adult Hockey Leagues 
  • Drop in hockey, “Stick ‘n Puck” and freestyle skate sessions
  • 32 Bar & Grill, a full-service, hockey-centric sports restaurant open to all ages

What is the Kraken Community Iceplex doing to ensure equitable access to all?

One Roof Foundation, is the Kraken’s and the Kraken Community Iceplex’s philanthropic arm. The organization’s goal is to ensure that all young people in the region have a roof over their heads, fresh air to breathe, and know that hockey is a game they can call their own. The Kraken enterprise is committed to addressing barriers in ice sports by creating a community that puts diversity, equity, and inclusion by expanding access to Kraken Community Iceplex programming for all families. The Kraken is partnering with schools and community organizations to connect with low-income families and youth of color as part of a holistic strategy to build an equitable and inclusive hockey culture in Puget Sound.

The Seattle Kraken is a partner in the NHL’s Hockey Is For Everyone program that uses the game of hockey — and the League’s global influence — to drive positive social change and foster more inclusive communities. The program is committed to providing a safe, positive, and inclusive environment for players and families regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity or expression, disability, sexual orientation, or socio-economic status.

Oh, yeah! How do we get there? 

Kraken Community Iceplex is located at 10601 5th Ave NE in Seattle.

Car: Take  Exit 173 off 1-5 and pull into complimentary designated parking at Northgate Station lots. If you plan to stay for more than three hours, register your vehicle using the QR codes posted in each lot and use code “Kraken,” as Northgate Station charges non-Iceplex patrons for longer stays.

Rail: Take the King County Metro bus (or other bus systems) from wherever you live to a Sound Sound Transit Light Rail station. Ride Sound Transit and get off at the Northgate Station. The nearest entrance to the station is on the west side, near the VMFH Medical Pavilion.

Bus: You can get there by King County Metro buses serving the Northgate Transit Center as well.

Bike: Bike racks are available outside the facility’s east entrance.

Read more:

Seattle’s Child Summer Classes and Camps Directory

About the Author

Cheryl Murfin

Cheryl Murfin is managing editor at Seattle's Child. She is also a certified doula, lactation educator for NestingInstinctsSeattle.com and a certified AWA writing workshop facilitator at Compasswriters.com.