Ice Bumper Cars Fly Into Aviator

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Something new has flown into Aviator—bumper cars! But these aren’t the ones you rode at Playland back in the day. They’re on ice. Over Veteran’s Day weekend, Ice Bumper Cars made their debut at Aviator Sports Center, right over the Marine Parkway Bridge in Brooklyn.

The facility that already features a number of sports experiences, plus rock climbing, a video game arcade, and of course, ice skating, wanted to bring in something a little extra this year. “Aviator is consistently looking to expand on our drop-in activities. Ice Bumper Cars allows us to utilize the ice like never before, providing an alternative to people who don't want to ice skate but still want to enjoy the brisk chill of the ice rink,” an Aviator spokesperson said. Making it even more unique? Aviator is one of the few places to enjoy Ice Bumper Cars locally. Bryant Park introduced them last winter, and Aviator is the only place in Brooklyn that offers the experience.

So how does it work? Step on to the ice. This in itself can be an experience that can quickly become embarrassing if not careful, so wear some shoes with good traction! But don’t fret, you don’t have to go far. All 14 of Aviator’s Ice Bumper Cars are waiting for you by the nearest wall. Pick your favorite color, or maybe just the one that’s closest, and climb on board. With the flip of a button, an operator turns all the cars on simultaneously. They’re lit up with multi-colored lights, indicating that it’s go time. And you’re off! Using hand controls, which look like large joysticks on your left and right, you’re free to move the handles forward or backwards to help you navigate across the ice and pick your target—a friend, family member, a date, or even a stranger, and as you would in a normal bumper car—ram right into them!

Since there are no seatbelts on this ride, the cars only reach a top speed of five miles per hour, which may look slow from the point of view as an onlooker, but not from the driver’s seat. And if you really want to feel like you’re going fast—go for a spin! Take a break from bumping to spin off into oblivion by turning your handles into opposite directions to turn in a circle at what feels like warp speed. But caution, if you choose to do this, you will need a few seconds to recalibrate after—you will be dizzy.

There are some rules to follow. To drive, you must be at least 36 inches tall and seven-years-old, however riders that don’t reach these requirements are able to ride in the lap of a parent or guardian. Other than that, the only major rule is to stay in your car and avoid bumping into the walls of the rink, or into a no-bump zone, which is marked off by black barriers near the temporary wall that separates the bumper car zone from the rest of the ice rink, where public skating sessions still take place on 3/4 of the rink.

As Ice Bumper Cars are a new, exciting addition, reserving a space at least three days in advance is highly recommended, as it is not guaranteed that walk-ins will be able to ride when they show up. Registration can be done online at www.aviatorsports.com up until the night before the day you want to go. Each 15-minute session is just $13 per rider. There are three sessions per hour, starting at 7:50 p.m. and going until 10:50 p.m. on Fridays; from 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., and 7:50 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Saturdays; and from 1 p.m. to 5:40 p.m. on Sundays. Riders are advised to show up at least 20 minutes before their scheduled session to check in and sign a waiver. Refunds will not be given to those who miss their scheduled session.

With each session only lasting 15 minutes, some may want to consider registering for back-to-back sessions, or make the most out of the experience by enjoying the bumper car experience and a public skate session combo for just $26. Or consider going at a time when some other great events are taking place at Aviator this winter, including a Christmas Bazaar on December 7 and Brunch with Santa on December 15. For more information on these events, including tickets for the brunch, head to www.aviatorsports.com

Since the holidays get busy, there’s no need to rush to get your ice bumper car session in this winter. They will be available on weekends and select holidays, year-round, and for group outings/field trips and birthday parties.

Aviator Sports Center is located at 3159 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn. For more information on Ice Bumper Cars and the other great events and programs offered at Aviator, head to www.aviatorsports.com

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