I have been itching so badly to go ice staking. Unfortunately the weather in Minnesota has been so mild, most of the ice-related festivals have been canceled. The past week we have had some freezing temperatures and I’ve been actively checking the different outdoor rinks to see if they have opened yet. My favorite rink is on a lake so I’m not taking any chances on the ice thickness. I think by next week we may be good to go… but for now, we must find some of the indoor rinks.
We have some amazing indoor rinks in the cities. A lot of them have some great charm to them and offer concessions. The other nice thing about the indoor rinks, most offer a Tot Time, in addition to normal open skate times. This is an excellent opportunity to get your beginner skater on the ice without the stress of the good skaters zooming past them. You don’t have to be a preschooler either. It’s open for anyone that is not as comfortable.
We ended up going to the Eden Prairie Community centers rink and found it to be a really enjoyable experience. And that’s not because we didn’t have to deal with the windchill outside. The prior weekend we had gone to a regular open skate. This was my daughters second time on the ice and we were only able to get around twice. Mostly because of all the older skaters whizzing right by her made her so uncomfortable. We got her some Double Runner Figure Ice Skate to make her a little more comfortable. We had heard they offer a Tot Time so we wanted to check it out. I got my sister and nephew to go with to give us a little more staying power. Something about seeing her older cousin doing something, my daughter can do it too.
We got there right about when it opened. My sister got her skate rental and we paid to get in. They only charge admission for the kids, so it was only $4.50 per child plus skate rental if you needed it. It’s a really nice price for what you get. The only downside was it’s proximity to the entrance. So if you were renting and needed to swap out skates for a different size, you had to go aways to get there. The same went for the concessions. On the plus side, since the concessions were not right there, we didn’t have any begging for food. They also have a big area for you to get changed into your skates.
Once on the ice, they had a bunch of the different ‘trainers’ available for the kids to use. It’s provided by the rink, you didn’t have to bring your own. It definitely helped out my daughter get more comfortable and the same went for me too. If I had to lean over and pull her around the whole time, I would have given up quickly. By the end of the skateing she was confident to skate all by herself with me at the other end of the rink. I could not have been more impressed with her determination.
Some tips for when you go:
- Bring cash, they may not take credit cards at all rinks.
- If you are under 12, wear a bike helmet. Some rinks require them. Even if it’s not required or enforced, it’s a good idea when they are learning to skate.
- Rent skates one size bigger than you think you need. Nothing is worse then having to switch half way because your feet are falling asleep.
- Have Fun and don’t forget to stick around at the end to watch the Zamboni in action!
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