Feb 14 2010
Normally on winter weekends, we try to go on a family outing. This winter’s had so many stormy weekends, though, that it hasn’t been safe to go anywhere much of the time. After several snow days, and the promise of another one, we needed to get out of the house to get some groceries and do something fun. The restriction was that it had to be close to home because we weren’t sure how long our open weather window would last.
We settled on the indoor version of something both my husband and I did as kids: ice skating. When we were kids, we spent hours outside on skates. For my husband, it was an area where snow would melt off the roof and make a small rink. My siblings and cousins and I, however, had the “dam,” a pond that was behind our houses. Our dads would clear it off with the tractor when the ice got thick, and we’d haul our things out on sleds and change into our skates in the cold. Somehow Mom always had used skates for us in all the right sizes. We were never very good at skating, but we spent many hours out on the ice with our family and friends having good winter fun.
We haven’t yet made a rink, or bought skates, for our kids, but we wanted to introduce them to this winter activity, so we headed to the New Ulm Civic Center’s open skate. The kids and I had tested the waters a couple of years ago, so as soon as we pulled up to the arena, they knew what fun were going to have.
Our 11:00 arrival gave us an hour and a half of open-skate time, so we paid our admission ($3.50 apiece) and skate rental ($2.00) and pu our skates on. It’s a nice big sheet of ice, and they have walker frames for the kids to use. It took a bit for my husband and I to remember how to skate, but once we did, we had a lot of fun. The kids gradually got braver and tried a few strides without the walkers to lean on. There were a few tumbles along the way, but nothing serious.
Spending some time on skates was a fun family activity, and the kids will have greater appreciation of the Olympic skaters as they watch, now that they’ve seen how hard it can be to just stand up on the ice.
Open-skate schedules and other information can be found on the New Ulm Civic Center website.
Have you taken your kids skating? How did they like it?