Skating in Greater Vancouver
One of my favorite things to do in the winter is to go ice skating.
Our family goes at least a couple of times every winter. At Christmas
time some of the rinks even put up holiday decorations. One year
Coleman had his birthday party at 8 Rinks in Burnaby. The rink was
lined with snow capped evergreens and Santaís sleigh was on the ice with
presents in it. I always remember that because the setting made me
feel really happy. Iíve also gone skating up at Grouse Mountain.
They have an outdoor rink around where the Chalet is. Thatís super
fun, especially if you go at night time. Then you get to see the
city light up.
Whatís that? You donít have ice skates! Donít worry you can rent them at the rink. All rinks have rental booths where you can rent helmets and skates. And if youíre not completely comfortable skating on your own, you can take a walker that helps you glide better, so you donít fall as much. Usually my Mom has to have a walker. WellÖ actually she starts off with a walker and eventually gives up, because sheís six feet tall and the walker is meant for little kids, so she has to bend over too much. If you think sheís looks funny, youíre right. Meanwhile me, Dad, Nathan, and Coleman are having the time of our lives whipping each other around and playing tag. We love it!
Usually when you go skating thereís a direction that a supervisor says everyone has to go. Thatís so nobody crashes. And in most rinks they cone off one end of the rink for kids who canít skate well, so they donít get hurt. In that area you can usually get the metal walkers, chairs, and toys. Sometimes if you go skating at night, they put disco music on. Usually thereís a mirror ball that flashes all these neat lights over the ice. When we go skating I usually invite a friend to go with us. Last time I took two friends, Rylie and Becky. It was sooooo fun, but we fell a lot!
Age group: It doesnít matter what age you are. You just have to know how to skate (or want to learn). Like sometimes I see whole families with Grandad, Grandma, a little baby in a stroller, the whole bit. If you think skating is just for little kids, youíre wrong. I see lots of people with gray hair skating and sometimes they are the best skaters in the family. And sometimes itís the other way around; the youngest one is the best skater in the family. When I was youngest I was the best in our family, and now Coleman is youngest and heís the best. (Of course Dad and Nathe arenít hard to beat.)
Expense rating: Skating is not free, but it isnít expensive either. Itís actually quite reasonable: all you have to pay for are the skates and helmet if you donít have one, and the skating pass (3 or 4 bucks max).
: Rinks are open all year, even in the summer. Only some of the rinks take the ice out and replace it with cement for roller skating. Another good thing is there are plenty of ice rinks, so you donít have to worry about trying to find one. They are all over the place.
: Well the truth is, ice skating isnít a good thing to do if you donít know how to skate and youíre nervous about learning. You just end up holding onto walkers or the walls like my Mom. Also, sometimes when you fall on the ice you get hurt, because the ice is hard and cold!
Details: I would guess every community in Greater Vancouver has a public ice-skating rink. The world's largest recreational ice rink facility is Burnaby 8 Rinks (www.icesports.com)
Area: Greater Vancouver
Season: All seasons
Educational highlights: Every so often you'll see this thing that looks like a truck go up and down the ice. This truck is called a Zamboni. The Zamboni scrapes a thin layer off the ice, heats the ice, and puts down a fresh layer of heated water that freezes to form a new layer of ice. This makes the ice nice and smooth.
Fun for the adult?: WellÖ it sort of matters what type of adult you are. For example, my Dad, he loves skating (even though he isnít very good at it). He doesnít even mind falling on the ice. And then thereís my Mom, scared to death, hanging on to the wall for dear life.
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