Ice 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 Santa's sleigh was on the ice with
presents in it. I always remember that because the setting made me
feel really happy. I've also gone skating up at Grouse Mountain.
They have an outdoor rink around where the Chalet is. That's super
fun, especially if you go at night time. Then you get to see the
city light up.
What's that? You don't have ice skates!
Don't worry you can rent them at the rink. All rinks have rental
booths where you can rent helmets and skates. And if you're not completely
comfortable skating on your own, you can take a walker that helps you glide
better, so you don't fall as much. Usually my Mom has to have a walker.
Well actually she starts off with a walker and eventually gives up, because
she's six feet tall and the walker is meant for little kids, so she has
to bend over too much. If you think she's looks funny, you're 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 there's a direction
that a supervisor says everyone has to go. That's so nobody crashes.
And in most rinks they cone off one end of the rink for kids who can't
skate well, so they don't 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 there's 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!
It doesn't 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, you're wrong. I see lots of people
with gray hair skating and sometimes they are the best skaters in the family.
And sometimes it's 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 he's the best. (Of course Dad and
Nathe aren't hard to beat.)
Skating is not free, but it isn't expensive either. It's actually
quite reasonable: all you have to pay for are the skates and helmet if
you don't 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 don't have to worry
about trying to find one. They are all over the place.
Well the truth is, ice skating isn't a good thing to do if you don't know
how to skate and you're 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!
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)
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?:
Well it sort of matters what type of adult you are. For example,
my Dad, he loves skating (even though he isn't very good at it).
He doesn't even mind falling on the ice. And then there's my Mom,
scared to death, hanging on to the wall for dear life.