Monday, April 19, 2010

York City Ice Arena

This past Friday my husband took an impromptu Friday off from work, a rare occasion in our house, so we decided to try something different. Ever since the winter Olympics Katie has been asking to try ice skating and I really didn't want to try this one on my own, so with Nat being home from work I figured that I would take advantage!

First let me start by saying that the York City Ice Arena is way, way better than I remembered it. The old ice skating rink is now the rollerskating rink and the new ice rink is in the giant building directly across the street (next to York Catholic High School). Many of you probably already know this (I didn't but am catching up) but York County now has a high school ice hockey league so the double rinks, yes there are two in this building, come in handy over the winter. York also hosts the Keystone State Games, the PA Skating Championships, plus the rink supports a men's league, a women's league, countless kids teams and lessons including hockey and figure skating. Needless to say the arena is a busy place and I'm upset that this was my first trip!

Back to our visit, I had checked on "free skate" times on the rinks website, and knew that Wednesday and Friday were my two mid-day opportunities to take Katie. (click on Public Skating for more times) We went right around noon on Friday and for admission and skate rental, for Katie and I, it was $7.00 total. We went into the rink to get our skates on and immediately realized two things, first it was COLD, so dress as if it were snowing outside, they have to maintain the freeze for the ice and secondly, it was empty, I think I counted 6 other people on the ice! Luckily I had dressed Katie in a winter jacket, I only brought myself a sweatshirt so I was freezing, but as fate would have it we weren't there too long!

With the rink being empty it really was the best opportunity to "try" skating. Katie is 3.5, keep this in mind, and quickly figured out how to walk on land in the skates, which I thought was pretty impressive. We walked over to the entrance to the rink and with her first step onto the ice she was frustrated. Having not skated in a LONG time, like 15 years or so, I had to reorient myself with the ice as well and after a lap around the rink and feeling like I wasn't going to make the situation worse, I took Katie's hands and started out. Like I said skating was confusing to her, she couldn't get her feet to stay under her body, and with most things that 3 year olds can't figure out she got frustrated. We tried extra encouragement, praise and all of the lovin' we could but after 7 minutes, yep 7, we decided to bail and try again later.

Even though my little one didn't have the patience doesn't mean yours won't, I have a friend whose 4 year old LOVED skating lessons and even though I didn't do well with Kate doesn't mean I don't think she would love lessons. She's been telling me ever since our attempt on Friday that she wants to try again and when I ask her about lessons with a big person who is a good skater (she knows I'm not that good!) she says "yeah that would be fun". They offer a wide variety of lessons, starting with 3 year-olds, at comparable prices with other activities that kids take lessons for ($70 for 7 sessions). Also make sure you check out the open skating times, besides the Wednesday and Friday afternoon skate they also offer Family Skate night every Wednesday night from 7-8:30pm with FREE skate rentals.

The theme of our visit, make sure you check out the York City Ice Arena, it really is an impressive facility for our area. The woman that helped us check in and lace up was very friendly, the place was clean, there were changing rooms available, an arena employee was on the ice the entire time we were there (to monitor activities on and off of the ice) and there was ample parking. Oh and if you are a city resident you get 50% off of everything, so my $7 would have cost you $3.50! Have fun and enjoy!!

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