Taking two pre-schoolers ice skating for the first time is akin to self-inflicted torture. Or so I thought before stopping in to Codey Arena for their Public Session of ice skating on Sunday afternoon. Surprisingly, not only was it a lot of fun, but my kids both want to go back SOON.
My three-year-old only wobbled a little as she marched in skates towards the NHL-regulation sized rink (one of two at Codey Arena), and my almost five-year-old was excited to get out onto the ice. There are staff members available for assistance, but it’s mainly a true public and open skate. As I led one child at a time around the ice, staying at the edge of the rink, other first-time skaters of all ages were also using the
wall as a crutch. The more seasoned skaters stayed towards the middle and raced around the inside of the rink.
A lot of children (and some adults) were wearing bicycle helmets as they skated, and when we return, I will definitely bring our helmets. As it was, my kids didn’t fall too often because they took it slow and watched more skilled children and their skating techniques. I like to think my ability to stay upright and hold little hands tightly helped too.
Even though a lot of people of all ages and abilities shared the ice, it was a comfortable and almost giddy atmosphere. Young skaters of considerable skill were happy to give tips to a novice skater and his mom. And all of the slipping sliders on the ice were able to make it around the edge of the rink as we gained confidence.
Those looking for some family activity time this winter, don’t hesitate to head over (and perhaps bring helmets) to Codey Arena for the Public Sessions. Adult admission is $7, and children and senior citizens are $5. If needed, skate rentals are $4. The arena also offers lessons for all levels.
Codey Arena is a part of the South Mountain Recreation Complex at 560 Northfield Avenue in West Orange. Call (973) 731-3828 for more information.