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Southern-born kids have a great skating rink
just up the road in Cumming

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The December Canoe Kids testing group, left to right: Miranda Lowrie, Sarah Disharoon, Anna Catharine McMullen, Colin Burris, Harrison Meyer, Jack Lowrie, Gavin Burris, Aidan McMullen and Oscar McMullen.

By Melissa Lowrie
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Photos by Melissa Lowrie
Melissa
Melissa Lowrie
December in Georgia won’t produce any frozen ponds, nor will you find ice skates in our southern-born kids’ closets. Lucky for us there’s a great ice skating rink just up the road in Cumming.

Our group of kid-testers was large this time, nine kids ranging in age from kindergarten to eighth grade. We also came to the rink with different levels of skating experience. For some it was a first-time event while others were old pros.

After school on a Friday, our group headed to The Ice for the 4:00—6:00 p.m. public skate. It was $30 for me and my two kids ($7 per person + $3 for skate rental). The rental skates my son wore had Velcro instead of the traditional long laces, which was much easier than the skates my daughter wore. After a bit of assistance though, we headed for the ice.

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Harrison Meyer uses the wall for support as Oscar McMullen turns towards the ice.
At the beginning, the youngest kids were doing a great deal of wall (and mom) hugging while acclimating to the slippery ice. They slowly got the hang of things and with Christmas music playing over the sound system, it was a fun and festive atmosphere.

I have to admit that I was a tiny bit worried about the kids with little or no experience. As it turns out, the worry was unfounded since not only did no one give up - they all skated the full two hours - and all improved as the minutes passed. In fact, had the Zamboni not come out, we’d have been pulling them off the ice.

This is not to say that during our skate there were no spills - there were plenty - but they were always followed with smiles. As the skates were coming off after the session, moms were being asked, “Can we come back tomorrow?”

If you do venture out this December for a little skating, be forewarned: you can’t get on the ice to help a child or take a picture without skates. No one was allowed on the ice unless they were also skating. It had been a while for me, but it’s like riding a bike—it came back.

There is a full snack bar and a little fireplace in the lobby should you need a break. Plenty of windows line the rink to watch the action on the ice while you warm up. Lessons are also offered at The Ice and there is a pro shop on site as well.

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Left to right, Harrison, Gavin, Miranda, Colin and Sarah have a great time ice skating.

Fourth-grader Miranda Lowrie offers this bit of information: “Just remember, your ankles will hurt.” Perhaps thicker socks would have helped, but even so Miranda declared, “It was awesome.” And the sentiment was shared with the whole group “It was SO fun” was the consensus.

The mothers agreed that for two hours of entertainment, the $10 was a bargain.

There are a number of public skate options during the week, but be sure to check the web site (http://theice.info) for times. Skating is a fun idea during holiday breaks from school, just make sure to grab some thick socks and enjoy!

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