Despite the many great outdoor activities available to us in Los Angeles, the last thing I’m looking to do on a scorching, 94 degree summer day like today, is be out in the sun. As much as my Little Sister and I love a trip to the movies, costs add up, and it doesn’t foster the best environment to really connect with each other. That’s why when I saw a Groupon for ice skating admission for two at LA Kings Valley Ice Center in Panorama City, I jumped at the chance for us to stay cool, learn something new, and save money!
At any given time on Groupon, you can find some amazing deals and inspiration for match activities. I’ve referenced Groupon most times I’m trying to come up with an outing idea, which is how my Little and I settled on ice skating. Although usually seen as a wintertime activity, ice skating is probably most ideal in the summertime, given it’s so darn hot outside.
My Little had never learned to skate before, and I hadn’t been in quite a while. After getting our skates and stowing our belongings in a locker for a few quarters, we laced up our skates and hit the ice. At first, things were pretty wobbly for the both of us. We clung to the sides for a few laps, and after getting our bearings, I told my Little it was time for us to liberate ourselves from the wall.
One area my Little struggles with is self-confidence. A common theme in many of our outings has been her feeling like she’s not good enough at activities we do for fun, especially compared to her peers. At the ice rink, boys and girls younger than her were literally skating circles around us. As someone with a profound desire to be perfect, it was tough for my Little to comprehend that she, a clumsy beginner, could skate freely, without holding on to anything.
While we took a break from the ice, my Little Sister voiced her jealousy over the young girls, accompanied by their trainers, doing jumps and twirls in the air, while she couldn’t even leave the wall. When we witnessed one of these girls fall upon landing, cushioned by her padded shorts, I pointed out that they didn’t start out as good as they are now, and were clearly working hard to get better. We, too, should get back out there and just have fun. After all, we weren’t trying to become Olympic ice skaters- we’re just here to have a good time!
It took a few tries, but hand-in-hand, my Little and I made a lap or two around the rink without the perceived safety of the surrounding wall. My Little took a spill or two, but I was so proud that, despite being discouraged at first, she still got back up and continued to skate.
As we left the rink, my Little agreed that we had fun, and thought aloud that maybe she’d one day be as good as the young girls we had seen earlier. Whether she ends up improving her ice skating skills or not, I think this outing helped demonstrate that she could have fun doing something she had never tried before, even if she isn’t the best one out there doing it.
LA Valley Kings Valley Ice Center has freestyle sessions available on a weekly basis. Check their schedule or give them a call to ensure they’re open. Parking is plentiful, and at time of writing, two general admissions and skate rentals on Groupon go for just $11! The Groupon lasts for a while, so you can buy and redeem later, if needed.
How does your Little react to new experiences? Do you have ways to help boost their confidence? Let us know in the comments!