Winter is here and you know what that means--grasping at straws to find indoor activities for the little ones! This year, roller skating has really been striking a chord in my household. And, I am pleased to say that my daughter can finally skate on her own without falling.....too much!
While my daughter was off for break, we decided to try another skating venue---the inline skating rink at the Mt. Prospect Central Community Center. I really like this skating rink for beginner skaters. The area outside the rink is carpeted--a big plus for me! Since the carpeting slowed down my daughter and made it easier for her to skate, it made the transition onto the rink much safer! Also, whenever she got frustrated with skating, I would take her back to the carpet to skate there. Skating on the carpet helped my daughter build up confidence before tackling skating in the rink.
The rink itself is made up of a flexible material. Therefore, the floor is a bit of a shock absorber and makes falls easier on the little ones (and the big ones that they take down with them). Since beginners fall quite a bit, this is another advantage at Mt. Prospect's rink. Plus, the rink is not huge, so it was easy to scuttle my daughter back to the rinkside area quickly when I needed to.
One important thing I noticed about this rink--there does not seem to be as many fast skaters that whiz by. Beginner skaters have a much easier time without people whizzing by and cutting closely in front of them. In the past, my daughter has been knocked down by skaters skating recklessly near the kids along the wall. While I am sure this does happen from time to time at this rink, it does not seem to be an overall problem.
There are bathrooms and water fountains close to the rink--another plus! Additionally, the Central Community Center has a couple of vending machines and tables on one side of the rink. This is perfect for those times when your little one gets inconveniently hungry!
One thing to be aware of---the rink only has roller blades for rent. They do have some skates with three wheels for younger children. Originally, my daughter was learning how to skate on old school skates. When we went to the Central Community Center, I decided to let her try the roller blades because she will need to learn to skate on them as well anyway. She was a little nervous about it, but now she is a pro!
The rink does seem to be a little disorganized. According to the Mt. Prospect Park District, the cost for skating is $3 for children and $5 for adults. The cost to rent skates is $5. On one occasion, we were only charged $6 even though we rented skates. I made a remark about the rental, but the employee did not charge me. On a second occasion, we were charged $16 for skating and rental. This was closer to the correct amount but, from what I understand, we should have been charged $18. Now, I am not complaining about getting a discount. However, the varying amounts can be a little confusing and catch you off guard!
Another source of confusion--open skate times! For winter break, open skate times were posted on the Central Community Center's web page. However, I noticed that nothing was posted for after break. I checked at the Central Community Center about future open skates and was told that it would be posted to the web page. If times are not posted to the web page, I was instructed to call the Center. I do not see a schedule posted on the website currently. However, this may be due to the holiday. If you decide to go and do not see the schedule posted, you can call theCentral Community Center at 847-255-5380.
My daughter loves this rink. I think this is mainly because it is not very hectic and she is able to get on the rink without slipping and falling due to the carpeting. I am sure that we will be back this winter!