It’s about that time of year when you’re looking for something fun to do. You spent all of your Christmas money and being stuck indoors because of the frigid weather is getting boring. Even if you woke up to a dusting this morning, there hasn’t been a “snow day” to just sit around and drink with your friends (and you’re actually considering building a snowman).
Why not strap on those skates like you did as a kid and go ice skating?
Ice skating is the perfect outdoor activity for twenty-somethings on a budget. Skate rentals at local ice rinks (indoor and outdoor) are usually less than $10. The total expense (including a cup of hot chocolate) is right around what you might spend at the movies or on a bottle of wine and Netflix anyways. So why not do something a little more active? Kick the winter blues, bundle up, and spend an afternoon laughing with your friends or boyfriend as you struggle to stay on your feet. (Added bonus: You can burn up to 250 calories per hour while skating around on ice).
Don’t know how to skate? Or haven’t skated since you were a kid? Here’s a few tips that might save you from completely embarrassing yourself:
- Learn to fall. Unless you’re a hockey player or figure skater, falling on ice skates is almost inevitable. To avoid bruising your bum, relax and learn to laugh at yourself. Wear gloves so you’re not frost-bitten when your hands hit the ice. If you’re falling forward, keep your head up. Falling backwards, tuck your chin down. Avoid the sudden panic of hitting your head on ice. You’re not going after the Olympic gold medal, so take it easy, okay?
- Learn to stop. Nothing ruins a good time like a crash-and-burn (or freeze) type of finish. Instead of running into the wall, try slowing down, turning your toes inward (pigeon-toed), leaning back, and sliding your heels apart. Nothing fancy, and this “snowplow” stop will bring you to a nice slow finish without having to pick yourself up off the ice again.
- Dress warm. Even if it’s an indoor rink, it’s still an ICE rink. So wear a jacket, comfortable pants, warm socks, gloves, and a hat. You’ll be grateful that you bundled up after that first fall or two on the ice.
The perfect ending to this afternoon excursion? Brewing up some hot Irish coffee or a Warm Peppermint Patty (find the recipe here).