Perth is a beautiful place – warm sunshine, gorgeous beaches, great parks, lots of family attractions and snow! Wait, hold on, snow? There’s no snow in Perth I hear you say! Well if you go to check out ice skating at Frostival Australia at Sorrento Quay you will get to experience the magic of the snow right here in the Northern suburbs of our great city.
My family and I were lucky enough to get to experience Frostival Australia and hit the ice for some much needed fun, excitement and laughter on a balmy Friday night, under the twinkling and glowing lights above the boardwalk at Hillarys Boat Harbour. We had a magical time, even my husband who hasn’t skated in nearly 40 years and our teenager who has never skated!
As we were handed our skates and headed to the lounge area to get strapped in, the feelings of excitement and apprehension in the air were thick. I’m sure most of the adults were thinking the same as me, I’m going to look so silly if I fall, I hope I don’t hurt myself, I think I’m too old for this! The kids on the other hand were buzzing with anticipation of the fun that was coming and couldn’t possibly get their skates on fast enough.
Ice skates on and big girl panties pulled up, I stepped onto the ice and realised I wasn’t completely uncoordinated and perhaps all that time spent in roller skates in my youth wasn’t misplaced. Our not quite three years old, little man waddled about in his double rail skate shoes until he had the hang of it and then out he stepped too, his facial expression ranging from sheer joy to total terror and back again as he found his feet. My husband and our six foot tall teenager joined us with a few wobbles and we were all off and skating.
A quick glance around showed many families starting off just like we were. Younger kids full of gusto and armed with a child’s ‘lack of fear’ were taking off and leaving their parents behind. Parents were taking things a little slower, but you could see them embracing their fears and being inspired by their kids to just have a go! The arena was full of smiles.
We had prebooked a penguin for our little one and he pushed it for two minutes before he got full of confidence and wanted to skate with mummy instead. We had such a glorious time skating together, holding his tiny little hands in mine watching the lights flicker and change colour in the light of dusk. He took a stack and handled it like a champion, getting straight back up and trying again.
The penguin was certainly not wasted though as we all had a go. It was good fun and made even the most amateur of us feel a little more stable and a little less silly. Lots of people young and older were pushing their own cute little penguin, many of us with our kids as an excuse when really the adults loved them too. Then a few minutes into our session it suddenly began to snow!
Having grown up in Tasmania, the ‘snow’ falling on my cheeks took me back to a youth spent building snowmen and making snow angels and it was wonderful. We stood in the corner of the rink where the snow fell and just giggled, smiled and laughed as it sprinkled our faces, clothes and outstretched hands. This had to be the best part for us, it really did create a sense of wonder and magic as the lights flickered and snowflakes fell.
We came really well rugged up, expecting to freeze on the ice but a few minutes in we were all rolling up our sleeves and stripping off scarves, beanies and extra layers. Pushing yourself around the ice is quite a workout and sure got the heart rates up and the sweat forming. Hubby and I certainly felt it a little the next day and were gently reminded we’re not as young as we used to be. The fun we had as a family far outweighed any aching gluteus muscle!
At the end of our session we returned to the lounge and removed our skates, handing them back as we wandered out, cheeks flushed and smiles wide. After all that exercise we were all hungry and with so many restaurants around us we were spoilt for choice, a wonderful end to a magical evening.
Frostival runs until July 17 at Sorrento Quay Boardwalk (Hillarys Boat Harbour).
For tickets, visit http://www.frostivalaustralia.com.au/