There’s a Phillip Larkin poem that begins, “They fuck you up, your mum and dad./ They may not mean to, but they do.”
I’ve been musing on this depressing bit of poetry lately, wondering how badly I’ve fucked up my own kids.
“Geez, you’re a downer,” groaned my pal Bernice when I shared these thoughts. “I’m going to find somewhere else to drink my morning coffee if this is how it’s going to be.”
“I’m sorry,” I said. “ It’s just that they say no to everything these days. Park? ‘No.’ Bike ride? ‘Uh-uh.’ Hike? ‘Nope.’ Movie night? ‘No, thanks.’ Suddenly they don’t like family activities we’ve always enjoyed. Now I’m wondering if I’ve ruined them somehow.”
“Relax,” Bernice responded. “They’re just a little bored with the same old same old. Try something new. And don’t ask them, just take them. It’s winter — such as it is in San Diego — try ice skating. It could be a great way to have fun and get some exercise with the kids.”“Why don’t you try ice skating,” she suggested. “Think about it. You’re in an air-conditioned building on a sheet of ice. What could be better in the summer months? Plus you and the kids get exercise. Word has it that the San Diego Ice Arena in Mira Mesa is the ‘it’ spot for tweens and teens on Friday nights. We have not tried that rink yet,” she admitted, “we usually do the Kroc Center.”
After I arrived home, arms filled with locally grown produce and flowers — I love farmers markets — I did some research.
11048 Ice Skate Place, Mira Mesa
San Diego Ice Arena has been up and making ice for 34 years. The rink offers 12 public skate sessions throughout the week. The weekend sessions looked enticing: Saturday and Sunday Family party sessions from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. Avoid the top heat of the day. The popular tween and teen hangout night Bernice mentioned is Friday evening Teen Meltdown from 7:30 to 10 p.m. For $12 admission, which includes the skate rental, a person can work on their edges and double axles. Bring your own skates and the admission is only $10; for children 12 and under it’s also $10.
The arena also offers a skating school program for those wishing to better their skating. The 12-week semester of classes, once a week for 30 minutes, costs $177.
We Kellys have a birthday boy in the house in a week, and the party info for the Ice Arena caught my eye. They go big with birthdays. A live DJ, pizza, punch, cake and ice cream sandwiches, a skate hero to entertain the guests, a 15-minute lesson. Fifteen partygoers costs $395; any added partiers are $14 each.
6737 University Avenue, Rolando
The Kroc Center Ice Arena offers eight public skating opportunities each week, most for $10 including skate rental (619-269-1484; kroccenter.org). Located in Rolando, the Wednesday evening public skate is only $5. Sunday skate runs $7, which includes the skate rental.
The Kroc also offers Skating School: six 30-minute classes for $72. Free unlimited public skate sessions for those enrolled in the skating school and free skate rentals.
The birthday party option at the Kroc: 10 partygoers cost $275 for skating, pizza, cupcakes, and balloons. What’s not to love? Additional guests are $15 each.
4545 La Jolla Village Drive, La Jolla
UTC Ice Sports Center, on La Jolla Village Drive, offers nine public skate sessions each week (858-452-9110; utcice.com). General admission is $12, children age 5 and under are $10, and skate rentals are $3.
UTC offers a Skating Academy: with a $125 registration fee, and a monthly fee of $75, the child receives a once-a-week 30-minute lesson, plus free public skate sessions. For twice-a-week lessons, the monthly fee is $109, and for three-times-a-week lessons, the cost goes up to $128 a month.
555 N. Tulip Street, Escondido
Ice-Plex Escondido boasts the largest ice-skating facility in San Diego, with 13 public skate sessions (760-489-5550; iceoplexescondido.com). Admission including skate rental is $10; children ages 12 and under cost $9. The facility also offers a skate school and is San Diego’s only spot for ice skating classes specifically for the developmentally disabled.