Friday, March 30, 2018

Family Ice-Skating @ The Rink, JCube

During the March holidays, I brought Lil Pumpkin to ice-skate at The Rink, JCube. It was one of our most fun thing we did ever, I reckon!

Lil Pumpkin said that she wanted to skate during the March hols but I can't skate for nuts. I can't really balance that well you see {only learnt how to bike in my 30s haha} and I want to do activities with her, not just watch her do it, so decided that the next best thing to do was to bring her ice-skating as there are very helpful skating aids to assist people like me, who can't skate, enjoy the experience..

There are 2 places that you can ice-skate at in Singapore - The Rink at JCube and Kallang Ice World at Kallang Leisure Park. Both places use real ice in their rinks.

You used to be able to ice-skate at Marina Bay Sands {MBS} on a pseudo-ice synthetic surface. However, since 22 Dec 2017, the rink at MBS is now permanently closed and has been taken over by a new digital art exhibit that lets visitors create art with their footsteps, watch fishes swimming underneath their feet, or set off fireworks.

I heard that the pseudo-ice surface was really slippery compared to real ice, and not many people liked to skate there because it didn't feel like ice-skating at all, and it was very open since it was right smack in the middle of the mall so no loss over it closing I guess.

After researching, I decided to head to The Rink with Lil Pumpkin even though it was much further away from home compared to Kallang Ice World.

See an overview of our whole experience there in the video above. If it's not working, check it out on my YouTube channel.

Although Kallang Ice World has free skate aids and is more private as only paying visitors can see you skate {The Rink is open for viewing to all}, some reviews on Tripadvisor said that staff service is horrendous, skates are too worn and the place is in dire need of upgrading. Oh dear.

Didn't want to risk it and since we were at Kallang the day before for rock-climbing already, we headed to The Rink for that day's 12.45pm session. It took us about 1.5hrs to reach there via public transport.

The Rink is Singapore's first and only Olympic-size ice skating rink. Our National Skating Associations {NSA} train there and it also hosts events and activities such as recreational ice skating, and international tournaments in ice hockey, figure skating, speed skating, and ice curling so the ice rink must be kept to a certain standard for sure.

We arrived about 12 noon and since The Rink is on Level 3 of JCube, I went to get lunch for Lil Pumpkin first from McDonald's at Level 1, then go to Daiso on Level 2 to get us some gloves as I couldn't find our pairs at home.

Went to buy our tickets about 12.20pm from the sales counter there was no queue. The guy staff was helpful and explained that ice-resurfacing was going on now for about 15-20mins so we could buy our tickets, but it's better if we enter at 12.45pm after that as your 2 hr 15 mins time limit starts the moment you enter the admission gates and the time you use to wait for the resurfacing will eat into your play-time.

Note: After people skate a while the ice melts and gets chipped off so ice-resurfacing is done to clean and smooth the rink's ice surface.

Lil Pumpkin had her lunch while waiting and when we went back to enter at 12.45pm, there was already a long queue at the sales counter. Thank goodness we bought our tickets earlier!!

But then even after we entered, we still had to queue about 5-10mins to exchange our shoes for our ice-skates. On hindsight, we should have entered about 12.30pm to get our skates and try them on as that takes up some time, especially with the holiday crowd.

Despite Lil Pumpkin's objections about getting skating aids {"No need Mummy, I know how to skate!!"}, I rented 2 Snowman skating aids for each of us.

So glad I did as they were a lifesaver!! They cost S$10 each for 2 hrs rental which is a little steep but well worth the money as we could enjoy skating, without worrying about falling or hanging on to the rink edges for dear life.

I was thinking of getting the Seal skating aid {S$15 for 2hrs rental} as one person can skate while the other person sits on it to get pushed around but Lil Pumpkin didn't want it at all.

Oh well. It's more fun when the both of us are skating together anyway.

Lil Pumpkin had roller blading lessons twice in school before as an after-exam activity. But ice-skating is a whole new experience for her... and me too!!

She was really excited to try it out though and at the beginning wasn't steady at all {again, thank goodness we had the Snowmans!!} but just about 30 mins in, she was ready to try and skate without the aids.

Actually after trying out a few times without the aid, she was adamant not to use it and wanted to go around the rink without it, even if she had to go slower.. she also encouraged me to try and skate without the aid which I did, but I still preferred to use it hehe.

I must say though, that Lil Pumpkin has good balancing skills {unlike her mummy haha} and picks things up pretty fast. By the end of the two hours she could ice-skate around the rink herself without any support, even though her technique isn't very efficient. The video above was taken just before we left The Rink at the end of our session.

We didn't take any breaks and spent the whole 2 hours on the ice rink. A good thing that I rented a locker {S$2 for one-time use} too so didn't have to worry about checking on my bag if I had placed it on the spectator stand with nobody else to look after it and risk losing my valuables.

It was pretty crowded since it was the March holidays, but there was still enough space to skate around comfortably and most visitors were also amateurs and did not skate around too fast or recklessly.

Confession: I'm reeeeaaaaallly paranoid about us falling down with our hands on the ground and someone skating over and slicing off our fingers with the ice-skates' blades accidentally!!

I saw on their website that from 1 Apr 2018, The Rink started selling a multi-visit savers pass with a 6 months validity period - the Skater's Play Pass.

With it, an adult admission ticket is only S$9.80 {U.P. S$14} and a child ticket is only S$8.40 {U.P. S$12}. Pretty good value-for-money and if we lived nearer, I think we would get it and go more often as we really did have a fabulous time for our first visit!! Will definitely be back again!


Tips:
  • Check the public skating sessions schedule in advance before going. I suggest visiting just after the ice-resurfacing sessions to enjoy your full play without interruption.
  • Minimum age for ice-skating is 3 years old, but kids between ages 3-5 years old needs an adult with them on the ice.
  • Smallest skate boots is size Euro 27 and biggest skate boots is size Euro 47.
  • Each admission ticket allows for one-time entry into The Rink. If you exit and would like to re-enter again, you will have to pay for another admission ticket.
  • Toilets, snacks and drinks vending machines are available on premise.  
  • Rent a locker if you have nobody to look after your belongings. Better safe than sorry.
  • If you're not sure whether to rent skating aids or not, you can skate a while and get them later from the sales counter. No need to get them when you purchase the tickets.  
  • Penguin aids are for really small kids {below 1.2m}, Snowman and Seal aids are for bigger kids and adults.
  • Remember the unit number of the skating aid{s} that you rent. Although you can paste a name sticker on them during rental, once you let go of them in the rink, people tend to want to "borrow" and will skate away with it.. so with the unit number it's easier to recognise in the crowd.
  • At least 2 staff are in the rink at any time {wearing yellow tops} and will help you up if you fall down, or help you to find your skating aid if you happen to lose it in the rink.
  • During peak periods, rent your ice-skates early as your shoe size might run out if it is very popular e.g. adult sizes 8-10
  • The Rink sells socks at S$2/pair for adults & kids, and gloves at S$2/pair for adults & S$2.50/pair for kids. Socks are mandatory but gloves are optional. 
  • Wear long, thick socks as the skates might be abrasive, especially if you're skating for long periods. No need for thick winter coats, but a thin windbreaker or fleeced long-sleeved hoodie and long pants/ tights would be comfortable.
  • The Rink also rents out helmets at S$5 each for 2hrs, but nobody wears them. I actually brought Lil Pumpkin's scooter/bike helmet for her to wear but she didn't want to when she saw that nobody else had one on.
  • For convenience, you can purchase tickets and rent equipment one week in advance on The Rink's online website. For online purchase, you will receive a redemption voucher via email which you need to print and redeem your admission ticket at The Rink’s self-ticketing kiosk.

The Rink at JCube
2 Jurong East Central 1, #03-11, JCube
Open daily usually 10.30am - 4.30pm
*Check public skating sessions schedule on website for details as it differs daily due to NSA training sessions.
Website: http://www.therink.sg/

Note: This is not a paid advertorial or sponsored post. All opinions are my own.



5 comments:

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Susan said...

I have the same fear as you, getting my finger sliced off if I fall. Haha. We always go to the ice skating rink in Kallang because the one at JCude is so far west. It's become a regular thing each school holiday and the best way to beat the heat too.

Theresa Mahoney said...

What a nice place to ice skate! We only have an outdoor rink here and they don't even offer any skate aids. I am glad you were able to enjoy participating with Little Pumpkin and not watch from the sidelines. She always remember that!

alissa apel said...

What a fun time! I love the photos you got!

Stacy said...

I've not seen skating aids before. They's cute!

There are no ice skating rinks in the few malls we frequent so I haven't had requests from the kids yet for skating hehe.