On the Friday following Thanksgiving we made plans to get out of the house and take the kids ice skating.
Gaylord, Michigan has a fun Sportsplex in town that offers indoor ice skating and an indoor swimming pool. We had never gone before, given the fact that we have always visited Kelly during the warmer months of the year and our time is usually spent enjoying all the lakes and outdoor activities in the area.
Visiting in the winter months makes our usual stomping grounds inaccessible so we were looking for an activity we could do that would get the kids out of the house and allow them to burn off a little energy.
Kelly suggested ice skating. That day the Sportsplex was offering “family skate” from 1:30-3:30 pm for a cost of $3.00/person.
We bundled the kids up and loaded into our van. Our 12 passenger van fit Kelly and I and our 10 children perfectly, allowing us to drive together rather than take two separate vehicles.
On our way to the Sportsplex we stopped at the Gaylord Elk Park to see the elk, a must see stop every time we visit the Kirks. We lucked out and found a couple of the big bucks right near the fence line. The kids fed them fallen leaves through the fence and were able to touch their antlers.
There is something thrilling about seeing these creatures up close.
From there we drove over to the skating rink.
After paying to get in we began the monumental task of getting everyone in the right sized skates and getting everyone laced up.
Then it was time to head onto the ice. Kelly and I stayed on the sidelines with Noah and Charlie.
This duo had fun climbing up in the stands, playing “Ring around the Rosie…BANG,” and making faces for the camera that they immediately wanted to view and view again.
They are such funny boys!
The oldest 8 kids took to the ice. Some had previous skating experience…
While others were on the ice for the first time.
The rink offered walkers for new or unexperienced skaters. These walkers allowed skaters to lean on something steady as they worked out the coordination of moving across ice.
Grace paired up with Nate, helping him as he skated for the first time,
And Molly paired up with Sammy.
Rusty, Lydia and Tyler had fun zipping around the rink.
Ozzie was the one who surprised me most. As a new skater he took to skating far more easily than I anticipated, choosing to forgo the walkers and just learn on his own. He did wonderfully!
Everyone had blast and at the end of our two hour skating window
exited the ice with pink cheeks, sore ankles, and big smiles on their faces.