Scout Magazine - - Adventure... - Words: Belinda Glin­de­mann Photos: Jenna Agius Pho­tog­ra­phy

Ice skates strapped firmly to her eight-year-old feet, Miss Bucket-o-nerves awk­wardly stum­ble­walked to­wards the rink gate. With white knuck­les grip­ping the gate, she turned and told us she wasn’t go­ing on the ice. She was just not do­ing this. Was. NOT. I sensed a tear or two com­ing and steeled my­self to go into child psy­chol­o­gist-mum mode.

But just as she turned to stum­ble-walk back to the seat­ing area, a pen­guin named ‘Macy’ grabbed Miss 8’s at­ten­tion. Macy and her wad­dle of pen­guin friends were stand­ing at at­ten­tion on the ice, like an army of pa­tient par­ent helpers, ready to steady new­bie skaters on the slip­pery sur­face. As an ice skat­ing vir­gin, Miss 8 was equal parts in­trigued by Macy, was want­ing to join in the fun that all the other tween-aged skaters were ob­vi­ously hav­ing out there in ice­land, and was just plain-old scared.

With words of encouragement from all of us, and Macy pulled into reach, Miss 8 took her first ner­vous step on to the ice. The five min­utes that fol­lowed were by no means pretty, but Miss 8 com­pleted a full lap thanks to Macy, with me on one el­bow, her fa­ther on the other el­bow and nu­mer­ous stops along the way to grab the rink fence, take a breather and re­as­sure her­self.

Planet Chill ice skat­ing rink is new to the Gold Coast and, while lo­cated within the grounds of Par­adise Re­sort at Surfer’s Par­adise, is open to the pub­lic as well as those lucky hol­i­day­mak­ers en­joy­ing the re­sort’s hos­pi­tal­ity (num­bers are lim­ited for each ses­sion so make sure you book on­line ahead of time).

Two-hour skate ses­sions pro­vide the per­fect length of time for kids to stay in­ter­ested and main­tain their skat­ing stam­ina. In fact, our two hours went in the blink of an eye! Staff kept us and our fel­low skaters busy by of­fer­ing dif­fer­ent icy ac­tiv­i­ties. Early in the ses­sion, plas­tic mark­ers gave skaters a course to ma­noeu­vre through and helped us more ‘pro­fes­sional’ skaters pol­ish up our rusty skills. Then mid­way through the ses­sion, out came the ice hockey gear. Mum-mode had me fear­ing for cracked skulls and lost teeth, but Dad-mode had my other half straight into a com­pet­i­tive stance in front of the net. Ad­mit­tedly, he was the ‘Cool Dad’ of our skate ses­sion (ie. the only dad game enough to take to the ice while the other dads watched from the ‘safety’ and kid-free zen of the view­ing area). At one point, Cool Dad had a dozen tweenaged kids smash­ing pucks at him and while he let a few slip past into goal, he man­aged to keep all his teeth #win­ning

Planet Chill turned out to be the per­fect train­ing ground for our Bucket-o-nerves child. Within 30 min­utes, she’d said good­bye to Macy and was happy to skate while hold­ing my hand. Within one hour, she was too cool to hold my hand any more. Within 90 min­utes she was skat­ing un­aided and dance-skat­ing to the mu­sic (while smash­ing pucks at her old man!).

Planet Chill pro­vided us with great mem­o­ries and par­ent­ing wins. We’ll def­i­nitely be back.

Have an ice day!

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