Skating in the Pines
November 27, 2016
Tonight we took the kids to meet our friends at the Pinehurst Resort, also known as the Carolina Hotel, for their new ice skating installment.
I learned about this from a friend who shard an article The Pilot published about it.
After reading the article I wasn't too thrilled about the idea. It sounded kind of cool but $15 to skate for 50 minutes on a small rink wasn't really appealing to me. During a date night out my husband and I meandered over to the rink to check it out and just as I thought it wasn't very big and it was not real ice, of course we knew that. So I kind of wrote off the idea as not worth it and while a good idea not really something I would go out of my way to do. I'm being honest here. Until today. My 13 year old begged me to let her meet some friends to go ice skating. I thought of course it was a waste of money but she doesn't have a lot of options for things to do with her friends so I allowed it and dropped her off to have a bit of fun.
About an hour later one of my best friends messaged me and asked if I wanted to take the kids ice skating...so the stars aligned and we all met up as a family of friends and enjoyed our evening on the ice.
Here is my frank review of the experience:
Cost: It was $10 for each of my kids to skate. I'm assuming it's $15 for an adult, as mentioned in the Pilot article, but I did not skate so I'm not totally sure. If you are a member you can just bill your club account. Members were $8. As a non-member you can pay with cash or card, so that's convenient.
Timeframe: While the article said 50 minutes and even the signage probably said so as well, no one was monitoring it and ushering people on and off. Granted it was a Sunday night so if there were a lot more people they may have managed it more closely but the kids enjoyed as much skating as they wanted.
Size: Ok, so the article said it was 2100 square feet...and maybe it is but it definitely does not look at all that large. It is smaller than the roller rink in Wicker Park, if you are familiar with that. I didn't think to walk the length to get a good estimate. It looked like a U8 soccer field...if that helps. Either way, it was small...the kids thought it was small and were expecting something larger. Maybe they'll expand it next year, we shall see.
Ice: So the ice skating itself was difficult. I won't quote my friend and fellow mom, but basically it wasn't like skating on ice at all. It was very difficult to move about in a skate like motion. The kids fell a lot but probably moreso because their feet got caught in the grooves and it wasn't smooth like ice. It's kind of tough to skate on plastic.
Ambiance: The atmosphere is what "made" the experience. There was Christmas music playing, pretty decor and lights, and an occasional "snow" shower with soapy air, which probably aided in the slippery-ness of the "ice". The concession stand over by the pool was open for snacks and hot cocoa. And if you're real ambitious you can take a walk to the Ryder Lounge and order an Irish coffee, I may have had my husband do that ;)
There are heaters around the area and two small fire pits with seating, which was super cozy.
Logistics: Skates are provided, I'm not sure how small they go down to but my youngest, size 10 toddler could not skate, he was too small. My 4 year old wore 12/1 size and I believe there was one size smaller. There is an area to store your shoes and to sit to change.
Final Tips/Comments: The staff are super friendly and accommodating, they have a fun job to run such a fun attraction. The club is making some great strides to attract to the growing family and children population of Pinehurst, so kudos to them for this effort! Also...have your child go potty before changing into skates...just trust me on this one.
I am thrilled there is an exciting family friendly and safe activity to do right here in our own backyard in the Village of Pinehurst. I'm even more thrilled it's something my teen can do, that is the challenge these days! A happy teenager makes the world a better place.