It was the September school holidays last week and even though we didn't travel out of Singapore, I really wanted to bring the kids to explore new places. Places where we've been wanting to go but haven't had the chance to. Places which are kid-friendly, haze-free and don't get affected by rainy weather. Places which are fun-filled, exciting and offer a experience that we will never forget.
So, I planned a surprise outing where we travelled over an hour by MRT and ventured all the way to the west. Nope, the kids had absolutely no idea where we were going till we got there. Woohoo! Boy oh boy, you bet they were simply ecstatic!
For the first time, we were going to ICE SKATE at The Rink in JCube! Now, if you remember, we did try ice skating when we were onboard Royal Caribbean's Mariner of the Seas (read more about our cruise experience here). That was almost two years ago when Angel was 4 and Ariel was not even 2. Their legs were perpetually wobbly and it ended up that the hubby and I were practically lifting them up and pushing them across the ice. This time round, I didn't know what to expect but I just wanted all of us to have a fun, fun, fun time. And yes, it was absolutely enjoyable and here's sharing with you more about the place!
The Rink is Singapore's first Olympic-sized rink and sits on Level 3 of JCube, a shopping centre that can be easily reached on foot from Jurong East MRT station. I recommend that you check its public skating sessions calendar before you plan your visit so that you are aware of its opening hours and public session availability.
We were fascinated by these 'cars' that we saw parked at the entrance. Can you guess what they are for? Well, these are Bumper Cars and those who can't skate can enjoy an adventure ride on the ice at $8 for 10 mins on Saturdays from 5:15-9:30pm. As fun as it may sound, note that when it happens, 1/4 of the rink will be used up so skaters can only make use of the other 3/4. If you were to ask me, I prefer to come at a time when we can feel free to skate around the entire rink.
There is a self-ticketing kiosk at the entrance which is an automated kiosk that allows skaters to skip the queue at Customer Service and be able to purchase admission tickets, skating accessories and redeem online purchased tickets. You can only purchase tickets for the same day at the kiosk but if you would like to book advance tickets, you can do it online here.
I was pleasantly surprised that the staff came up promptly to help us with the purchase of the tickets and we were done within a couple of minutes. We purchased the Pay-as-you-skate tickets ($14 for adult admission and $12 for child admission, not including skating accessories) and that basically means that we were free to enter at any time of the day but once we scanned the tickets and entered the gantry, we were only granted a stay of 2 hours 15 minutes.
If you exceed the time, you have to top up an additional $3.50 for every 30 minutes. Note that for skaters, tickets are valid for one-time entry only and once you exit the gantry, you will need to pay again to enter. If, however, you are a spectator and have paid $3.50 for your ticket, you can enter and re-enter as you like.
To collect socks, gloves and skating aids, you need to present your redemption ticket at the Customer Service Counter. If you have purchased the pay-as-you-skate tickets and plan to come back later in the day, you can still collect your gloves and socks first to save on the waiting time later. Note that while gloves are strongly recommended, they are optional. Socks, on the other hand, are compulsory. If you have these at home for the little ones, do bring your own and save on the expenses! Oh, and don't forget to bring their jackets and let them wear long pants for extra protection from the ice.
Oh, I know you must be wanting to ask this question. WHAT IS THE MINIMUM AGE FOR KIDS?
As of now, the minimum age for children is 3 and above. Child below 6 years old will need a parent/guardian accompany on ice. Yes, obviously babies are not allowed and that is why we could only come for an evening session - so that the hubby could join us after work and help look after the baby while I went on the ice with my girls.
Lockers, which cost 2 x $1 each, are readily available for those who need to deposit their bags or belongings. There is a coin changing machine located beside the toilet for your convenience if you don't have any $1 coins with you. Yes, there are toilets inside the rink and you can go in even with your skates on. Phew!
If you need to grab some dinner before your session starts, there are plenty of choices nearby the rink, including Eat @ Taipei, Nando's, KFC, Manhattan Fish Market and more.
For those who need a quick bite or just to drench their thirst, vending machines are also available right after the gantry.
Party celebrations can also be held at The Rink at a cost of $35 per skater (minimum of 10 per party). Note that this fee includes a dedicated skate party host, admission, skates rental, and use of the party room. Food catering is not included in the package rate and guests are free to set up their own catering at the party room. To book your party package, go here.
Now, this is very important! If your kids, or yourself, are skating for the first time ever, then I strongly advise you to invest in a skating aid. In fact, I decided to come all the way here because I knew my kids were going to love these cute animal skating aids (I was half right and half wrong, will show you why later!)
These aids help you to glide across the ice, give you a sense of confidence and practise your skating skills. Currently, there are three types of skating aids available at The Rink.
-> Penguin skating aids ($10 for 2 hour) are suitable for children below 1.2m height and below 10 years old.
-> Snowman skating aids ($10 for 2 hour) are suitable for older children and adults who need guidance on ice.
-> Seal skating aids ($15 for 2 hour) are suitable for older children and adults, meant for 2 persons. This seal skating aid is the newest addition and look, it even doubles up as a fun sled for the little ones! How super duper fun and cute, right?
Right, after saying so much, just how did it go for us?
I have to tell you that it was really so fun that we wish we didn't have to leave! Despite the hubby and I asking them if they were tired and if they wanted to get out of the rink a little earlier, the fact was these two girls had so much energy to spare (at past 9pm at night, yesh) and not only did we end up staying in the rink throughout, we stayed till the very, very last second where the announcement came and said that the rink was closed. Awwww.
In the first hour, we had so much with our skating aids! Seriously, it has been quite a while since I last skated and it was only because I had the aid that I dared to go really fast across the ice. Let's go to the middle of the rink! Of course. Let's make a U-turn! Done. Let's race across the ice! No problem.
It was easy to see that the kids felt confident with the aids too, although they were still both a little apprehensive when we first stepped onto the ice. I taught them how to open up their feet to make a V and to glide along, rather than just trying to walk, and I think they both grasped that concept pretty fast.
See? I even tried to sit on the seal and make them push me along instead. Which they did, with difficulty. Haha.
Anyway, the highlight of the night came when Angel told me "Mummy, I don't want to use the skating aid. I want to try skating by myself." I was only too happy to let her try, even though she ended up falling a few times. Hey, no pain, no gain, right?
In fact, this girl cut her right thigh with her left blade the first time she fell. The thing was, the cold was probably numbing or her endurance was not too bad, because despite the fact that the wound was bleeding a little and starting to swell (actually, we didn't realise it till we got home), she got up on her feet and continued to skate bravely. It wasn't just once that she fell; she must have fallen at least 4 or 5 times that night. But she managed to pull herself up every time and even when I told her to rest on the seal so that I could push her, she would decline and say "It's okay, I want to skate on my own". My stubborn, sometimes wilful but ever so determined firstborn. I'm so proud of you, Angel darling!
That also means in the second half of our session, we didn't really make use of the skating aids much which I was half happy about because it meant my kids were learning fast, yet a little dismayed because these aids were not cheap! Nonetheless, we were thankful that things went the way they did and we enjoyed ourselves tremendously (can't say the same for the hubby).
One thing is for sure, we'll definitely be back for more ice skating fun at The Rink!
2 Jurong East Central 1
Level 3, JCube
P.S. Thanks to the hubby for being so supportive that night and for helping to capture some precious memories! This is not a sponsored post in any way, yar? We just wanted to share with you on our fun-filled experience and all opinions and experiences are entirely our own.