Sunday, January 8, 2012

Stroller Skating at Raleigh Winterfest

What it is: When we heard about this great wintertime event, we just had to go check it out! One of the activities at Raleigh Winterfest is ice skating at their outdoor ice rink in City Plaza in Downtown Raleigh.  I wouldn't have thought about heading down there with a 20 month old and a 3.5 year old, but then I heard about stroller skating...that's right...stroller ice skating.  On Thursday mornings they open up the rink from 10-11am to strollers.  So moms can bring their stroller from home and wheel their little ones around the rink.

I read that the toddler ice skate sizes started at size 9 which was close to my son's size, but I didn't know if he would be able to skate.  So, I brought the big double stroller so that both of my boys could sit in the stroller if they needed to, but my oldest son could try skating if he wanted to.  It definitely sounded like it could be a disaster, but it turned out to be soooo much fun!  The stroller helped prop up both this rusty mom and shaky toddler legs and my youngest just sat and took it all in from the stroller.  My oldest son just had the best time and slipped and slided slowly around the rink.  I'm tempted to take him back to try again another week before Winterfest is over!

What we liked:  We loved that Winterfest thought about including moms with strollers and made a special day just for us!  We also loved how friendly and helpful everyone was.  There was a skating coach on the ice the whole time and she was great with my older son, leading him around the rink and teaching him a few things about skating.  The location was also great with places to eat lunch or get coffee as well as outdoor seating surrounding the rink.

(We also wanted to mention that the wonderful ice skating coach who was on the ice with us actually teaches toddler skating classes in Cary.  For more information, check out

What we would change:  Parking threw me off initially because when you first see the rink, all you see are parallel parking spaces that are all full.  However, there are several nearby lots including where we parked which was a public lot directly behind the rink with easy access to the rink via a nearby ramp.  In addition, it's a bit of a pricey outing at $8 per skater plus the cost of parking, which for us was $4.  Keep in mind that you only have an hour to stroller skate so leave plenty of time to get there on time.

Website and other important information:

Dates and times: Raleigh Winterfest ends on January 29, 2012, so hurry on over!  Stroller skating is available on Thursday mornings from 10-11.


Address: The rink is located in the 400 block of Fayetteville St. in downtown Raleigh.  Our parking lot was located at the intersection of Wilmington and Cabarrus St. but there were lots of other public parking lots around.


(a view of the ice rink with lots of skating mommies)

(My son's adorable little ice skates)

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