Learn to Skate
In general, a child can begin to skate as soon as they become strong walkers. However, it is equally important for children to be developmentally ready to take instruction from someone other than their parent(s), as well as for them to be comfortable taking part in class without their parent(s) present. Skaters may participate in lessons starting at 3 years old.
Skaters should wear warm layers of clothing including gloves and warm ear coverings if not wearing a helmet. All 3–5-year-old skaters and youth beginner skaters are required to wear helmets. Our youngest skaters typically benefit from wearing snow gear to stay warm and padded.
Skate rentals are included with all our lessons as part of their class registration. Skaters are always welcome to wear their own skates.
We suggest for brand new skaters, of all ages, figure skates to begin with. As compared to hockey skates, figure skates have a long, flatter blade design which allows skaters to more easily stand up and get comfortable on the ice.
Generally, we do not offer make-up classes, strictly due to ice time limitations. However, we always do our best to support our skaters and families, so please see our skating director with individual needs/requests.
No, parents are not allowed on the ice during class time. This is a chance for your skaters to participate in a fun, instructional, class-structured setting, much like school. During class, parents are encouraged to stay away from the rink side entrance doors while classes are in session. This allows children to truly focus on their instructor during this time.
Except for a medical emergency, we do not provide refunds once registration has been completed. We will issue a credit at the discretion of our skating director or general manager on a case-by-case basis.
Here at the McDonald Center, we will always do our best to ensure that skaters are placed in the appropriate class, both age and skill level. We do remind parents however that in the group class setting, the skill level and ability of skaters can vary greatly.
Our instructors are always available and more than happy to speak with parents about their skater’s progress! If your instructor is tight on time between classes, making it difficult to speak with them, please see our skating director and she will gladly get a message to your instructor for you.