It was a cold windy day in Brisbane, not the kind of day you want to spend outside particularly, even though there was stunning clear blue skies. Also I didn’t want the kids to be watching yet another holiday video, and they’d done enough craft to clear a football field of forest already. So, what to do?
Then it came to me….miss 8 had just bought a pair of rollerblades with her own money, what about daggy old roller skating? Sure it would kill a few hours, and the best thing was when I asked the girls about it, miss 8 and miss 6 actually agreed on the same thing for once. It was a big “Yes” from both.
I was expecting it to be an ok way to kill a few hours, but it ended up being great!!!! It was good, clean, fun and relatively cheap. The kids had a blast and I had a blast, yes that’s right me “school dad”. It was like I’d jumped into a time machine and headed back to 1985, about the only thing different was the quality of the skates and some of the music. Sure they played Beiber, Timberlake, Tay-Tay and all of the “now” music, but they also threw in some Xanadu, I See Red (Split Enz), AC/DC and YMCA for the parents to skate along to. It was the perfect mix of good wholesome fun and nostalgia. In fact, the place we went skating hadn’t even changed that much in 30 years since I was there when I was a kid. I think some of the staff had been there that long also, but that added to the charm and they really knew what they were doing.
It really hasn’t changed much in 30 years. As I mentioned earlier, the skates are better, and you can get rollerblades these days, but the games and activities and the MC playing the music and running the rink are not that much different. There was the speed skating slot, skating in the reverse direction, girls only skate, boys only skate, gather in the middle and dance to the Macarena or Time- Warp while everyone else keeps skating around the outside, the corners game with the Hearts, Diamonds, Spades and Clubs, and to top it off the pièce de résistance of roller skating games The Limbo.
The session we went to was at Stafford Skate Centre and for two and a half hours at $11 per person with $4 for Rollerblade hire was really good value. Other places I looked at online were slightly more expensive but still pretty good value overall. Secretly I wanted to go to this particular place to see what it was like after all these years. It was fantastic fun for me and the kids and I knew we were on to a winner when I asked the kids if they wanted to stop to have some hot chips as a snack, they both said “No, we want to keep skating”. I almost fell over.