Every year my side of the family does a Christmas activity instead of buying gifts for all of the cousins. My parents still get a few gifts for everyone and we get gifts for my parents, but my siblings and I don't get gifts for each other or each others kids anymore. There is just too many of us and it makes it much simpler that way. The last two years we went bowling and this year my Mom rented the old Starlite Skate Center in Newton that we used to go to when we were kids.
The skating rink holds so many great memories from my childhood... I don't remember my parents ever going with us but I used to go with my brother and sister very often on Saturdays and stay the whole day! It was so much fun. The place looked exactly like it did before... It was like stepping into a time warp of the past... except that it wasn't crowded with people, it was just us!
Apparently my parents went to one when they were younger because they obviously had done it before and thought it would be fun for all of their children and Grandchildren to go together.
It had been taken over a year or two ago I think and re-opened as a the Ultimate Martial Arts Center where they hold Martial Arts classes, but they still rent it out for parties. My Mom said it was $125 for a few hours but you were just charged for the time and not how many people. (within reason I'm sure) You could even bring your own snacks!
They had a guy dressed up in a clown wig that did the music and activities... he was great! We did the hokey-pokey...
And just had general skating... (Notice my sister and her husband couples skating in the background) She was always a better skater than me and could even skate backwards! I was always so impressed with her skating abilities when I was a kid. She was 6 years older than me so it was always fun when I wasn't "too little," or "not old enough" to do things with her.
I was honestly a little worried about my Dad going out there and getting hurt, (my Mom was actually going to try it but was not feeling up to it that day so decided she better not) Ironically I was the one to fall and get hurt! Ouch! I can sure tell I am 35 years old and not 8 years old anymore! It took a whole week for my body to quit hurting so much and I can't say that I am quite fully recovered from the incidence yet... :0 Luckily I didn't break anything...
Once I got the hang of it though, It was much better!
I even did the limbo! When I was little my sister and I were in gymnastics and we won the free soda coupons almost every time! Needless to say, I didn't win this time... ;)
They had cute little pink skates for Nora to use and she actually did pretty well!
I think everyone of all ages had fun! Even my Mom from the sidelines I think enjoyed watching everyone.
It was fun to show the kids and cousins a glimpse from our childhood... A true blast from the past!
Kien LOVED it and always asks when we can go again... My Mom already booked it for next Thanksgiving so we can go with our extended family and then again for the Christmas activity! You should try it too!