When most of us think of ice-skating lessons, we picture little kids learning to navigate the ice. But skating isn't just for kids, and staffers at rinks across the Island say it's never too late to learn. It is, however, a little harder to teach an old dog to glide.
"With beginner children, within three lessons they're doing pretty well on their own," says Nancy Holmberg of Superior Ice Rink in Kings Park. "By the end of a 7-week session, they have the balance down and are learning the glide." Adults usually take longer, she says, and "some of them don't get it, ever" - mostly because of the fear in their heads. So try to relax, and remember - everybody falls.
Fees for group classes, usually offered for ages 3 or 4 and up, include admission; fees for private lessons do not. Skate rental is extra. Here's a sampling:
CANTIAGUE PARK: West John Street, Hicksville, 516-571-7056, nassaucountyny.gov/parks. Cost: $120 for eight weeks of half-hour lessons; private lessons, $32.50 for 20 minutes. Winter lessons are under way at this indoor rink; select availability remains. Spring session starts in March. Classes are for Nassau residents only.
CHRISTOPHER MORLEY PARK: Roslyn-North Hills, 516-571-8113. Six- and eight-week sessions just started; some openings remain.
GRANT PARK: Hewlett, 516-571-7821. Learn to skate outdoors.
ICEWORKS: 175 Underhill Blvd., Syosset, 516-496-2277, iceworksli.com. Cost: $229 for eight 45-minute lessons. Private lessons available; fees vary. The official practice facility of the Islanders starts a new class session Jan. 2.
NEWBRIDGE ARENA: 2600 Newbridge Rd., Bellmore, 516-783-6181, newbridgearena.com. Cost: $95 for six half-hour lessons ($105 ages 3-5). Private lessons start at $30 for 30 minutes. A new session starts Jan. 6. Special needs classes available. Fee includes the public session following the lesson.
TOWN OF OYSTER BAY ICE SKATING CENTER: 1001 Stewart Ave., Bethpage, 516-433-RINK, oysterbaytown.com. Cost: $160 ($120 residents) for eight half-hour lessons. Private and semiprivate lessons available; fees vary. A new session begins Feb. 8; register Jan. 11 and 13.
DIX HILLS ICE RINK: 575 Vanderbilt Pkwy., Dix Hills, 631-462-5883. Cost: $85 ($75 residents) for six weeks of half-hour lessons. Private lessons generally run $28 for 20 minutes or $42 for 30 minutes. A new session starts Jan. 5. The indoor rink also offers Mommy-and-me classes for 3- and 4-year-olds.
THE RINX: 660 Terry Rd., Hauppauge, 631-232-3222, therinx.com. Cost: $125 for seven half-hour lessons ($110 Islip residents with rec card). Private lessons, $20 for 20 minutes, $30 for 30 minutes. Group fee includes unlimited free admission to any daytime public session during the lesson term.
THE RINX AT HARBORFRONT PARK: 101A E. Broadway, Port Jefferson, 631-403-4357, portjeffrink.com. Cost: $105 for 6 weeks of half-hour lessons. Private lessons run about $1 a minute. The Rinx manages this outdoor rink on the harbor. Group fee include free passes to practice during public skate time.
SUPERIOR ICE RINK: 270 Indian Head Rd., Kings Park, 631-269-3900, superioricerink.com. Cost: $112 for seven weeks of half-hour lessons. Private lessons usually run $40 per half-hour, or $25 each person for semiprivate. A new session starts this week; group fee includes public session admission.