My wife stumbled across a well-kept secret in Livermore: we have an ice-skating rink.
Driven by my 3-year-old girl's newly discovered love for ice-skating after watching the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, my wife searched the Internet for ice skating rinks. We were in disbelief that there was a rink called Tri Valley Ice in Livermore off Vasco Road at 6611 Preston Ave.
As someone who grew up in this town when the Shadowcliffs Waterslides were the premier Livermore activity, which was only available in the summer, I am shocked that every man, woman and child isn't Yelping with excitement over something like this.
Yes, I know we now have two movie theaters, and you can now drink beer and eat dinner while watching movies at the suddenly hip Vine Theater. I know people come from all over the Bay Area to dine in our downtown. I know Boomers has been around a while with its miniature golf and miniature car racing.
I know there's even a Party Palooza, complete with bowling, jumping rooms and arcade games. There's even an Umigo Indoor Kart Racing, as if today's Livermore kids weren't spoiled enough with the outdoor car racing at Boomers.
Don't even get me started with how jealous my generation of Livermore youth is of the Recreation Center and its aquatic park. I wonder if any kids still have time to ride bikes to the arroyo and catch frogs, lizards and snakes. What's next, Disneyland?
To me, even with all of these above-mentioned activity options, an ice-skating rink should be big news. But an unscientific survey of friends and family shows me that Livermore remains ignorant of Tri Valley Ice.
When my wife and I showed up with our daughter at the facility this week we were shocked. It not only has a big rink for free skating, there is a rink for ice hockey as well. I appreciated the snack bar that sells a wide variety of food and drinks, including Altamont Beer Works brews and coffee.
My daughter saw old clips of the Bay Area's very own gold medalist skater Kristi Yamaguchi, and now she talks about her all the time. She calls Tri Valley Ice "Kristi Yamaguchi's House," and we plan on signing her up for a few lessons. She only fell once when she went last week. The rink provides plastic buckets that can be stacked according to the skater's height and dragged along the ice to help with balance.
My daughter, invariably, bumped her cheek on the plastic bucket, but the tears ended quickly and were replaced by a big smile as she skated around the rink slowly. There were a good mix of children and adults enjoying the rink, and what looked to be a thriving hockey league using the other rink.
The skating entrance fee is $9.50, and skate rentals are $2.50. Public skating times are from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Friday; 2 to 5 p.m. and 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. Saturday; and 2 to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. There is also a list of group lessons on the website, www.trivalleyice.com. You can also rent out a rink for parties and packages include pizza and drinks.
Contact Patrick Brown at firstname.lastname@example.org.