The 2022 Winter Olympics have begun! There is nothing like the Olympics to bring the family together around the television in patriotic unison, cheering for inspiring athletes.
If you would like to seize this opportunity to enrich your child’s life with Olympian experiences closer to home, look no further. We’ve compiled a list of winter Olympic themed excursions and experiences for you that are around Indiana!
Developed in Scandinavian countries as a means of transportation and of recreation, cross-country skiing is a great exercise and a fun activity to try during the winter. In order to cross-country ski, or ski tour, you do need equipment and snow. St. Patrick’s County Park in South Bend offers affordable ski rentals and lessons. Their program is open between December 26th and March 13th (snow conditions permitting). The trail fee is $5 for adults and $4 for children. There is a $10 rental fee for all equipment, including boots, skis and poles. Lessons take place on Friday afternoons and cost $15 per person.
Attend an Indy Fuel hockey game in person at the Indianapolis Fairgrounds. Our Indy Fuel hockey team is a part of the ECHL, which is a mid-level professional ice hockey league based out of New Jersey. Many ECHL players go on to play in the NHL and the AHL.
If you have never attended a live hockey game in person, you are in for a treat. The Indy Fuel does a great job creating fun family theme nights, and creating many opportunities before, during and after the game to involve audience members. No matter where you end up sitting, you can be sure that you will feel like you are part of the game. Ticket prices range between $14-$48, and there are often packages and promotions available.
There are many places around Indy where you can lace up your skates and cut the ice with your fancy moves. Many pop-up ice rinks around Indianapolis offer drop-in options.
If you’re ready to take your skating to the next level, try some figure skating lessons at Carmel Ice Skadium, which offers 6-week lesson packages for beginners (ages 3-5) through adult lessons. The packages cost $125 and include a weekly 25 minutes class, free skate rental, free public skate passes, 30-minute practice time and a detailed evaluation on the last day of class. Students are also given membership in Learn to Skate USA. One of the coolest parts of these lessons is watching the advanced figure skaters learning and practicing the fancy moves that happen on television.
Did you know Indianapolis has its own curling club? Curling is a team sport played on ice where players take turns sliding stones made of granite toward a target called a “house.” Circle City Curling Club offers a $40 1.5 hour clinic that includes everything you need to learn the game. They do suggest that you sign up as a pair or foursome, as the game is played on even teams of 4. They also suggest that this is a sport for children 10 and older.
If the bobsled catches the eye of your speedster, then you have to make a family trip Indiana’s next best thing: Pokagon State Park’s refrigerated Toboggan Run, close to Angola. The total drop is 90 feet over the course of a quarter mile. It is open on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and the cost is $20 per toboggan per hour. One toboggan can hold 4 people at a time. Gloves must be worn when riding the toboggan. Children must be old enough to understand the rules.
Skiing and Snowboarding
Indiana is known for its flat fields, so to try out skiing and snowboarding, you need to travel a little bit. Perfect North Slopes in southeastern Indiana offers daily lessons in skiing and snowboarding at $10 per person for ages 9+. Lessons are 50 minutes long and every hour on the hour. For children ages 4-8, hour-long group lessons are offered for $20 in skiing and snowboarding. These lessons also take place every hour on the hour. Perfect North offers 23 trails, including five beginner trails.
While it’s easy to find a reason to stay snuggled up inside watching television this season, hopefully the Olympics inspire you and your family to try some of these invigorating winter sports. Who knows? You might just be taking the next Shaun White or Chloe Kim to their very first lesson.