Come and Skate with Santa

When John Gamgee opened the first artificially frozen ice rink in 1876, he definitely had one thing in mind.  It probably wasn’t the hundreds of people who would likely travel to Chelsea, London to visit his tent-covered creation, the Glaciarium.  It’s pretty unlikely that ‘ol Gamgee was excited about the money that he might make by selling tickets for those people to skate on the invention that would one day host Olympic games and sparkling performances on a cold winter’s night.

What it was, and what the child inside of each and every one of us hopes that it was; was the dream of a young boy to one day create a spectacle so amazing that Santa Claus himself would want to stop by for a time or two around the rink.  Well, my friends, that dream is about to come true.

On Sunday December 10th, at approximately 2pm in the afternoon, Jolly ‘Ol Saint Nick is going make sure that Rudolph and his boys bring the sleigh down to make a special stop in at the MetroRecPlex.  Armed with a bag of goodies and a giggle that will make even the coldest of hearts melt, Santa is prepared to bring joy to young and old members and visitors to the facility.  Although Santa definitely doesn’t have the energy to skate on both of them, the McKendree MetroRecPlex boasts not one, but two NHL-sized ice rinks, both with a large viewing area for visitors that simply want to check out Santa’s moves.  When there’s a large crowd, those ice rinks can seat more than 2,000 spectators.

While I’m sure that Santa is excited to see all of his friends at the facility, he’s also excited for the workout that he’ll get in at the MetroRecPlex.  He knows that during a thirty-minute ice skating session, a man of his stature can burn almost 400 calories!  That’s at least two slices of Mrs. Claus’ signature rum cake.

Santa will be available for photos, skating and more at the MetroRecPlex from 2pm until 4pm, and he’s bringing along some make and take crafts that the elves whipped up along with a mouth-watering hot chocolate bar (everyone knows that Santa and his elves LOVE sugar). Of course, Santa wouldn’t show up without providing the opportunity for a little shopping, and so there will be a few vendors on site with gifts available for purchase.

This family-friendly event is open to the public at a cost of $10 dollars for non-members, $7 dollars for charter members, and $8 dollars for regular members. Registration is available online (, at the front desk of the MetroRecPlex, or in person the day of the event.