Review: Great Skate Glendale - A Great Party for Skaters of all Skill Sets!
By Meg Brunson
A couple of months ago, my kids went to Winter Break Camp with our local school district and as a part of that programming, they had a field trip to Great Skate Glendale. I remember being uncertain of whether it'd be a good field trip for my kids, especially my 5-year-old, because she had never gone skating before and tends to be a bit clumsy. Well, she went on that field trip, and the other campers and counselors were really amazing at encouraging her and helping her get the hang of it! Plus, it helps that they have "Skate Mates" (you can see one in the photo above) to help the new skaters with their balance. Ever since that field trip she's developed a love for skating and has been skating in the garage, on the driveway, and up and down the sidewalks in our neighborhood. When I inquired about where she'd like to celebrate her birthday, it should not surprise me that she quickly exclaimed: "Great Skate!"
I was not sure whether her friends could skate, and as it turns out most of the party guests were new to skating as well - but that did not stop anyone from attending. The party included admission and skate rental for her guests. One thing that has changed since I went skating as a child is that all skaters must also wear wrist guards, which are also provided. The Skate Mates are first-come-first-served and there is an additional $6 charge for use of the Mates (the birthday child gets one for free if s/he needs it). They even have Skate Mates in a variety of heights, so kids of all ages can have access to the assistance if it's desired. We had a couple kids who opted to use the Skate Mates, but most opted to work on their balance independently.
The birthday party tables are positioned in close proximity to the rink and the DJ booth, separated from the general seating by a small wall. The birthday girl gets a black light responsive sticker to identify her to the party host, and the parents get stickers too - so that the host knows who is in charge. In addition to the obvious (opportunities for unlimited skating), the party package provided a ton of fun for the guests and multiple opportunities for the birthday girl to feel incredibly special.
Included in the classic package was 10 tokens for each child (you can select a package with more tokens per child as well), and they offer an add-on of 100 tokens for just $20. They had arcade games scattered throughout the venue - our favorite was one of those crane games, but you won bundles of tickets! We actually made out pretty well on that one!
Hidden behind a secret door was a Wheel of Fortune that the birthday girl got to spin - with chances to win anywhere from 100-500 tickets! We were super excited to land on 450! Woo Hoo! She also received an extra 60 tickets from the DJ when she was awarded "Honorary DJ." She was called up to the DJ booth, along with her party guests, and she got to introduce herself to the whole rink, her friends got to wish her a happy birthday, then she got to select her own song to play! Alannah chose "Cake by the Ocean" by DNCE - because it's her birthday, and we had cake (though I did not see any oceans).
When it was time to eat, we had ordered 2 of the adult combos (large pizza and pitcher of soda) for the grown-ups, and the kids' pizza and drinks were included with their classic party package. The party package also included all paper goods, so the only things you have to bring are cake (and ice cream). I thought the pizza was really good, and since there were no leftovers, I think all the guests would agree! There is a snack bar on site with a great selection of snacks including nachos, hot dogs, cotton candy, and more if you desire something besides pizza.
Our party host was really attentive and helped the party run smoothly. She kept in constant contact with us to ensure that everything was running smoothly and that we had no concerns. She also was a huge help with getting all of the kids gathered (and keeping them in one place) when it was time to sing Happy Birthday and serve cake.
The party lasted 2 1/2 hours and the kids all had a blast skating, playing arcade games, eating pizza and cake, and making memories with each other. The experience culminated with Alannah bringing all her tickets to the tickets counter and awaiting the final count....
I think that is more than I have ever gotten at any one time! She was able to select (just about) whatever she wanted from the prize counter and picked a blow up bear for herself and a toy for each of her sisters.
At the end of the party, we returned home but Alannah's smile didn't fade. Thanks to Great Skate Glendale, she had an amazing experience celebrating her 6th birthday with her best friends. All of the staff we encountered - from our party host, to the DJ, and even the "random" staff we bumped into when we needed a random spoon or an icepack - all of the staff were helpful, kind and fun. We also learned that Great Skate Glendale offers Learn to Skate classes on Saturday mornings, which would be a great opportunity for the kids to get more comfortable on skates. Great Skate Glendale surpassed my expectations and I would recommend them for a Birthday Party or just a family-fun night, as they frequently have fun themed nights that we list on the KidsOutAndAbout calendar.
To learn more about the Birthday Party Packages offered by Great Skate Glendale, visit their website HERE.
© 2017 Meg Brunson