My dearly departed father taught me how to ice skate. It was on a frozen lake, back in the woods of Vancouver. We'd just been hunting. He pulled out the skates my grandfather had used as a child, and they had a leathery, worn smell. I was only 6, but I remember it vividly, because I fell, time and again. (Why is it our successes often begin with failure?) My father insisted that I continue, and I did. I learned how to ice-skate that day. And I became a man.
Item N§ 28Ice-skating at the Science Museum
Features: As part of "Joy From the World," which features science-themed trees, cultural displays and seasonal theater, the museum offers all-weather ice skating on a polyethylene rink at the Winter Skating Pavilion.
Specs: Skating sessions are 90 minutes long, at the top of every even-numbered hour. Through Dec. 24; then starting up again Dec. 30.
Price: Skate rental, $9 for ages 4-12 and 60+; $10 for adults ages 13-59. Bring your own skates for a reduced price, or buy a season pass.
To order: For more information, 864-1400 or www.smv.org.
Item N§ 29Stony Point Fashion Park Outdoor Skating Rink.
Specs: Open now. 9200 Stony Point Parkway. Hours vary, so check ahead.
Price: Free if you bring your own skates.
To order: www.shopstonypoint.com.
Item N§ 30Richmond Ice Zone.
Specs: In Midlothian at 636 Johnston-Willis Drive.
Price: Daytime, $6; Friday nights, $7.50; skate rentals $2.50; children 3 and younger are free.
To order: Hours vary, check www.richmondicezone.com or call 378-7465.
Item N§ 21SkateNation Plus
Specs: In Glen Allen, at 4350 Pouncey Tract Road.
Price: Prices and hours vary; check
To order: 364-1477. Hours vary; check