The first time I visited the White Rock Skate Center, which is featured in our magazine this month, I spent an entire evening convincing my then-5-year-old that despite spending most of the night dusting the hardwoods, he really was having a good time.

I did such a good job of conveying the wonder of occasion to him that the next time an opportunity to skate presented itself, he started crying when I mentioned it and continued crying as we paid for our tickets, laced up our skates and started around the polished wood oval yet again.

Then something exciting happened: he didn’t fall down right away. And about that time, a fresh-scrubbed high school-age employee skated up, gave him a few tips and some attention, and before long, I couldn’t pry him away from the rink.

So began a tradition for our family: When we can’t agree about what to do during a weekend, we can almost always agree about going to the skate center.

The skate center is the kind of place where it’s not embarrassing to be a family, the kind of place where you can take children and not be particularly worried about what may happen to them while your head is turned.

“I am in charge of peoples’ kids when they drop them off at the door,” says owner Chuck Connors, “so what happens to the kids, how they’re treated and what music they listen to, or what they see while they’re here is very important – I take it seriously.”

That’s a good philosophy for a business in this neighborhood or any other.

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