WALLINGFORD — On Sunday, about a dozen people attended an open skate at Choate Rosemary Hall’s Remsen Arena for some family time on the ice.
“I love how it feels like coming home,” said Marisa Ferraro, Choate class of 1992. “Even though I live locally, I have always maintained kind of my distance between the Choate of my past and my home in Wallingford. So when I come here, it always feels like coming home.”
Ferraro attended the school as a day student and played ice hockey, while her mother worked at the school.
She took a break from baking cookies Sunday to bring her daughters Tessa Wilhelm, 10, and Siena Wilhelm, 7, to the rink.
“My friends who come back to visit their families over Christmas break, they all now come back with their kids,” Ferraro said. “All of our kids, from my Choate graduating class, we now skate together every Christmas break.”
The rink was open Sunday to the Choate community in between a Wallingford Hawks youth hockey game and Sheehan High School hockey team practice.
Beginning next month, the Wallingford Parks and Recreation department will offer ice skating at Choate, including adaptive skating.
Tags are available for purchase at the Parks and Recreation office, $15 per person for all ages for one of two hour-long time slots, or $25 per person for all ages for the entire time the rink is open.
Ferraro said she and her children visited The Rink at Rockefeller Center last weekend and were amazed that the famous rink in New York City was crowded with people.
“They’re used to only be a couple people” at the Choate open skate days, she said.
Tom White, Choate history teacher and JV girls ice hockey coach, and his children Holden White, 20, and Ellen White, 18, got in some practice time on the ice.
“They’re having fun,” Tom White said. “Holden really likes it. And Ellen, this is the best she’s done so far.”
Ellen White, a student at Miss Porter’s School in Farmington, is the only non-ice skater in the family, preferring volleyball.
Holden White, who’s starting at Eastern Connecticut State University after the winter break, said ice skating is a hobby for him.
“I just come and do this for fun,” he said, adding that his main sport is baseball.
At the uncrowded Choate rink, he said, “you can actually learn how to skate instead of bumping into everyone.”
Another advantage, Tom White said, is that the Choate rink is cold and the ice is hard. Those conditions make skating more fun.
But what about falling on the hard ice?
“Don’t worry about falling,” Tom White said. “Just keep practicing.”
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