WABASH, Ind. (WANE) – Creativity is key when it comes to finding activities for the whole family to enjoy throughout the winter months. One Wabash family took ‘winter wonderland’ seriously and transformed their backyard into an ice skating rink.
Tyler Leland thought of the idea and asked his wife what her opinion was. “Usually my wife shuts me down on ideas like that, but this time for whatever reason she said okay,” Leland says. He found and joined a Facebook group where other hopeful creators share tips and ideas to turn a vision into a reality. Friends from church got on board, helped out and a few days later, the family was skating on ice.
“Our boys love sports. In the winter, it’s really hard to play sports outside,” Leland explains. Not only are the three Leland boys learning to skate and play hockey, the family welcomes plenty of opponents all throughout the community.
That includes some Komets players in the making. Elijah Dafoe has a dream of being a goalie for the team. “I really like hockey,” he says. Elijah’s dad Stephen claims, “he’s learning that hockey is a tough sport. Skates are on the way from Amazon.” The boys are hopeful the Komets might give them a few pointers in the near future. “It’s just cool that ever single day we can go outside and play hockey, after you learn it’s really fun,” the oldest Leland son Coby says.
“I tell parents that if their kids end up in hockey some day, they have to get us tickets to those games because it all started right here,” Leland jokes.
“We’ve had people here almost every night playing hockey with us, it’s different. Nobody really has an ice hockey right here in their backyard,” Leland says. His creativity doesn’t end there, he made stands for the kids to help the kids who aren’t comfortable on the ice just yet. He even created a Zamboni made of a plastic bucket, PVC pipe, and a rag.
The family is hoping it stays cold long enough for them to enjoy the rink for a few more months. Because the first year has gone so well, Leland says that this might be an annual tradition for them.
Leland says, “even at night the lights are on and it’s just beautiful out here. So being able to enjoy God’s creation, watching the boys enjoy skating and learning how to do that for the first time and definitely making memories as a family has been something we will never forget.”