If you haven't checked out the new ice rink in town yet, local dads and their kids can do just that in a special Skatin' with Dads program this weekend.

The Cochrane and Area Family Resource Network is hosting the event this coming Saturday, February 27, with the aim of getting fathers and their children out for a fun-filled activity and some bonding time.

Tessa Davidson is a Family Support worker with the local Family Resource Network and she says that in previous years they have found the organized dads and kids events to be extremely valuable.

"We know how important father involvement is in those early years and onward," says Davidson. "Previously with our Parent Link Centre, we ran a Hangin' with Dads every Saturday. We wanted to take advantage of the new rink across from our building and do skating with dads to encourage dads and kids to come out for some fun."

In addition to getting out for some fun and fresh air, Davidson says that dads can use the opportunity to speak with a support worker and address any questions or concerns they have regarding parenting.

"Our plan is just to be there to chat and check-in, just come out and skate and connect with other families, and connect with me if you have any questions about child development of parent behaviours, parenting or anything like that."

 Davidson says that all COVID-19 health and safety protocols will be implemented, and there will be two different time slots to ensure that AHS outdoor gathering numbers aren't exceeded.

"We have two separate time slots, we're just doing that so we can keep the numbers down," says Davidson. "According to Alberta Health Services, we can only have 10 people gathering at a time. Social distancing and face masks will be required, so we want to respect that and make sure that everyone is safe."

The first program will run this Saturday (February 27) from 9:30 -10:10 am and the second time slot runs from 10:20 -11 am. The programs are free of charge but registration is required beforehand. Participants will be required to fill out liability forms as well as a COVID screening questionnaire at the time of registration.

You can register for the Skatin' with Dads program here.