The weather outside is not-so-frightful, which makes ice skating oh-so delightful. Seasonal ice skating rinks are popping up all over the Bay Area, and this year there are several new ones in the mix. Read on to find the best spots to take a spin!
The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
It's the West Coast's answer to Rockefeller Square. Be sure to check their calendar as they have a lot of fun shows, in addition to many public skating hours. Make sure to mark your calendars for Drag Queen skating on Dec. 7 at 8-9:30 p.m., a holiday favorite.
Location: Union Sq., San Francisco
Dates: Nov. 1- Jan. 15
Hours: 10 am- 11:30 p.m. daily (closing at (9:30 p.m. on Dec. 31)
Cost: $18/adults, $13/kids 8 and under. Admission includes skate rental.
Holiday Ice Rink at California Academy of Sciences
Just when you thought the Cal Academy couldn't get any cooler: this year they've upped the ante on their annual polar exhibit with the addition of an ice rink!
Location: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Dates: Nov. 22- Jan. 7
Hours: Varies daily and is subject to change, check their events calendar for times.
Cost: $12/general, $10/members. This is in addition to cost of entry to the museum. Ice rink cannot be accessed separately.
Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
Hailed as the largest outdoor rink the Bay Area, it's one of the more affordable, too.
Location: Justin Herman Plaza, San Francisco (Across from the Ferry Building)
Dates: Nov. 3- Jan. 7
Hours: Sun.-Thurs: 10 a.m. -9:30 p.m., Fri. & Sat.: 10 a.m. – 11:30 p.m.
Cost: $12/Adults, $7/kids 8 and under. Skate rental $5.
Boardwalk Holiday Ice
Here's something new: ice skating at the beach! A covered rink is part of the fun this season at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk. Have a skate and then go enjoy games, rides and holiday lights. Reservations are recommended.
Location: 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz
Dates: Nov. 11- Jan. 7
Hours: Mon.- Thurs.: 4-9 p.m., Fri.- Sun.: 12-9 p.m.; Special Hours Dec. 25- Jan. 1: 12- 9 p.m. daily.
Cost: $12/hour, includes skate rental
Some rinks might feature a giant Christmas tree—but here you'll find towering, decked-out palm trees! Its unique, track-like design allows young skaters plenty of room to cruise, while giving skaters who want to practice tricks and turns protected space, too.
Location: 120 S. Market Street, San Jose
Dates: Nov. 17- Jan. 15
Hours: Mon.-Thurs.: 5-9 p.m., Fri.: 5 p.m.-midnight, Sat: noon-midnight, Sun.: 12-9 p.m.
Cost: $17/adults, $15/kids 10 and under. Admission includes skate rental, discount available if you bring your own.
The Little Ice Rink
It may be little, but that makes it the perfect rink for little ones. They have two different kinds of skating aids to help unsteady skaters balance.
Location: 523 South Shore Center, Alameda
Dates: Nov. 3- Jan. 15
Hours: Mon.-Fri.: 3-10 p.m. (opens at noon during school break), Sat. & Sun.: 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Cost: $17/adults, $13/kids 8 and under. Admission includes skate rental, discount available if you bring your own.
Walnut Creek on Ice
Nestled next to a playground and the library (and just a few blocks from downtown) you could easily make a day out of a visit to Walnut Creek's rink.
Location: 1365 Civic Dr., Walnut Creek
Dates: Nov. 10- Jan. 15
Hours: Public skate times vary daily, Best to check website for specifics.
Cost: $12/weekdays before 5 p.m., $15/weekends, evenings and holiday periods.
Downtown Holiday Ice
This low-key spot is a great place for first time skaters, or those who need to brush up on their skills! It's small but there's plenty of room to maneuver the cutest little seal balance aids.
Location: Corner of Marina Vista Ave. and Ferry St., Martinez
Dates: Nov. 18- Jan. 15
Hours: Varies daily and with holidays, subject to change due to weather. Check schedule here.
Cost: $14/General with skate rental
Santa Clara Ice at Central Park
Central Park is transformed into a winter wonderland when this rink opens for the season. They host a variety of theme nights, so check their calendar to get in on some extra festive fun.
Location: 969 Kiely Blvd., Santa Clara
Dates: Nov. 20- Jan. 15
Hours: Mon.-Thurs.: 2-8 p.m., Fri.: 2-10 p.m., Sat.: 1- 10 p.m., Sun.; 1- 8 p.m. (extended hours offered during school breaks)
Cost: $15/adults, $10/kids ages 4-10, Free/kids under 4 with paying adult. Prices include skate rental.
Snoopy’s Home Ice
This indoor spot, next to the Charles M. Schulz museum, is open year-round, but they make it extra festive at Christmas time. The season kicks off with a tree lighting and exhibition on December 1.
Location: 1667 W Steele Lane, Santa Rosa
Dates: Open Year Round, Holiday Season Starts Dec. 1
Hours: Public skate times vary daily. Best to check website for specifics.
Cost: $9.50/adults, $7.50/kids 11 and under. Skate rental $3.50
Marin on Ice
You get your money's worth here, as admission is good all day. So you can skate, leave for a bite to eat and maybe a little shopping, and then hit the ice again.
Location: 5800 North Gate Drive, San Rafael
Dates: Nov. 8- Jan 7
Hours: Mon.- Fri.: 2- 9 p.m., Sat. & Sun.: 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Cost: $15/person, includes skate rental. $13/Military, Police, Fire personnel with valid ID
No need to worry about missing the window to skate here. They're open well into spring, rain or shine!
Location: 3009 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto
Dates: Sept. 25- April 15
Hours: Varies daily with morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Check website for specifics. Closed Nov. 24, Dec 24 & 25, Jan. 1, April 1.
Cost: $11. Skate rental $5
Tell us about your favorite place to ice skate in the comments!
—Melissa Bouse, Kate Loweth, Amber Guetebier & Annie Sheldon