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 they are bigger and better. Read on to find the best spots to take a spin!

photo: Safeway Holiday Ice

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 their special events: Drag Queens on Ice, Silent Skate and the Polar Bear Skate, all returning this year. Learn to skate every weekend at 8:30 a.m.

Location: Union Sq., San Francisco
Dates: Nov. 7- Jan. 21
Hours: 10 a.m.- 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.


photo: Kate Loweth

NEW FOR 2018: Winter Park at Civic Center

This new addition will bring a 6,000-square-foot ice skating rink to the totally upgraded Civic Center Plaza. Enjoy some ice skating, play on the new playgrounds and then grab a warm drink from the newly-opened Bi-Rite. The Winter Park will showcase a number of events on the ice, including themed dance and skate parties, a First Responders celebration, donation drives and more.

Location: Civic Center, San Francisco
Dates: Nov. 30-Jan. 6
Hours: noon-10 p.m.
Cost: $20/adults, $15/kids 8 and under. Admission includes skate rental.

photo: Anthony Cole

NEW FOR 2018: Old Oakland Holiday Ice Rink

Oakland Central is incredibly excited to bring Downtown Oakland it’s very own outdoor holiday ice skating rink, the Old Oakland Holiday Ice Rink. Find this spot at the corner of 9th and Washington, in one of Oakland’s most beautiful and iconic neighborhoods. Dine nearby in Jack London Square, Chinatown or Swan's Market and then enjoy the holiday beverage garden at the rink from 5-10 p.m. Thurs.-Sun. 

Location: 806 Washington St., Oakland
Dates: Dec. 14-Jan. 6
Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Fri.-Sun. 10 a.m.- 10 p.m.
Cost: $13/general admission, $5/skate rental, $8/skating aids

photo: Kate Loweth

NEW FOR 2018 - Ice at the Veranda, Concord

This brand-new shopping center is hosting this brand-new ice rink and everyone's ready to hit the ice! Tuesdays will get you $6 off skating prices and on Wednesdays locals can save $4. There are loads of dining spots right around the rink including Puesto and PopBar so make it a day at The Veranda! 

Location: 2001-2003 Diamond Blvd., Concord, CA (near Luxe Cinema)
Dates: Nov. 9-Feb. 18
Hours: Varies daily and is subject to change, check their events calendar for times.
Cost: $15/skater including skate rental for a 90-minute session

photo: California Academy of Sciences

Holiday Ice Rink at California Academy of Sciences

Back for a second year, the Cal Academy adds an ice rink to their ever-popular 'Tis the Season for Science: Life on Ice exhibit. This year you can even skate at night on select Thursdays and Sundays. 

Location: 55 Music Concourse Drive, Golden Gate Park, San Francisco
Dates: Nov. 16- Jan. 6
Hours: Varies daily and is subject to change, check their events calendar for times.
Cost: $10/person for daytime skate sessions, $15/person for night skating. This is in addition to cost of entry to the museum. Ice rink cannot be accessed separately.

photo: Embarcadero Center

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. 5-Jan. 6
Hours: Sun.-Thurs: 10 a.m. -9:30 p.m.,  Fri.-Sat.: 10 a.m.-11:30 p.m. Skating sessions begin every even hour starting at 10 a.m. and lasting 90 minutes. 
Cost: $12/Adults, $7/kids 8 and under. Skate rental $5.

San Mateo on Ice

Located in Central Park, this 9,000-square foot rink is the largest in the Bay Area with real ice. For some next-level on-the-ice fun, book some time in the bumper cars on ice for $15/person!

Location: Central Park, 50 E. 5th Avenue, San Mateo
Dates: Nov. 10-Jan. 13
Hours: check the schedule for daily hours
Cost: $16/person including skate rental

photo: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk

Boardwalk Holiday Ice

Back again for 2018: ice skating at the beach! A covered rink is part of the fun this season at the Santa Cruz Boardwalk and this year it's bigger and better. Have a skate and then go enjoy games, rides and holiday lights. Reservations are recommended.

Location: 400 Beach St., Santa Cruz
Dates: Nov. 17-Jan. 6
Hours: Varies. See schedule
Cost: $14.95/hour, includes skate rental

photo: Daniel Garcia

Downtown Ice

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. 16-Jan. 27
Hours:  Varies, see schedule
Cost: $17/adults, $15/kids 10 and under. Admission includes skate rental, discount available if you bring your own.

photo: California's Great America

WinterFest at California's Great America

Winter takes over Great American in Santa Clara on November 23 and you can ice skate right in front of the iconic double decker carousel. Sign up for your spot when you arrive in the park as this activity is very popular. 

Location: California's Great America
Dates: Select dates Nov. 26-Dec. 31
Hours: varies, see schedule
Cost: $15 for ice skating in addition to regular admission price

photo: Melissa Bouse

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. 17- Jan. 6
Hours: Varies daily and with holidays, subject to change due to weather. Check schedule here.
Cost: $15/general with skate rental, $12/if you bring your own skates

photo: Santa Clara Ice

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 and skate lessons, so check their calendar to get in on some extra festive fun.

Location: 969 Kiely Blvd., Santa Clara
Dates: Nov. 19-Jan. 21
Hours: Varies, see calendar
Cost: $15/adults, $10/kids ages 4-12, 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. 

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: $10/adults, $8/kids 11 and under. Skate rental $4

photo: Marin on Ice

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. 7- Jan 21
Hours: Varies, see calendar
Cost: $15/person, includes skate rental. $13/military, police, fire personnel with valid ID

photo: Kate Loweth

Winter Lodge

No need to worry about missing the window to skate here. They're open well into spring, rain or shine! You've got an indoor rink (which is sometimes used for lessons) as well as a partially-covered outdoor rink to choose from. 

Location: 3009 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto
Dates: Sept. 24-April 14
Hours: Varies daily with morning, afternoon and evening sessions. Check website for specifics. Closed Nov. 24, Dec 24 & 25, Jan. 1, April 1.
Cost: $12/admission. Skate rental $5

Tell us about your favorite place to ice skate in the comments!

—Kate Loweth, Melissa Bouse, Amber Guetebier & Annie Sheldon