San Diego won’t be blanketed in snowflakes for the holidays––but snow what!––we can still bundle up and head to an awesome ice rink for wintry fun. From ice skating by the beach to gliding across the ice under the stars, your little snow angels will delight in lacing up those skates and warming up afterwards with some hot cocoa. Scroll down for the edge on the best ice rinks in town this holiday season!
Skating by the Sea®
An unbeatable beach backdrop, palm trees and pirouettes are what you’ll find as this regal resort transforms their back lawn (Windsor that is) into a stunning skating rink for the holiday season. Known for the cotton candy sunsets and attention to detail, where else in the world can you glide across the ice, in a warm breeze, with a golden sandy beach just steps away?
Insider’s Tip: Reserve the Frostbite experience. A plush 4 or 6 person seating with a roaring fire pit and full food and beverage service. Order your favorite holiday-themed libations or snacks and sip down unlimited hot cocoa and coffee as you watch the beachfront ice skating. (Ice skating is a separate fee).
Dates: Nov. 22-Jan. 1; hours vary check website
Cost: Ice skating, $30/person advance purchase; $35/person same day at rink; Frostbite, $200-$250 plus/group
Hotel Del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave.
Coronado, CA 92118
Rady Children's Ice Rink
What's not to love? You're ice skating... outdoors... in San Diego! Plus, all proceeds go to Rady Children's Hospital. Glide into the daytime family session perfect for little ones or cut the ice at one of the night skates (better for those who know how to skate).
Insider's Tip: Work up an appetite ice skating, then head to Liberty Public Market for eats.
Dates: Nov. 17-Jan. 6 (closed Christmas)
Hours: Daily, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
Cost: $15/adults; $13/child (includes skates)
2875 Dewey Rd.
San Diego, CA 92106
Viejas Outlets Ice Rink
With the giant tree aglow and the holiday lights twinkling, the largest winter ice rink in SoCal is a must-do this season. Get ready to do the bunny hop and swizzle. Grab a cup of cocoa (or pizza slice) from the ice rink’s snack shack, then lace up your skates for festive fun. Don't forget to bundle up for the chilly winter nights! Open Thanksgiving and Christmas day.
Insider's Tip: Each ice skate ticket is good for a 90-minute ice skating session.
Dates: Nov. 2-Jan. 27, hours vary check website
Cost: $16/adults; $14/child (12 years old and under)
5000 Willows Rd.
Alpine, CA 91901
One of San Diego's best indoor ice skating locations, UTC Ice is fun for the holidays and the rest of the year too! Couple that with catching up on your Christmas shopping, and a toddler (outdoor) play area and you have a festive day. During the month of December, skating hours are extended and parking is courtesy of UTC Shopping Mall.
Insider's Tip: If you purchase your admission and skate rental tickets at least one day before your visit, you save five dollars.
Hours: Vary by day
Cost: $15/adult; $12/child (five and under), rental included
4545 La Jolla Village Dr.
La Jolla, CA 92122
San Diego Ice Arena
An oldie but goodie, this Mira Mesa ice rink (open 35 years) is home to Mr. Ice Qub (Cubed). A good time for novice skaters to come is during the Skate Hero program where there are young helpers, ice games, dances, a monster umbrella, disco lights and a visit from Ice Qub himself. Check the schedule for this special session.
Insider's Tip: Bring quarters! They are good for locker use and vending machine snacks.
Hours: Vary, so check the schedule.
Cost: $12/adult; $10/child; skate rental $2/person
11048 Ice Skate Pl.
San Diego, CA 92126
Kroc Ice Arena
This year-round indoor ice arena is busy but fun—a perfect spot for the tinier tots. It's a nice, clean, larger rink with a great little cafe out front. Go earlier in the session, it’s less busy. Bring tall, thick socks (for the rentals), gloves or mittens for the littles and a warm jacket (whether you skate or spectate) for it gets a little chilly.
Insider's Tip: Have a holiday birthday? Schedule an ice party at the Kroc Ice Arena.
Hours: Vary, check schedule
Cost: $10/person, includes skates
6845 University Ave.
San Diego, CA 92115
Ice Town Carlsbad
A great little venue if you live in North Coastal San Diego, this ice skating rink is a local winter excursion. Clean and courteous is the vibe that comes out of this gem. If you enjoy your day on ice you’re in luck—this is a year-round rink. Allow twenty minutes for check-in and skate rental. Skate times vary, so check the schedule.
Insider's Tip: There's a small snack bar with usual fare including hot cocoa.
Dates: Year-round, times vary
Cost: $14/person, $3/skate rental, $10/child (five and under-rental only included with paying adult)
2283 Cosmos Ct.
Carlsbad, CA 92011
Poway Ice Arena
Still a newcomer to the North County ice skating scene, this arena is not as crowded. A nice cafe that serves your favorite gourmet coffee drink has a picture-perfect view of the rink. There are bakery items, sandwiches and more, which makes it so much sweeter (not to mention the free WiFi and DirecTV). They have extended hours for the holiday season, so check the website for updates.
Insider's Tip: Never ice skated before? Sign-up for the free Intro to Skating lessons on specific days.
Hours: Vary by day
Cost: $10/adult; $8/child (ages 5 to 15 years); $4/skate rental
12455 Kerran St., #100
Poway, CA 92064
There's plenty of room to skate at these two indoor Olympic-sized rinks. You'll find a winter wonderland here from Dec. 18th-31st. Skate to holiday music around a sparkling Christmas tree decked with lights. Be sure to bring a warm jacket and gloves for the fam (it is ice after all).
Insider's Tip: For skaters under age 7, the E-Z skater helps navigate the ice ($6 rental)—it will make your day a lot more merry.
Winter Wonderland Dates: Dec. 18-23, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Dec. 26-30, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Dec. 24 & 31, 11 a.m.-4 p.m.; Dec. 25, Closed
Cost: $10/person all day for winter wonderland
555 N. Tulip
Escondido, CA 92025