Ice, Ice Baby: Bay Area Ice Rinks to Visit

You know it’s holiday season when the ice rinks open! Ice skating should definitely be on your winter bucket list…perhaps more than once. With many locations offering rental gliders or buckets for skating assistance, even the youngest of skaters can get out on the ice. So grab those mittens and fuzzy hats before heading to the rink—don’t forget the hot cocoa!! 

**Some venues are requiring proof of vaccination for participants 12 and older; check websites carefully for the most updated information 

San Francisco

photo: Safeway Holiday Ice

The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square

Rockefeller Center meet Union Square! In addition to public skating hours they have special events: such as Drag Queens on Ice, Flashback Fridays, Silent Skate and the Polar Bear Skate, all returning this year. Free skate lessons every weekend at 8 a.m., advance registration required.

Location: Union Sq., San Francisco
Dates: Nov. 3-Jan. 17
Hours: 10 a.m.- 11 p.m. daily (closing at 9:30 p.m. on Dec. 31)
Cost: $19/ticket which includes skate rental

**This location is not opening for the 2021-2022 season**
Winter Park at Civic Center
Ice skate on this 6,000-square-foot in the Civic Center Plaza this holiday season. Enjoy some time under the stars, play on the new playgrounds and then grab a warm drink from everyone's favorite 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. 22-Jan. 5
Hours: noon-10 p.m.
Cost: $18/adults, $13/kids 8 and under. Admission includes skate rental.

**This location is not opening for the 2021-2022 season**
The 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. 6-Jan. 5
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.

East Bay

photo: Laura Kudritzki Photography

Kristi Yamaguchi Ice Rink at City Center Bishop Ranch

We love this spot in San Ramon as there is tons of room for you and the little ones to skate under the stars! An array of skating aides are available including ones where you can push your cutie around the ice. Early bird hours are available and you can even celebrate your winter birthday here.

Location: City Center Bishop Ranch, San Ramon
Dates: Nov. 17-Jan. 2, 12-9:30 p.m.
Cost: $19/ages 5 and up, $15/ages 3-5, $8 skate rental


Walnut Creek On Ice:
Come glide at Walnut Creek on Ice this winter and enjoy family skate night and hockey events, too! Looking for a private skate lesson? Book with an experienced instructor and get your triple axel on!

Location: Civic Park, 1375 Civic Drive.
Dates: Dec. 10 through Jan. 9
Cost: $16-$18

photo: Kate Loweth

Ice at the Veranda

This shopping center is hosting its annual ice rink again and everyone's ready to hit the ice! 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. 5-Feb. 14
Hours: Varies daily and is subject to change, check their events calendar for times.
Cost: $16/skater including skate rental for a 90-minute session

Oakland Ice
This rink is open year-round for your ice skating adventures. Open skate is available daily with special times devotes to bucket skating for the little ones. Oakland residents receive 10% off admission.

Location: 519 18th St., Oakland
Dates: daily, see schedule
Cost: $12.50/ages 13 and up, $11.50/ages 12 and under

Peninsula/South Bay

photo: iStock

San Mateo on Ice

Located in Central Park, this 9,000-square foot rink is the largest in the Bay Area with real ice. Don’t miss free community skate days on Nov.15, Dec. 1, 7 & 15.

Location: Central Park, 50 E. 5th Avenue, San Mateo
Dates: Nov.13-Jan. 9
Hours: check the schedule for daily hours
Cost: $17-20/person including skate rental


Winter Lodge
Open since 1956, this ice rink has brought fun and smiles to families over several generations. Grab a cup of hot cocoa and warm up by the fire pits when your littles need a break from skating. Lessons also offered.

3009 Middlefield Road / Palo Alto, CA
Dates: Oct. 11- April 10
Hours: Varies daily, check website
Cost: $16/admission, $5 skates

photo: San Jose Downtown

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 jumps and spins protected space, too. Don’t miss out on trying the World Famous Snowman Hot cocoa located just outside the rink!

Location: 120 S. Market Street, San Jose
Dates: Nov. 19-Jan. 9
Hours:  Varies, see schedule
Cost: $19/ticket. Admission includes skate rental, discount available if you bring your own.

Winter Ice Rink in Downtown Sunnyvale
This holiday-themed ice rink returns to Redwood Square Park this season and there will be something for everyone to enjoy from Learn to Curl sessions, iHeart DJ sessions, Food Truck nights and more!
Location: Redwood Square, Sunnyvale
Dates: Nov. 19-Jan. 2
Cost: one-hour skate sessions are $15/person, includes skate rental

photo: California's Great America

WinterFest at California's Great America

Winter takes over Great American in Santa Clara on November 26 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-Jan. 2
Hours: 4-10 p.m.
Cost: $15 for ice skating in addition to regular admission

**This location is not opening for the 2021-2022 season**

Boardwalk Holiday Ice
Back again: 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. 16-Jan. 5
Hours: Varies. See schedule
Cost: $14.95/hour, includes skate rental

**This location is not opening for the 2021-2022 season**

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. 21-Jan. 20
Hours: Varies, see calendar
Cost: $15/adults, $10/kids ages 4-12, Free/kids under 4 with paying adult. Prices include skate rental.

North Bay/Marin

photo: Bay Area Discovery Museum

Iceless Rink at the Bay Area Discovery Museum

Kick-off the winter season with a spin around the "ice!" BADM's popular Iceless Skating Rink returns this year, so families can experience another year of fun - without the fear of falling. Admission to the rink is included with your museum admission. It is open throughout December. 

Location: Bay Area Discovery Museum
Dates: Opens Dec. 1
Cost: Included with museum admission

NorCal Ice (formerly Marin on Ice)
You get your money's worth here as admission is good all day. Once little feet need a break, leave for a bite to eat and maybe a little shopping before hitting the ice again.

Location: 5800 North Gate Drive, San Rafael
Dates: Opens Nov. 20
Hours: Varies, see calendar
Cost: $15/person, includes skate rental. $12/emergency personnel with valid ID

photo: Vista Collina

NEW: Ice Skating at Vista Collina

Brand new this year, this rink features real ice and will transform into a winter wonderland with special events and theme nights plus 100% chance of snow every night at 6 p.m.! The minis will keep warm by the toasty fire pits while beer and wine keeps the adults happy in a brand new Napa holiday tradition!  

Location: Vista Collina Resort, 850 Bordeaux Way
Dates: Nov. 11-Jan. 2
Hours: vary daily, check schedule
Cost: $25


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: $11/ages 12 & up, $9/kids 11 & under. Skate rental $4

—Christine Lai, Kate Loweth, Melissa Bouse & Amber Guetebier

featured photo by Woodloch


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