Make the city your winter wonderland and add ice skating in Los Angeles to your list of must-do Christmas events this season. These family-friendly rinks offer more than just skates—from wintry food and drinks to ice tubing and meeting Santa, there’s something for everyone. Plus, if you’re still looking for the perfect Christmas gifts, most of the rinks are located within walking distance from prime shopping destinations and holiday markets.
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Lace up at these outdoor ice skating rinks in Los Angeles
Located just minutes from the Pacific Ocean, ICE in downtown Santa Monica (1324 5th St at Arizona) is a full-service 8,000-square-foot outdoor rink. Watch broomball games, take up skating lessons or host a party at the rink and get your own private cabana. For $15, rent skates and strut your stuff on the ice alongside children and adults. No need to pack snacks, there’s a concession stand on site, serving hot cocoa and kid-friendly bites.
L.A. doesn’t typically seem like much of a winter wonderland, until, that is, you create an ice skating rink right in the midst of Downtown skyscrapers and L.A. icons. Come glide and pretend there’s snow on the ground at Pershing Square’s outdoor holiday skating rink—one of the biggest in the city. Look out for special events throughout the season, like curling lessons, a silent disco skate and DJ nights.
Cozy up—and make sure to bring your jacket—to the Queen Mary for Chill. It’s the time of year when the iconic ship is transformed into a winter wonderland, which this year takes on an international theme with six different destinations. Slip on some skates and glide across the rink or track, or partake in a round of ice bumper cars, tricycles or shuffleboard. In addition, you’ll find a towering, Matterhorn-inspired 100-foot ice slide for tubing and a 300-foot-long zipline. Adults can cozy up inside the Ice Bar for sips of just-above-freezing vodka.
Quench those clichés about the heat in the Valley with a 90-minute session in Downtown Burbank. Winter sports aren't exactly a pastime in L.A., so little ones—and those of us who look helpless on the ice—can rent Bobby the Seal, an adorable, plastic skating aid. Show up early on Saturdays for skate lessons. You'll find the rink near Burbank City Hall, on the corner of Third Street and Orange Grove Avenue.
The annual L.A. Kings ice skating rink returns to L.A. Live this year—along with two other locations around Southern California. At L.A. Live, skate around the dazzling Christmas tree that stands in the middle of the outdoor rink, and take in an LED holiday light show on the huge screens around the plaza. The rest of the locations include the Westfield Topanga and the Pike in Downtown Long Beach.
If you’re in Orange County and dreaming of a white Christmas, the Irvine Spectrum Center is your answer. Located in Giant Wheel Court by Nordstrom and Macy’s, this tented rink offers the perfect time out from shopping. When renting skates, be sure to request a free helmet—recommended for adults and children alike. Following each 90-minute skating session, the rink is closed for resurfacing, so you’ll never have to skate on slush. Head to the adjacent Ferris wheel during the half hour the rink is closed for nonstop fun.