Best places to go ice skating in the Bay Area

Get into the holiday spirit by strapping on your skates and going ice skating in the Bay Area
Photograph: Courtesy Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
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The fact that we lack real winter weather doesn’t mean we Californians have to give up the dream of holiday ice skating; In the Bay Area there tons of indoor and outdoor rinks to satisfy your winter sports cravings. So take a break from the holiday shopping, and head to one of these seasonal rinks (open between mid-November and early-January) or permanent ice skating facilities. There will likely even be a massive Christmas tree to make you feel like you're in a real winter wonderland. Afterwards, treat yourself to a holiday-themed cocktail to sooth your aching muscles. 

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Best ice skating in San Francisco

1
Union Square Ice Rink
Photograph: Courtesy Union Square Ice Rink
Things to do, Ice skating

Union Square Ice Rink

icon-location-pin Union Square

San Francisco’s seminal ice skating opportunity is located in the heart of downtown’s Union Square. This holiday tradition is open daily from morning until late at night. Grab a pair of skates ($6) and hit the rink every other hour (even hours) for a 1.5 hour long session ($13-$18).

2
Holiday Ice Rink At Embarcadero Center
Photograph: Yelp/Kevin Y.
Things to do, Ice skating

Holiday Ice Rink

icon-location-pin Downtown

This massive holiday ice rink has the distinction of being across from the historic Ferry Building on San Francisco’s Embarcadero. A ticket ($7-$12) gets you an hour-and-a-half to glide across the ice (skaters are admitted on the hour throughout the day). On Friday and Saturday, the rink is open late for an adult-skewing festive evening. Open through January 7, 2018. 

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3
California Academy of Sciences
Museums, Science and technology

Holiday Ice Rink at the Cal Academy of Sciences

icon-location-pin Golden Gate Park

The California Academy of Sciences makes the most out of the holidays with live reindeer, indoor snow flurries and a hands-on polar exhibit. This year the museum has also installed a new ice skating rink to add to the winter experience. Enjoy a 55-min spin around the outdoor rink ($10-$12) and a check physics of the list of the day’s scientific experiments. Open through January 7.

4
The Little Ice Rink Alameda
Photograph: Yelp/Juana S.
Things to do, Ice skating

The Little Ice Rink

icon-location-pin Alameda

This 4,100 square foot rink at Alameda’s South Shore Center is perfect for the East Bay’s younger skaters: those who are shaky on their blades can skate easy with Bobby the Seal and Tommy the Reindeer sliding skating aids. Ice lovers of all ages will want to check out the Thursday night daredevil performances from Oakland Sharks Ice or meet Sharkie from the San Jose Sharks on Sunday afternoons. Open through January 15, 2018. 

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5
Oakland Ice Center
Photograph: Yelp/Mark R.
Things to do, Ice skating

Oakland Ice Center

icon-location-pin Oakland

At this year-round ice skating facility operated by Sharks Ice you’ll find opportunities for freestyle fun, structured learning and team sports. Oakland Ice Center’s programs are tailored to different ages, abilities and levels of commitment: if you can’t join a hockey league, for example, drop in and join a pickup game or Gretzky Stick Time. Open public skating is available during the day and on some evenings.

6
Walnut Creek on Ice
Photograph: Courtesy Walnut Creek on Ice
Things to do, Ice skating

Walnut Creek on Ice

icon-location-pin Walnut Creek

Walnut Creek on Ice offers a mix of open skating and six to eight week skating classes, including this year’s newest Hockey Skills Class ($142). General admission tickets ($12-$15) and frequent skater passes ($109 for 10 visits) are available for those who just want to spend a few hours, or the whole day, gliding across the ice. Open through January 15, 2018. 

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7
Winter Lodge Palo Alto
Photograph: Yelp/Divya K.
Things to do, Ice skating

The Winter Lodge

icon-location-pin Palo Alto

The Winter Lodge has been a Palo Alto tradition since 1956. Rated by Outside Magazine as one of the top ten outdoor ice skating experiences in the United States, at the Winter Lodge both beginner and advanced skaters can lace up for an afternoon of fun. Join a skating school designed for children, teens, adults or those with special needs or glide the ice on your own ($11). Open through April 15, 2018. 

8
Solar 4 America Ice in San Jose
Photograph: Courtesy NHL
Things to do, Ice skating

Solar4America Ice at San Jose

icon-location-pin San Jose

San Jose Shark fans will love strapping on their skates for a turn around the team’s official practice rink. This year-round facility offers public open skate and youth and adult hockey leagues. They also provide lessons in figure skating, hockey, ice dancing and synchronized skating. When you’re ready for solid earth again, stop by Stanley’s Sports Bar on the second level to grab a beer and watch the home team on T.V.

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9
Marin on Ice
Photograph: Courtesy On Ice Rinks
Things to do, Ice skating

Marin on Ice

icon-location-pin San Rafael

Marin on Ice’s 6,400 square foot ice rink is Marin County’s only outdoor skating spot. $15 will get you access to the ice all day long and can be bought online or at the door. Grab your friends and family for the quintessential holiday experience! Open through January 7, 2018.

10
Photograph: Courtesy On Ice Rinks
Things to do, Ice skating

San Mateo on Ice

icon-location-pin San Mateo

Every season, San Mateo’s Central Park hosts one of the largest outdoor skating rinks in the Bay Area. Tickets ($15) are good for a full day of fun on the ice. If you’ve got a teen in need of something to keep them busy over the holidays, check out San Mateo Ice’s Junior Skate Guard Program an internship for 12-15 year olds who will spend the day on skates while helping to keep the rink safe. Open through January 15, 2018. 

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11
Downtown Ice San Jose
Photograph: Courtesy Downtown Ice
Things to do, Ice skating

Downtown Ice

icon-location-pin San Jose

This seasonal ice rink in the heart of downtown San Jose is a South Bay tradition. Skating is open to the public daily and into the wee hours of the night. For $15–$17 (depending on age), you can skate to your heart’s content. If you have your own skates, the cost is just $10. Open through January 15, 2018. 

12
Santa Clara on Ice
Photograph: Yelp/Ernest P.
Things to do, Ice skating

Santa Clara on Ice

icon-location-pin Santa Clara

This seasonal outdoor skating rink in Santa Clara’s Central Park offers both open skate and weekend ice skating lessons. The lessons, six-week classes for beginners or intermediate skaters ($130), are open to both adults and children. If you come packing your own ice skating skills (or even if you don’t), you can hit the ice with a general admission ticket ($10-15) or all-day skating pass ($15-22). If you plan to come back again and again, get the Frequent Skater Pass ($120-150) good for up to twelve visits. Open November 20 through January 7, 2018. 

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13
Dublin Iceland
Photograph: Yelp/Jay K.
Things to do, Ice skating

Dublin Iceland Ice Skating

icon-location-pin East Bay

For over 40 years, Dublin Iceland has brought the joys of the skating to the East Bay. The facility, open year-round, is chock full of activities for ice lovers including team and individual sports like broomball, hockey, figure skating and synchronized skating. For enthusiasts skating to the beat of their own drum, Iceland offers open skate hours daily.

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ice skating
Photograph: Credit Michael Bentley
Things to do, Ice skating

Boardwalk Holiday Ice

Only in California do the holidays mean ice skating at the beach. Between November and January, the iconic Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk turns the seaside amusement park into a winter wonderland complete with a holiday train ride and their 40’ x 60’ covered ice skating rink. Strap on your skates rain or shine. Open through January 7, 2018

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