Hit the Ice! Holiday Ice Skating in the Bay Area
November 10, 2012Posted by pamela |
Even though it's an activity that you can do year-round, ice skating seems to be something that's especially appealing around the holidays. In the past you had to go elsewhere in the Bay Area to skate, but this season Marin on Ice brings outdoor ice skating to Northgate in San Rafael this holiday season. Here's our list of places in the Bay Area where you can hit the ice this holiday season.
Marin on Ice
The new Marin on Ice outdoor skating rink in San Rafael's Northgate Mall offers al fresco skating from November 10 through January 13. Marin's only holiday ice skating rink features 5,000 square feet of real ice and will be open daily for outdoor skating. Special sessions at Marin on Ice include Wednesday "Mommy and Me" skating time geared toward young children and their parents, "Family Night" on Tuesday, and "Rock the Rink" on Friday evenings.
Skating is $15 per person, which includes skate rental. Private ice cabanas will also be available for rental, and "Skate Buddies" will be on hand to assist beginners. Skating hours are noon–10 pm on weekends and holidays and 2–10 pm on weekdays. Marin on Ice also offers birthday parties and private rentals. For more information, visit www.marinonice.com or call (707) 738-8496. Northgate Mall is located off Highway 101 in San Rafael's Terra Linda area, between Northgate Drive and Las Gallinas Avenue.
Snoopy's Home Ice
In Santa Rosa you can find Snoopy's Home Ice at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena. Opened by the late Santa Rosa resident and Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz in 1969, the Redwood Empire Ice Arena offers daily public skating hours (check their schedule for details), skating lessons, birthday parties, and special events. The entire place is decorated with a Swiss theme and offers a charming alpine ambience. The Redwood Empire Ice Arena is also home to Snoopy's Warm Puppy Cafe, where you can sit by the fire and eat breakfast, lunch, or dinner, or just have a hot chocolate and watch the action on the Snoopy's Home Ice.
Session prices are $9 for adults 18 and over and juniors 12–17, and $7 for children 11 and under. Skate rental is $3. They also offer Puppy Practice, a session for children under 12 and their parents that's perfect for beginners, since it includes a 20-minute group lesson for both adults and kids. Puppy Practice is $8 for adults and $6 for children. Snoopy's Home Ice also offers a midday special from noon to 2 pm Monday through Thursday (holidays excepted) are only $5 for all ages and include skate rental!
Snoopy's Home Ice is located on West Steele Lane in Santa Rosa. To get there, take 101 north to the Guernville Road/Steele Lane exit; at the signal, turn left on Steele Lane and go under the freeway. Cross Cleveland Avenue and bear right onto West Steele Lane. The Redwood Empire Ice Arena, along with Snoopy's Gallery and Gift Shop, will be on your right after Range Avenue. For information and public skating schedule, visit snoopyshomeice.com or call (707) 546-7147.
Embarcadero Center Holiday Ice Rink
For the past 18 years San Francisco's Embarcadero Center has hosted an outdoor ice rink at Justin Herman Plaza. It's open through January 6, 2013 for 90-minute sessions Sunday through Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm, and Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 11:30 pm. Admission is $9.50 for adults and $6 for children 10 and under and seniors on weekdays until 6 pm. After 6 pm and on weekends prices go up to $10 for adults and $6.50 for ages 10 and under.. They also offer group rates, as well as birthday parties and private rentals. Get more info and check for closure dates (due to private parties) at embarcaderocenter.com or (415) 837-1931.
It's located near Embarcadero Four right across from the Ferry Building. A fun and convenient way to get there from Marin is to take the Golden Gate Ferry.
Holiday Ice in Union Square
Union Square, San Francisco's main shopping district, gets into the ice skating spirit during the holiday season with an outdoor ice rink sponsored by Safeway. It's open now through January 17, 2013 from 10 am to 11:30 pm daily. Ninety-minute sessions start on every even hour. Admission is $10 for adults, and $6 for children eight and under. Skate rentals are $5 per person. Group rates are also available through December 2 and from January 2–17. Information: (415) 781-2688 or www.unionsquareicerink.com.
Union Square is in downtown San Francisco between Post and Geary and Stockton and Powell Streets. We find parking easiest at the Sutter-Stockton Garage, but there are plenty of options available. It's also convenient to public transportation, especially BART and Muni.
Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center
Also in San Francisco is the indoor Yerba Buena Ice Skating rink at Yerba Buena Gardens, the only year-round ice skating venue in the city. You can check their regular schedule here; special extended public sessions are offered during Thanksgiving week and the month of December. Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for ages (13–17 w/ID), $6 for seniors (55 and over, with ID), $8 students and active duty military with valid ID, and $7 for children up to age 12. Skate rentals are $3. Discount cards are available. They also offer group discounts, year-round birthday party packages, and skating lessons. As the name implies, there's also a bowling alley on site.
The Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center is located in the South of Market district at 750 Folsom Street, between Third and Fourth Streets in San Francisco. The Ice and Bowling Centers are located at the Rooftop at Yerba Buena Gardens, which is built literally on the roof of Moscone Convention Center. Parking is probably easiest at the Fifth and Mission Garage a couple blocks away. Visit skatebowl.com for more info.
Oakland Ice Center
Across the Bay, Oakland Ice Center—also know as Sharks Ice, since it's run by the San Jose Sharks NHL team—offers a public ice skating, skating lessons, birthday parties (where you can even get the Sharks' mascot S.J. Sharkie to make an appearance), and more. Public skating prices are $9.25 for adults and $7.75 for youth 12 and under and seniors. Skate rental is $4. Special skating deals are also available. Schedule and more information: (510) 268-9000 or www.oaklandice.com.
Oakland Ice Center is located in downtown Oakland at 519 18th Street, between San Pablo and Telegraph avenues. Parking is available for a flate rate of $5 at the Rotunda Garage on 17th Street.