Snoopy's Home Ice at Santa Rosa's Redwood Empire Ice Arena
December 21, 2010Posted by pamela |
On our first day of Winter Break, my kids decided they wanted to return to Snoopy's Home Ice at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena in Santa Rosa. We decided to make it a sort of mini road trip and headed north to Sonoma County. The arena was a gift to the community from the late Santa Rosa resident and Peanuts cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, and has been going strong since 1969.
I always consider an outing here a holiday tradition of sorts, especially since I grew up watching A Charlie Brown Christmas every year, and attended a few of the holiday ice shows over the years, too. It was always a treat to see Charles Schulz himself sitting in the audience, enjoying the show and chatting with people in the audience.
There's a lot to do there, even if you decide not to ice skate—the Arena's Warm Puppy Cafe is a cozy and fun place to grab lunch or a snack, sit by the fire, and watch the action on the ice, and the nearby Snoopy's Gallery and Gift Shop features the largest selection of Peanuts merchandise in the world; it's fun to browse the shop and look at original Peanuts artwork in the gallery upstairs. The Charles M. Schulz Museum is also right next door, but we'll cover that in another post.
The highlight of the trip was getting hot chocolate at the Warm Puppy Cafe, where were we had a surprise visit from Snoopy himself, who wandered around and greeted the kids. The cafe offers a wide variety of food including sandwiches, hamburgers, and hot dogs. With a cozy fireplace and big picture windows overlooking the ice rink, it's a great place to chill out and watch the skaters.
We didn't ice skate on this trip, but naturally that's what most people are there for. The ice rink is decorated in a Swiss alpine theme, and it's clean with plenty of seating for spectators or skaters taking a break. It's also cold, so make sure you bundle up! It's especially fun to go at this time of year, when the arena is decked out in festive holiday decorations, including a 20-foot Christmas tree at center ice. Skating session prices are $9 for adults 18 and over and juniors 12–17, and $7 for children 11 and under. Skate rental is $3. Check their website for session times and more information: www.snoopyshomeice.com.
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, and kids can use chairs to steady themselves as they learn (and so can parents, which is a good thing if you haven't skated in a while). 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), as well as a Saturday Night Cheap Date Skate from 8:30 to 10 pm—both deals are only $5 for all ages and include skate rental!
You can also hold your child's birthday party at Snoopy's Home Ice. They offer two different packages, a basic package that costs $225 for up to 15 guests, and a pizza party package for $250, also for up to 15 guests and with cheese or pepperoni pizza included. Both packages include exclusive access to the Peanuts party room, an ice cream cake from Cold Stone Creamery, soft drink, admission and skate rental for everyone, a free admission pass for the birthday girl or boy for a future skating trip, and the assistance of a party host who will get everything ready for your party and clean up afterward. The birthday guest of honor can also enter to win a ride on the Zamboni during intermission!
Call (707) 546-7147, ext. 503, Monday through Friday to reserve your party. Parties can take place during and after most public skating sessions; check their online party calendar for available times and dates.
Make sure you save some time to visit Snoopy's Gallery and Gift Shop across the parking lot from Snoopy's Home Ice. In addition to the tons of Peanuts products to browse and buy, you can take a look at some of Charles Schulz's original artwork, see Peanuts memorabilia from around the world, and watch Peanuts videos while relaxing in comfy beanbag chairs. The gift shop is open from 10 am to 6 pm daily.
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 www.snoopyshomeice.com or call (707) 546-7147.