When it's winter and the holidays, San Franciscans' thoughts turn to ice. And ice skating. Luckily we have rinks right here to glide on, including a couple that pop up in the city center just for the holidays.
Besides being the biggest outdoor rink in San Francisco, the holiday rink at Embarcadero Center is set in a wide-open plaza with views of the stately Ferry Building and the waterfront. No wonder this wintertime rink is so popular.
At Justin Herman Plaza, adjacent to 4 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco 94111.
Hours: Open Nov. 6, 2013–Jan. 5, 2014. Sunday - Thursday: 10 am-9:30 pm. Friday & Saturday: 10 am-11:30 pm.
Admission: $10 for ages 8 & above; $6 for ages 7 & under.
Skate rental $4.
Info: (415) 837-1931 or firstname.lastname@example.org
An oasis in a shopping maze, this rink gives you the option of skating til you drop in Union Square. While you’re at it, admire Macy’s Christmas tree hovering nearby. Part of the ticket proceeds benefits the Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco and the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. A singles "ice breaker" session (Dec. 5, at 8-9:30 pm) includes games, prizes and refreshments. "An Eleganza Extravaganza" (Dec. 12, at 8-9:30 pm) welcomes drag queens and kings in their finest gay apparel. On Jan. 1, come in swimsuits or beach or polar bear outfits for the Polar Bear Skate at 2-3:30 pm.
At Geary and Powell streets, San Francisco 94102
Hours: Open daily Nov. 6, 2013-Jan. 20, 2014, at 10 am-11:30 pm. Closes at 9:30 pm on Dec. 31.
Admission: $11 for ages 9 & above; $7 for ages 8 & under.
Skate (figure or hockey) rental $5.
Info: (415) 781-2688
Outdoor rinks too cold for you? Head inside, to Yerba Buena’s heated rink. The ice skating center, perched on the roof of Moscone Convention Center, is San Francisco's only rink that's open all year. Public skating, lessons, and special programs and sessions for adults, seniors, hockey players and figure skaters are all here--with added public skating sessions during late December. From Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, the center offers a two-day, learn-to-skate class.
On the rooftop at Yerba Buena Gardens, 750 Folsom St., San Francisco 94107.
Hours: Open daily year-round (including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day); hours vary.
Admission: $10 for ages 13-54; $8 for ages 6-12 and 55 & above; $6 for ages 5 & under.
Skate rental $3-4.
Info: (415) 820-3521
More than 8,000 square feet of ice, encircled by palm trees? No, not in Hawaii, but in Silicon Valley. This seasonal outdoor rink in downtown San Jose is open daily, until as late as midnight. Kristi Yamaguchi is a sponsor of the rink, so the ice should be fit for champions.
At 120 S. Market St., San Jose 95113
Hours: Open daily Nov. 15, 2013-Jan. 12, 2014; hours vary.
Admission (includes skate rental): $15 & $17 for ages 11 and above; $13 & $15 for ages 10 and under.
Info: (408) 291-0525
Skate on the same ice as the San Jose Sharks do. The official practice rink of the Bay Area’s pro hockey team is open for daily public skating sessions. Also available: ice dance sessions; classes for all ages (starting at age 2) and ability levels, including hockey, figure skating and synchronized skating; and private lessons.
At 1500 South Tenth St., San Jose 95112.
Public skating hours: Mon., Wed.-Fri. at 11 am-5 pm & 7:30-9:30 pm; Tues. at 11 am-5 pm & 8-9 pm; Sat. at 1:15-4 pm & 7:30-9:30 pm; Sun. at 1:15-4 pm.
Admission: $6.25-9.75; discounted multiple-admission passes are available.
Skate (figure or hockey) rental $4.25
Info: (408) 279-6000
After twirling on the partially covered outdoor rink, you can warm your toes at the fireplaces at Winter Lodge. The facility also offers skating and hockey lessons on an indoor rink.
At 3009 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto 94306.
Hours: Open from September 30, 2013-April 13, 2014; hours vary. Closed Thanksgiving; Dec. 24 & 25; and Jan. 1.
Admission: $10; discounted multiple-admission cards are available.
Skate rental $4.
Info: (650) 493-4566 or email@example.com