If you've lived in L.A. long enough, odds are it's been a long, long time since you've seen real snow (or had to shovel your car out of a foot of it). Ice, on the other hand, well that's a little easier to pull off. So keep the sandals at home and sharpen your skates, here are five of the best outdoor ice skating rinks in L.A.
ICE in Downtown Santa Monica: ICE in Downtown Santa Monica is a large outdoor ice skating rink that offers residents and tourists a little slice of winter living without the frostbite. Family and friends are all invited to skate on their magnificent 8,000 square foot ocean-side ice rink. And you thought the beach was only good for sand! ICE also offers a series of special lessons and clinics that will teach even the most novice skater how to become the next Apolo Ohno. The event is running now until January 21, 2013. Skate rental is $12. Hours of operation tend to vary during the holidays, so check out the website for specific details.
Third Street Promenade, 1324 5th, 90401; 310-461-8333
Downtown on Ice: Celebrating its 15th season, Pershing Square's “Downtown On Ice” is L.A.'s version of NYC's Rockefeller Center. Of course our freeze-fest is much, much better and includes a holiday concert series, community sing along, and championship skating exhibition. There's even a Winter Holiday Festival, where skaters can munch on seasonable treats, while enjoying the snow fun zone (the fake kind). Downtown on Ice is open everyday from November 15, 2012, to January 21, 2013. Tickets are $6 for a one-hour skate session, and $2 for skate rental. For more information on Pershing Square's Downtown on Ice, visit www.laparks.org/pershingsquare.
Pershing Square, 532 South Olive Ave., 90013; 213-847-4970
CHILL at the Queen Mary: It's already known for being one of the scariest places to go to during Halloween. But each holiday season, the Queen Mary in Long Beach freezes over. Well, not literally, but enough for you to skate on. CHILL runs from November 17th to January 6th and features ice skating and ice tubing, as well as an Ice Kingdom populated by larger than life ice people. Don't worry, unlike the ghosts, these people are fake (or are they?). Tickets for CHILL start at $12.95. You can purchase yours today by visiting the website.
1126 Queens Highway, 90802; 877-342-0738
L.A. Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live: Each year the L.A. Kings – or should I say, Stanley Cup Champions – host a wonderful outdoor ice skating rink at L.A. Live. Known as Holiday Ice, this year's event is set to begin on the Saturday after Thanksgiving, and will last until January 4th. General admission is $13, which includes skate rental. Groups of 10 or more can get in for $10, with special rates also available for military, seniors, and children under 7. You can learn more about Holiday Ice by visiting http://lalive.com/offers/offer-detail/122/holiday-ice.
Nokia Plaza L.A. Live, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., 90015; 310-535-4400
Ice Skating at Downtown Disney: Inspired by the film The Secret of the Wings, starring Tinker Bell, Downtown Disney in Anaheim allows visitors to skate amidst a beautiful holiday village, featuring snow covered pine trees and holiday lights. This is the first year Downtown Disney has put on such an event, and the organizers have made it a point to focus on safety. For that reason, all skaters are required to wear helmets and wrist guards. General admission is $15, with a $3 skate rental. The event runs through January 6, 2013. For more information on specific dates and times the rink is open, check out their website.
1580 S Disneyland Dr., Between the AMC 12 Theatres and ESPN Zone, 92802; 714-781-4565