Ice skating is fun for all ages. Photo by Ivan Walsh on Creative Commons.
Ice skating is fun for all ages. Photo by Ivan Walsh on Creative Commons.

One of my favorite things to do during the winter is ice skating. Since Northern California doesn’t get very cold and we never get snow, I always have to wait until right around the holidays for the rinks to open up. I decided to compile a list of some of the best local ice rinks around so you can go get your figure skating on.

Dell’Osso Family Farms: This rink is located right off of Mossdale Road in Lathrop. You can see it from the freeway because, in addition to the ice rink, Dell’Osso has an amazing drive-thru light show and snow tubing. This local favorite is only $14 for skates and unlimited ice skating. About every three hours or so, you need to leave the ice rink so they can clean it but that only takes about twenty minutes and then you can be back at it. If you’re not one for ice skating but your friends want to go, they have a fire pit area where you can buy s’more supplies and hot cocoa and enjoy yourself as your friends skate.

Embarcadro Center: Embarcardo Center has the largest outdoor ice rink in San Francisco. Skating is $14 and you’re allowed to skate for an hour and a half. For this rink, you need to purchase tickets online, which has an additional fee attached to it. The rink is open until January 4th and even offers private lessons to those who aren’t naturally graceful.

Downtown Sacramento: If you’ve ever been to the malls in downtown Sacramento, then you know that they always have a holiday ice rink to accompany you while you do some holiday shopping. Their skating sessions last one hour and forty-five minutes and cost $8 for skating and $2 for renting ice skates. What I like about this rink is they offer supplies for little kids to make it easier for them to skate and not get hurt, so it is extremely family friendly. The rink is open until January 19th, the only issue you may have is parking since it can get crazy during holiday time.

Downtown Walnut Creek: Walnut Creek is a great place to go shopping, get some good food, and now in their downtown they have an ice rink. Walnut Creek on Ice is open until January 11th and cost $11 on weekdays and $15 on weekends. Make sure to check their times online – their open skate time is a little different than the others listed above. If you decide that you like this rink a lot you can even get a frequent skater pass online which allows you to have ten visits for $99, making it worth it to some of the die hards out there.

I hope you check these rinks out and have fun while doing it. Some advice from a novice skater to other newbies is tie you skaters tight around your ankles, don’t hunch over, and if you’re going to fall, just go with it since you will get hurt worse if you try to prevent it. Have fun and happy holidays!