Outdoor Skating Rinks Bring Holiday Cheer to LA

Skating Downtown by Greg Lilly via Flickr

It’s true that Los Angeles has it all, from the beaches to the mountains. The only thing east coast transplants say they miss is snow. That doesn’t mean that they miss slipping on ice, shoveling their car out of snow or having to pee on the lock when it ices up. They miss things like sledding and skating on an outdoor rink. We may not have worked out the sledding yet, but there are plenty of places in LA for you to plan a romantic date or start a holiday tradition for the kids.


LA Kings Holiday Ice  Nokia Plaza AT L.A. LIVE in Downtown LA offers a “Supper and Skate”  package priced at $20 for kids and $30 for adults. Just ask for the package at participating restaurants. If you choose Trader Vic’s, watch those mai tais. Really, you might as well just hit The Pantry instead. The rink will be open through December 31. Check the website as hours vary. Parking is easy and accessible but costs around $35 so look for a nearby lot with prices as low as $5. (602) 705-5148.

General admission (includes ice skate rental) $13 per person
Children under 5 years old $8 per person
Military and Seniors (with ID) $8 per person                                                                           Socks are $4.

Downtown on Ice at Pershing Square hosts special theme nights, like Wicked Wednesdays, Old School Skate Night, and Polar Bear Skate. And no, I don’t have a clue what the themes mean. For a casual meal, check out Guisados, or for an upscale dinner Gorbals is also in the Square. The rink will be open through January 19th. Check the website as hours vary. Underground discount parking at 532 South Olive is available with rink validation. Or take the Red or Purple line to Pershing Square.

General Admission $9 for 1 hour
Skate Rental $3 (Figure or Hockey Skates)


Chill Ice Rink at the W Westwood. The glamorous roof of this hotel has been home to lots of swanky events. In the winter, it is home to swanky ice skating as the pool is transformed into a 1,600 square foot ice rink. Activities include private skate lessons, Saturday night ice skate performances by StudioSK8, gingerbread decorating for kids, and private cabanas, because this is still L.A. Enjoy small plates like poutine and cherry stone clams at the ICE Bar, or warm up with the “Chill Pick Me Up” cocktail with Jameson Irish Whiskey, Kahlua and coffee. The rink will be open through January 2nd. Check the website as hours vary and it is often closed for private parties. Valet Parking.

One hour of skating: $10 per guest


ICE at Santa Monica. The Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica welcomes you to their 8,000 square foot ice rink on the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue. ICE hosts parties both large and small, offers skate lessons, and beginner hockey clinics. And yes, you can rent a cabana. Afterwards enjoy the best New England clam chowder in LA at the King’s Head or have an elegant Italian dinner at Laconda del Lago. The rink will stay open until January 19th. Hours vary. There are parking structures on nearly every block around the Promenade; I usually park at lot 1 or 3 on 4th Street.

All-day skating and skate rental $15


Downtown Burbank will celebrate the season with a festively decorated ice rink at North 3rd Street and East Orange Grove Avenue (Behind City Hall). There will be special performances, skating lessons and theme nights like Ugly Sweater Mondays, 80s Night Wednesdays and Thursday Night Fever. Skaters are encouraged to dress according to theme and enjoy the night from 8pm – 10pm. Santa Claus will be making an appearance on the ice December 13th from noon to 1:30pm. Don your best Santa or elf outfit for Skating Santas’ Night. Warm up with a steaming bowl of Pho from Mama Hong’s or a comforting grilled cheese sandwich from The Melt. The rink will remain open through January 19th. Check website for hours and special events. There are parking structures everywhere, especially just off of San Fernando Road.

Admission $10                                                                                                                                 skate rentals are $3.00                                                                                                                 Bobby the Seal rentals (a plastic cart beginner children can push) $6.00.                      Season passes for unlimited skating every day $159


Woodland Hills Ice features a 7,ooo square foot rink located at the Westfield Promenade in Topanga Canyon. Figure skating schools, hockey classes and special events are scheduled. The restaurants are all chains, but If I had a gun to my head, I would suggest Maggiano’s Little Italy or The Corner Bakery. The rink will stay open through January 19th. See website for hours. The rink is at a mall so there is a huge parking lot.

Adults and students (age 9 and over) $15                                                                                  Youth (age 8 under) $13                                                                                                                   All-day pass $20


The Lakes at Thousand Oaks Holiday Ice Rink is not too far from Magic Mountain in an open air entertainment and shopping center. It’s a smaller rink, and does not offer any special events or refreshments. Each session is 60 minutes and starts on every hour and a half. Afterwards warm up with a bowl of Nat n Al’s Mish Mosh soup. The rink will stay open until January 19th. Large parking lot.

Skating $10                                                                                                                                       Skate rental $4


CHILL at the Queen Mary. The Queen Mary boasts a 6,500 square foot rink right by the water. Unlimited skating is included with your ticket to the Chill event, which also includes ice tubing and an Ice Kingdom. There will be large-scale ice sculptures, a life-sized gingerbread playhouse for kids, plus a rare opportunity to see the Queen Mary’s smokestacks decked out with twinkling lights. Entertainment includes a holiday revue, tap dancers, and musicians. Special events like date night are also on the roster. And yes, Virginia, there are cabanas. Keep cozy with a nice cup of hot chocolate or something a little harder from 2 full bars. Check the website for dates and hours. The rink will be open Dec. 2-7, Dec. 9-Jan. 4 and Jan. 8-11. Dress for winter weather. Check out our feature story on Chill.

Adult tickets start at $39.99                                                                                                          Kid’s tickets start at $29.99


Olaf’s Frozen Ice Rink Hey parents! Are you wishing above all else you could have more Frozen in your life? After battling for that last Queen Elsa doll at the Disney Store at Downtown Disney, take the kids to Olaf’s Ice Rink. The loveable snowman presides over the rink, which has a giant decorated Christmas tree in the center. The rink is also set within a magical alpine village. Because Disney. We recommend the shrimp po’boys and beignets from the Jazz Kitchen Express. The rink is open through February 22nd. Sunday through Thursday 3pm– 10:00pm, Friday and Saturday 3pm – 11pm. You must wear a helmet, which is provided at no cost.

Adults $17                                                                                                                                       Children (ages 3 to 9) – $15                                                                                                 Discounts for active military, Annual Passholders and hotel guests

Photo by Greg Lilli via Flickr

Elise Thompson

About Elise Thompson

Born and raised in the great city of Los Angeles, this food, culture and music-loving punk rock angeleno wants to turn you on to all that is funky, delicious and weird in the city. While Elise holds down the fort, her adventurous alter ego Kiki Maraschino is known to roam the country in search of catfish.
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