Few people associate outdoor ice skating with Los Angeles, but there is a surprisingly large number of places to enjoy this wintry experience in the L.A. area. And on some balmy California nights, you may not even need a sweater! Check out the following list, grab your thick socks, and head out for a truly atypical LA evening.
Downtown on Ice (pictured above)
LA doesn't typically seem like much of a winter wonderland, until, that is, you create an ice skating rink right in the midst of Downtown skyscrapers and LA icons. Come glide and pretend there's snow on the ground at Pershing Square's outdoor holiday skating rink—one of the biggest in the city. Look out for special events throughout the season, like a Snoopy meet-and-greet, singles nights and skating showcases.
ICE at Santa Monica
Located just minutes from the Pacific Ocean, ICE in downtown Santa Monica (1324 5th St at Arizona) is a full-service 8,000-square-foot outdoor rink. Watch broomball games, take up skating lessons or host a party at the rink and get your own private cabana. For $15, rent skates and strut your stuff on the ice alongside children and adults. No need to pack snacks, there's a concession stand on site, serving hot cocoa and kid-friendly bites. For the little ones, visit the Tot Spot, an enclosed rink for 6 and under. The rink is open from early November through Martin Luther King Day. Check the website for operating hours at other times.
The Queen Mary
Cozy up—and make sure to bring your jacket—to the Queen Mary for Chill. It's the time of year when the iconic ship is transformed into a Winter Wonderland, with an ice kingdom featuring frozen sculptures, a castle, an ice queen, a towering 100-foot ice slide for tubing and a 6,500-square-foot outdoor ice skating rink in front of the ship. It's all housed in 9-degree temperatures to keep from melting. Slip on some skates and glide across the rink, made with real ice and decked out in string lights. Check the website for more details—there's even a holiday village with visits from Santa Claus, ice tubing and more.
LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. Live
Skate around the dazzling Christmas tree that stands in the middle of this outdoor rink, and take in an LED holiday light show on the huge screens around the plaza. For the perfect date-night, book the Supper and Skating deal, which includes a prix-fixe dinner at a handful of LA Live restaurants, skate rentals and skating admission for only $30 per person.
The Rink in Downtown Burbank
Quench those clichés about the heat in the Valley with a 90 minute session in Downtown Burbank. Winter sports aren't exactly a pastime in LA, so little ones—and those of us who look helpless on the ice—can rent Bobby the Seal, an adorable, plastic skating aid.
Downtown Disney Winter Village
Disneyland's holiday celebrations spread outside the gates of the happiest place on earth with an ice skating rink around Downtown Disney's Christmas tree. Olaf's Frozen Ice Rink and its surrounding shopping chalets pay homage to the new animated movie of the same name; expect plenty of icy, Norwegian flair and a little bit of hat hair—helmets are required to skate.
Woodland Hills Ice
Recreational skating, professional skating exhibitions, group classes, private lessons and even birthday parties are all on offer at this outdoor rink—the only one of its kind in the SFV. Glide on more than 7,000 square feet of ice, located at the Westfield Promenade in Woodland Hills (6100 Topanga Canyon Blvd). Check the website for special events, including a grand opening party on Nov 14.