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At Snoopy’s Home Ice, general manager Justin Higgs sees a familiar painting come to life every year: “It’s very Norman Rockwell if you think about it. Everything’s white, whether it’s the snow or an icy pond. Everyone’s already dressed for the occasion. And ice skating is sport that you don’t have to be great at to have fun at.”
It’s become holiday nostalgia for the several generations who have grown up at the Santa Rosa rink since it opened in 1969.
The boost in attendance this time of year goes from 150 skaters a weekend to a herd of 1,200 spinning and scraping around the ice every weekend.
Higg’s best advice for the holidays: “Try to get here near the beginning of skate sessions,” not closer to the middle or end when all the skate rentals “in women’s size 7 are already taken.”
Whether you’re turning double axels or scuffling along with a beginner’s chair, here’s a look at the local ice and a few more icy hot spots:
Snoopy’s Home Ice at the Redwood Empire Ice Arena
Prop up a tree in the middle of the ice, throw in mounds of fake snow, a thousand feet of garlands and thousands of lights and you have the quintessential vision of founder cartoonist Charles M. Schulz, who grew up ice skating and playing hockey in Minnesota.
“We spend the whole month between Halloween and Thanksgiving getting it ready,” Higgs says.
Public skate sessions range from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. and 7:30 to 9 p.m. daily, with 8:30 to 10 p.m. sessions on Fridays and Saturdays.
One of the highlights is the Parents and Puppy practice sessions, which include a group lesson (“for children and adults”) and free rentals. $8 adults and $6 kids.
Check out the full schedule at www.snoopyshomeice.com. 1667 West Steele Lane, Santa Rosa. Admission: $9 adults, $9 kids age 12-17 and $7 kids 11 and under. $3 skate rental.
Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
It’s the crown jewel in the Bay Area ice circuit. It’s hard to pass up a serene urban glide across the ice amid the holiday hustle and bustle in the heart of San Francisco. The best advice: Buy tickets ahead of time on the website or your best view of the ice may be watching from the Cheesecake Factory above Macy’s.
The ice is open from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. every day through Jan. 21. 90-minute sessions start on the hour. $10 general admission. $6 for kids under 8. $5 rental. www.unionsquareicerink.com.
Embarcadero Center Holiday Ice Rink
Taking over Justin Herman Plaza, this annual tradition for more than 25 years packs in nine weeks of skating until Jan. 6. The promoters call it “the largest outdoor rink in San Francisco.” Enjoy waterfront views and skating until 11:30 p.m. under the stars on weekends. Best tip: If you want to check on the weather, call the rink manager at (415) 837-1931.
For the full schedule, go to www.embarcaderocenter.com/attractions/holiday-ice-rink. $9.50 adults/$6 children 10 and under. Rentals: $3.50.Page: 1 2 Next > [View as single page]
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