The holiday season brings to mind a number of festive activities: singing Christmas carols, shopping for gifts, and busting out a perfect catch-foot camel spin on a frosty ice skating rink.
Whether you’re semi-pro or just need a good place to become one with your ice skates, here are 10 rinks – some temporary, some permanent businesses – across metro Phoenix to hit during the holidays. See you on the ice.
AZ Ice Arcadia
The Arcadia ice skating rink is open for public skating of all skill levels (and they hold freestyle sessions for figure skaters) at 3853 East Thomas Road, and even offers private ice skating lessons. Public skating sessions are usually offered on a daily basis, in the morning, midday, and evening – but it’s best to check the online schedule. There are even two public skating sessions scheduled for Christmas Day. There’s also the Ice House Tavern at the east end of the building with a Plexiglas window-view of the rink if you’d rather people-watch than skate. Adult admission is $5.50, and skate rental is $2.50. See the AZ Ice Arcadia website or call 602-957-9966.
AZ Ice Gilbert
AZ Ice Gilbert is a sizable rink at 2305 East Knox Road with open skate happening daily in the North Pole and South Pole sections during December. Several programs are offered, like Learn to Skate classes and the U.S. Figure Skating Basic Skills program. Holiday public skate hours are 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on December 24, and 5 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day. AZ Ice Gilbert is also hosting Santa’s Animation Celebration, an annual holiday show on December 9 and 10, and the Holiday Recital 2016 on December 16. The on-site M’s Grille offers pizza, sandwiches, salads, and snacks, plus beer on draft, wine, and specialty cocktails. Visit the AZ Ice Gilbert website or call 480-503-7080.
AZ Ice Peoria
Neighboring the Peoria Sports Complex at 15829 North 83rd Avenue, AZ Ice Peoria offers public skating sessions in the morning and early afternoon – including on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day – with extended evening hours on Wednesday and Friday nights. For rising figure-skating stars, multiple one-hour freestyle sessions are held daily. AZ Ice Peoria hosts private parties and offers snacks, meals, and adult beverages at its own M’s Grill. Pricing is $8.50 for those older than 13, and skate rental is $3. See the AZ Ice Peoria website or call 623-334-1200.
CityScape transforms into a Christmastime nucleus each year with CitySkate, the largest outdoor ice skating rink in Phoenix and featuring a number of holiday events at 1 Washington Street, #300. The seven-week, seventh annual CitySkate is smack-dab in the middle of Central Avenue. Highlights include a 36-foot holiday tree, snowfall each night at 7, 8, and 9 p.m., Santa appearances from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday through Sunday, and a hot chocolate bar at Patriots Park. General admission is $10 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., $15 from 5 to 11 p.m., and $10 for military and students on Sundays. Visit the CitySkate website or call 602-550-9561.
Read on for more ice skating options.
Desert Ice Skating Rink
Held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 East Princess Drive, the seventh annual Christmas at the Princess Festival runs through January 1. These six weeks of festivities start with the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, and features the Desert Ice Skating Rink – a public, 6,000-square-foot rink with actual snowfall. Other fun stuff includes Santa’s Secret Headquarters, Paw-sitively Christmas (pet photos with Santa), S’mores Land, Lagoon Lights, and the Princess Express Trains. Rink admission is $20 per skater, and $5 for skate rentals. Visit the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess website or call 480-585-4848 for more details.
Ice Den Chandler
Neighboring the Chandler Pavilions at 7225 West Harrison Street, Ice Den Chandler is an East Valley ice skating rink with public skating, figure skating, and Learn to Skate programs. The place went through a $6 million renovation in 2014, and now features two ice surfaces, the Ice Den Conditioning Center, and a gear shop – plus the 18 Degrees Express Grill and Chilly Bean Café. Public skating is offered for two hours daily, and includes the $5 Friday night public sessions with a live DJ. General admission is $8, and $5 for Friday nights – obvs. See the Ice Den Chandler website or call 480-598-9400 for further details.
Ice Skating on the Farm
You can zip around on a real ice rink during Schnepf Farms’ Winter Wonderland on the Farm event, happening from December 1 to January 15, 2017, at 24610 South Rittenhouse Road in Queen Creek. Ice skaters are welcome from Wednesday till Monday (the rink is closed on Tuesdays) from noon to 8 p.m. The cost is $12 per skater, which includes your skates, or you can bring your own. They’ll even entertain requests for pond hockey if you can get some friends together. Visit the Schnepf Farms website or call 480-987-3100 for more details.
Ice Den Scottsdale
Ice Den Scottsdale offers daily public skating and skating lessons at 9375 East Bell Road. The Scottsdale location of Ice Den also offers $5 Friday Night public sessions with DJs and some “extreme lighting.” Established in 1998, Ice Den Scottsdale covers more than 150,000 square feet and hosts an Over Easy location, a Chilly Bean Café, and an 18 Degrees Grill. General admission is $8 outside of $5 Friday Nights. See the Ice Den Scottsdale website or call 480-585-7465 for further details.
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Through January 8, Glendale's Westgate Entertainment District, 6751 North Sunset Boulevard, is one of those winter wonderlands we’ve heard so much about. It started with the Skate Westgate Icebreaker & Holiday Tree Lighting from 6:30 to midnight on Tuesday, November 22, and continues with daily public skating on the Skate Westgate rink from 5 to 11 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, and 5 p.m. to midnight on Fridays and Saturdays. Other perks include free horse-drawn carriage rides, nightly snowfall, a Chabad menorah lighting, and photos with Santa at no extra cost. General admission is $13. Visit the Skate Westgate website or call 623-385-7502 for more information.
Winter Wonderland Ice Rink
Part of the Merry Main Street celebration, the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink at City Plaza is a way for Mesa residents to hit the ice at 20 East Main Street. The rink holds up to 125 skaters on the east side of Mesa City Plaza, and will run you $10 for one hour – which includes skate rental (there's no discount for personal skates). The Winter Wonderland Ice Rink is open daily from 5 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and noon to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday through January 1. The rink has special operating hours for some of the bigger calendar dates, like noon to 4 p.m. on December 24, 31, and January 1. They will be closed on December 25. Visit the Merry Main Street website or call 480-890-2613 for more.