The holiday season's full of festive activities: singing 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 – 1 to 4:30 p.m. and 6 to 10 p.m. – and 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 $6.50, and skate rental is $3.50. 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 figure, speed, and general skating classes. Holiday public skate hours are 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. on December 24, and 5 to 9 p.m. on Christmas Day. AZ Ice Gilbert is also hosting the Holiday Figure Skating Recital on December 15. 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, though Christmas Day has just one session from 5 to 9 p.m. in the South Pole for $7 (including skate rental). 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, eighth annual CitySkate is smack-dab in the middle of Central Avenue. Highlights include a 36-foot holiday tree, nightly snowfall, Santa appearances, special events like holiday movie screenings, and a hot cocoa stand. General admission is $15 (discounts apply), or $30 for the Express Pass. Visit the CitySkate website or call 602-550-9561.
Desert Ice Skating Rink
Held at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess, 7575 East Princess Drive, the eighth annual Christmas at the Princess event runs through December 31. 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, Copper Canyon Christmas Village Light ShowAdmission is $20 per person for those ride-sharing or walking in, $55 for self-parking, and $85 for valet service (general admission includes up to six attraction wristbands per vehicle, and cash is not accepted – FYI)., S’mores Land, and Lagoon Lights & Princess Express trains. Rink admission is $25 per person with a $5 discount if you bring your own ice skates (and rink-side luxury fire pit rentals are also available). 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. Some holiday-related public sessions include the Holiday Skate ($12, or $10 without skate rental), Skate with Santa ($15, or $12 without skate rental), and the Winter Break Skate ($12, $8 without skate rental). 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 2 to mid-January, at 24610 South Rittenhouse Road in Queen Creek. Ice skaters are welcome from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday and Sunday, and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. 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 Some holiday-related public sessions include the Holiday Skate ($12, or $10 without skate rental), Skate with Santa ($15, or $12 without skate rental), and the Winter Break Skate ($12, $8 without skate rental). 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. See the Ice Den Scottsdale website or call 480-585-7465 for further details.
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 on Tuesday, November 21, and continues with daily public skating on the Skate Westgate rink, including from 11 a.m. to 7:45 p.m. on Christmas Eve. Other perks include free horse-drawn carriage rides, nightly snowfall, a Chabad menorah lighting, and photos with Santa at no extra cost. Cost is $15 with skate rental, or $11 if you bring your own. Visit the Skate Westgate website or call 623-385-7502 for more information.
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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 spans 5,000 square feet on the east side of Mesa City Plaza, and will run you $10 per person, or $8 per person in groups of 20 or more (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 5. The rink has special operating hours for some of the bigger calendar dates, like noon to 4 p.m. on December 24 and 31, and noon to 10 p.m. on January 1. Visit the Merry Main Street website or call 480-890-2613 for more.
Editor's note: This post has been updated from its original version, which first appeared in December 2016.