During the winter season temporary ice skating rinks are set up throughout the Bay Area, making ice skating more accessible than ever.
East Bay Ice Skating Rinks
The Little Ice Rink (Alameda) is also great for first-time skaters. Plastic seals (below) allow kids independence on the ice. Open until January 15 from 10am to 10pm on weekends, plus noon to 10pm every day during Winter Break; 3- 10 pm on weekdays after school returns to session. Open on Christmas Day and New Year's Day. $17 includes skate rental for 9+; $13 include skate rental for 8 and under. Details >
Oakland Ice is our (510) permanent rink that offers the traditionally large cling-to-the wall experience. Last time I was there, I saw East Bay mom and ex-Olympian Kristi Yamaguchi coaching her daughter! Discounts on Tuesdays. Kids can use plastic buckets for support on the ice. Details >
Sharks Ice (Fremont) is the sister rink to Oakland Ice. Also offers public skate sessions. Details >
Walnut Creek on Ice (Walnut Creek) is a temporary rink at 1375 Civic Drive, Walnut Creek. Tuesday nights offer a discount package for a family of four. This rink will be up Nov. 10 until Jan. 15, open until 8 pm Sunday through Thursday and 11 pm on Friday and Saturday for about $15/person. Jumbo plastic helpers are available to assist developing skaters. Details >
San Francisco and Marin Ice Rinks
Holiday Ice Rink (San Francisco). At Justin Herman Plaza, this Embarcadero temporary rink is the Bay Area’s largest outdoor ice rink and is in place now until January 7. El Cerrito mom Sunny advises, “Bring a second pair of pants.” Wearing wet pants in The City is just a bit colder than wearing them in the East Bay! Details >
Union Square Ice Rink (San Francisco). Glorious under the tree experience is over-crowded and probably sold out. If you can manage to buy tickets in advance AND show up for your brief window, go for it! Through January 15. Details >
Marin on Ice (San Rafael) is just as close to some 510 starting points as San Francisco. Located in the Northgate mall, the temporary rink will be there until Monday, January 8. It is open from noon to 10 pm through all of Winter Break, including Christmas and New Year's Eves and Days.
Yerba Buena's Ice Rink (San Francisco) is adjacent to a bowling alley and close to the Children's Creativity Museum and other SF treasures. It is open for public skating sessions daily, including the holidays. More details including schedule for public skate >
[Photos from Walnut Creek on Ice and Little Ice Rink as noted]