Chill out at these five local ice rinks this holiday season

Photo courtesy of Downtown Sacramento Partnership
Skate around at downtown Sacramento's ice rink in St. Rose of Lima Park.

Now that there’s (finally) a chill in the Sacramento air, here are five fun ice rinks where you can play it cool and embrace the holiday spirit.

Downtown Sacramento Ice Rink

Nov. 3-Jan. 15 (except Dec. 25) For the 26th season in a row, the Downtown Sacramento Partnership will open its outdoor ice rink at St. Rose of Lima Park across from Golden 1 Center. Lit with twinkling bulbs strung from trees overhead, this festive rink will host several special events throughout its seasonal run, including “Princess and Superhero Day” (Nov. 4), which encourages skaters to dress up as their favorite Disney royal or comic book vigilante, and “Drag Queens on Ice” (Nov. 16), which will feature photo-ops with Sacramento drag personalities to benefit local LGBTQIA+ charities. Spin right round during “Throwback Thursdays” (every second Thursday of the month from Nov. 9-Jan. 11) with ’70s, ’80s and ’90s music spun by local DJs, and on Dec. 21, line up with your little ones to meet Santa on his sleigh. $12 ($6 for children ages 6 and under). Hours vary by day. St. Rose of Lima Park. 701 K St. 442-8575.

The Historic Folsom ice rink opens for the season Nov. 10. (Photo by Michael Anderson)

Historic Folsom Ice Rink

Nov. 3-Jan. 22 This doughnut-shaped rink situated around a reconstruction of an 1856 train turntable in Folsom’s historic district will soft-open Nov. 3 and host a grand opening on Nov. 10 with carolers from the Vista del Lago High School choir, free hot cocoa, baked goods from nearby Karen’s Bakery & Cafe and sweets from Snooks Chocolate Factory. All will be merry and bright when the 20-foot-tall Christmas tree at the heart of the rink is set aglow at a lighting ceremony on Dec. 1, which will also feature a trackless train running down Sutter Street, a dusting of snow and a visit from Old Saint Nick. On the following afternoon, revelers can skate amid the festivities of Folsom’s 50th annual Christmas Crafts Fair, during which food trucks, live music and 200 local artisans selling handcrafted goods will fill Sutter Street. $12 ($10 for children ages 8 and under). $3 rental fee for skates. 10 a.m.-9:30 p.m. daily. 905 Leidesdorff St. Folsom. 936-4410.

Global Winter Wonderland

Nov. 11-Jan. 7 For the fourth year in a row, this luminous, multicultural theme park will fill 17 acres of Cal Expo with a massive display of glowing structures modeled after famous landmarks, like France’s Eiffel Tower, England’s Big Ben and Japan’s Mount Fuji. In the midst of it all, take a spin on a charming 50-by-70-foot outdoor ice rink to the sounds of cheerful holiday music during a 45-minute skating session, which includes free skate rentals. Around each turn, feast your eyes on the colorful illuminated lanterns in the shape of snowmen, snowflakes and penguins that encircle the rink, and after you’ve worked up an appetite, feast on international cuisine like noodle bowls, tacos and gyros from food stands throughout the fairgrounds. $12. Hours vary by day. Cal Expo. 1600 Exposition Blvd. 510-962-8586.

Tiny tots (and kidults) will have eyes all aglow at Global Winter Wonderland's skating rink this season. (Photo courtesy of Global Winter Wonderland)

Iceland Ice Skating Rink

Nov. 17-Feb. 25 In operation since 1940, this nonprofit North Sacramento venue is the city’s oldest ice skating site, and it is set to open its outdoor rink for the seventh time since its reconstruction in 2010. On select weekends, build your own Frosty on “Snowman Saturdays” with piles of powder deposited alongside the rink. Unleash your competitive side, and partake in drop-in broomball and hockey sessions—as well as lessons—for children and adults alike. After breaking a sweat, don’t forget to warm your insides with hot cocoa, coffee and soup, and nosh on chips and candy. Join the merriment and attend the Holiday Ice Show (Dec. 16 & 17) to watch professional solo and group ice dancers perform to popular radio hits and beloved holiday classics under theatrical lights. $10 including skate rental. Hours vary day. 1430 Del Paso Blvd. 925-3121.

Skatetown Ice Arena

Nov. 19-Jan. 15 This year-round ice arena in Roseville, celebrating its 20th anniversary this winter, has everything from an indoor snow pile for kids to a full-service cafe where adults can sip beer and wine. For the fifth year, the 65,000-square-foot venue will unveil an outdoor rink replete with nightly laser light shows choreographed to holiday music and Top 40 hits. And to celebrate its milestone birthday, Skatetown is hosting a slew of events throughout the season, like the Winter Wonderland Skate Party on Dec. 1, during which both the indoor and outdoor rinks will offer holiday karaoke, skating limbo competitions and snowball fights, and Theatre on Ice on Dec. 17, which will feature choreographed solo, duet and group routines from local skaters. Admission, skate rentals and hours vary by day. Indoor rink open year-round. 1009 Orlando Ave. Roseville. 783-8550.

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