For many Seattle area folks, a fun way to start off the winter is with a sociable skate in one of the region's seasonal rinks. No experience necessary. You'll be in good company as hundreds of Pacific Northwest residents gather for their annual wobble around the rink. If you'd like to be prepared, check out this list of tips.
All these rinks are in places where you can make a whole day of it with treats, music, shopping and more. In case you want to do it again, here are some places to skate year round: Highland Ice Arena in Shoreline, Sno-King Ice Arena in Kirkland, Sno-King Ice Arena in Renton, Lynnwood Ice Center, and Olympic View Arena in Mountlake Terrace.
Winterfest Ice Rink
This rink is located in Seattle Center's Fisher Pavilion, and makes for a fun outing by itself or in combination with other holiday happenings around Seattle Center. Light concessions are available on site, or you could choose from a broader menu at the Armory, next door.
When: Nov. 29 to Jan. 5 Open Sunday to Thursday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday through Jan. 6, with these exceptions: closed all day Dec. 25, closes at 4 p.m. Dec. 24 and closes at 11:30 p.m. Dec. 31.
Where: Seattle Center, Fisher Pavilion, 305 Harrison St.
Cost: $8 adults, $6 children 6-12, $2 age 5 and under. Price includes skate rental.
Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink
Located in Bellevue Downtown Park, this open-air arena offers concessions. There are special hours for stroller skate and skating lessons on some weekday evenings.
When: Nov. 29 through Jan. 20. Various hours.
Where: Bellevue Downtown Park, 10201 NE Fourth St, Bellevue
Cost: $15 adults, $13 ages 11 and younger. Price includes skate rental. If you bring your own skates, it's $2 cheaper. Cost goes down on weekdays that are not school holidays.
Redmond Town Center
While there’s no ice in this synthetic rink, your skates will still glide. This covered, outdoor rink is part of Redmond Town Center’s Winter Wonderland, which includes a carousel, a tractor-train, live music and Santa.
When: Nov. 29 through Jan 5
3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday through Dec. 23, after that 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday, with these exceptions: closes 6 p.m. Dec. 24, Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Closed Dec. 25.
Where: Redmond Town Center, 7525 166th Ave NE, Redmond
Cost: $7 ages 3 and older. Includes skates.
Frozen Fountain Ice Skating Rink at Point Ruston
The Grand Plaza Fountain is frozen and transformed into a holiday rink featuring live music and DJs on select dates, concessions, and a holiday bazaar.
When: Nov. 14 through Jan 5
4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday, except during the period from Dec. 23 through Jan. 3, when it goes as follows: Dec. 24 and Dec. 25 noon to 8 p.m., Dec. 31 11 a.m. to 1 a.m., Jan. 1. 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday noon to 10 p.m.
Where: Point Ruston Grand Plaza, 5005 Ruston Way, Tacoma
Cost: $14.50 adults, $13 ages 10 and younger, includes skates.