AV Alerts
  • April 15Tax Day - (04/15)
  • April 22Earth Day & Passover - (04/22)
  • April 28PPIE Run for Education - (04/28)
The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

The student news site of Amador Valley High School

AmadorValleyToday

Top five festive ice rinks for this holiday season

A sea of people ice skate at the Union Square Ice Rink. (Shimon Arai)

As it’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, ice skating rinks are once again attracting tons of visitors every day. There is no better way to spend winter break than to go ice skating with your friends and family. We’ve ranked Bay Area rinks based on accessibility, price, crowdedness, ice conditions, and proximity to Pleasanton.

Dublin Iceland 

Since Dublin is across Interstate Highway 580, traveling to Dublin Iceland takes less than 10 minutes from Pleasanton. The indoor ice rink is accessible by both bike and car, but there are no places to park a bike. To the right of the entrance is the ticket counter where a $10 admission fee is paid. Additionally, a $5 skate rental fee makes the total cost $15 for regular customers. Though the indoor ice rink hosts lessons early in the morning, it is open to the public from 11-4 p.m. The staff also clean the ice rink twice every day so the ice is in good condition. However, the ice rink can get really crowded even for its size.

Sharks Ice at Fremont

The kid section of the ice rink at Fremont is administered by staff, allowing kids to learn how to skate in a safe environment. (Shimon Arai)

Another indoor ice rink is the Sharks Ice at Fremont — an official facility of the Sharks ice hockey team. The location is accessible both by an 18-minute drive by car or by BART from the Warm Springs/South Fremont station. The facility has a restaurant that overlooks the ice rink and an official Sharks store to the right of the entrance. The admission fee is $15 for adults, $14 for kids, and $7 to rent skates. The ice rink may only be open for a few hours to the general public but is conveniently split between a kid section and a regular section. In addition, the ice is well maintained.

Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Ice Rink at San Ramon’s City Center 

If an indoor ice rink is not for you, then the Kristi Yamaguchi Holiday Ice Rink at the LOT/City Center Bishop Ranch is a considerable option. It is a 13-minute drive by car and a 335 bus is available from the Pleasanton/Dublin BART station.

Since it is just outside of the mall, food can easily be obtained from nearby restaurants.

Admission to the ice rink is $23 for adults and $17 for children 3-10. The ice rink is not usually crowded with people, but can be at certain times. The ice conditions vary, but tend to be more unpredictable than indoor ice rinks.

Downtown Ice San Jose

The circular layout of Downtown San Jose’s ice rink makes it unique, but also challenging to skate. (Shimon Arai)

Heading to the south bay, the ice rink in Downtown San Jose is another outdoor ice rink. Getting to this location takes 33 minutes by car, and 1 hour 33 minutes via BART and bus route Rapid 500; a change must be made at Bay Fair for the orange/green line and Rapid 500 at Barryessa. 

The ice rink has an outer and inner rink, which are connected at four locations. Also, there is a holiday parade happening right across the street from the ice rink where festive decorations are displayed. As for the admission fee, a $21 ticket must be purchased through the website — the fee includes skate rental. The cost also covers skating aids for children. However, the ice rink is very crowded. Unfortunately, the condition of the ice is not great either and certain areas may be melted. 

Union Square Ice Rink 

In San Francisco, the Union Square Ice Rink is a popular destination, especially with its great view of the Macy’s Christmas Tree. This skating location is accessible by car, but parking in San Francisco may be challenging. Instead, the rink is a six-minute walk from the Powell St. BART Station, which is a 48-minute ride.

Staff clean a used skate at the Union Square Ice Rink. (Shimon Arai)

Admission is $20 for adults and $15 for children eight and under, but must be bought in advance through the website. The cost covers skate rentals and a one-hour session at the ice rink. Disappointingly, the ice rink is small, extremely crowded, and the ice conditions are poor even in the morning. 

Verdict

Though some of the ice rinks may have had some disappointing factors, each is unique in its own way. Maybe a close location, like Dublin or Fremont may suit you, or an outdoor location at San Ramon. If you prefer holiday-themed ice rinks, consider San Jose. For shopping enthusiasts, Union Square is a great option. For locations requiring advance ticket purchases, it is advisable to make decisions early.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
  • The ice rink next to City Center Bishop Ranch in San Ramon is filled with kids and teens skating in a vibrant orange rental skate.

  • The Union Square ice rink is packed with young kids and adults as early as 10 a.m..

  • Teens skate at the ice rink in Fremont.

  • The Sharks Ice at Fremont has an official Sharks merchandise store.

  • Young kids and teens skate at the Dublin Iceland ice rink.

Leave a Comment
Donate to AmadorValleyToday
$50
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists in the AVJournalism program. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

Navigate Left
Navigate Right
Donate to AmadorValleyToday
$50
$5000
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All AmadorValleyToday Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *