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Places to Go Ice Skating in the West

Posted by Karen Reardanz on November 16, 2018
ice skating in Union Square in San Francisco, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Jerry Yim

Hit the ice this holiday season. Popping up in cities around the West this time of year, ice skating rinks create mini winter wonderlands in unexpected places. But there are also year-round and winter-only spots where you can channel your inner figure skating or hockey pro—or at least pretend to—beyond the new year.

Northern California

Downtown San Francisco

Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square: This small but picturesque outdoor rink is located in the heart of San Francisco’s shopping area. It's open through January 21, 2019.

Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center: Just across the Embarcadero from the historic Ferry Building, this outdoor rink—in Justin Herman Plaza—is open through January 6, 2019.

Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center: San Francisco’s only year-round skating facility comes complete with lessons, public skate sessions, and hockey leagues.

Oakland/San Jose/Fremont

Oakland Ice Center: Daily public skate sessions are offered all year, plus lessons and hockey. There are two additional sister facilities in San Jose and Fremont, as well.

Contra Costa County

Walnut Creek on Ice: This tented outdoor rink features daily public skate times, glider rentals for beginners, and an academy for those looking to perfect their form. Open through January 21, 2019.

Lake Tahoe

The Village at North Star: This 9,000-square-foot winter-only rink is surrounded by fire pits to warm up by as well as shops for après-skate activities.

South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena: An indoor, year-round facility, with daily public skate sessions, plus lessons and hockey games.

Heavenly Village Ice Skating Rink: This seasonal South Lake Tahoe rink is located in the village complex. It is open through Easter 2019.

Truckee Ice Rink: An outdoor skating rink situated among pine trees and open through March 3, 2019.

the ice skating rink at the Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Photo caption
Ice skating above the Las Vegas Strip at the Cosmopolitan.

Las Vegas

The Ice Rink: The Boulevard Pool at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is transformed into a skating rink through January 6, 2018. In addition to views of the Strip, this spot also offers a show of light snow showers every 30 minutes throughout the season. 

Las Vegas Ice Center: Year-round ice skating is available at this indoor rink. Public skate sessions are available daily in addition to figure skating lessons and hockey leagues, lessons, and tournaments. 


Downtown Ice Rink: The outdoor ice rink at Greater Nevada Field is open through January 21, 2019.

Salt Lake City

Gallivan Center: Located within the John W. Gallivan Center, which hosts concerts and festivals throughout the year, this rink is open through February 24, 2019.

Salt Lake City Sports Complex: Two Olympic-sized skating rinks are part of a larger fitness complex. The rink offers regular public skating hours in addition to hockey lessons and tournaments.


Seattle Center Winterfest: From November 23, 2018, through December 31, 2019, there's a variety of seasonal fun, including the ice rink, a model train and village, and live-action ice sculpting on Saturdays. 


Lloyd Center Ice Rink: Extended holiday hours, through January 1, 2019, mean extra time on the rink.

the ice skating rink at Skate Westgate, picture
Photo credit
Photo: Courtesy of Skate Westgate
Photo caption
Skate among palm trees at Skate Westgate.

Phoenix Area

CitySkate: This outdoor rink in downtown Phoenix is open through January 6, 2019. Skaters—and those watching from the sidelines—can enjoy hot cocoa and visits with Santa. 

Desert Ice Skating Rink: The Fairmont Scottsdale becomes a winter wonderland with light shows and a 6,000-square-foot ice rink, where you can skate under the starry desert sky and enjoy nightly snowfalls. 

AZ Ice Arcadia: With daily public skate times, lessons, and hockey leagues, this indoor rink hosts all levels of skaters all year long. Additional locations in Gilbert and Peoria.

Skate Westgate: This outdoor rink—located in the Westgate Entertainment District near the Gila River Arena (home to the Arizona Coyotes hockey team)—is open through January 13, 2019, with nightly snowfalls and holiday activities scheduled throughout. 

Outdoor ice rinks are subject to closure depending on weather conditions. Call ahead to confirm status and hours of operation. 

The expert travel counselors at AAA can plan your next trip to any of these destinations. ​Visit to learn more. ​​​​​​

This article was originally published in November 2017 and updated in November 2018. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to confirm information.