San Diego Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks: Yes, They Do Exist!

Children sporting mittens, teenagers whizzing by on hockey skates, couples arm in arm as they glide across the ice under a starry sky…is that not what you’d expect to see in sunny San Diego? Despite temperatures that often reach into the 70s, winter in San Diego ushers in outdoor ice rinks around the county. So grab a (light) sweater and head to one of these seasonal outdoor ice rinks before winter’s end:

Fantasy on Ice – Gaslamp Quarter

Ice Skating in Horton Plaza - Sycuan's Fantasy on Ice

Ice skate in the heart of San Diego at Sycuan’s Fantasy on Ice.

If you’ve ever dreamed of spinning on the ice under the glow of big city lights, don’t head to New York’s Rockefeller Center – head to downtown San Diego. Sponsored by Sycuan and benefiting Rady Children’s Hospital, Fantasy on Ice sits right in the heart of downtown by Horton Plaza. Grab a date, head out to dinner at one of the Gaslamp Quarter’s 180+ restaurants, and cap off the night with a romantic spin around the rink.

Location: Horton Plaza, 225 Broadway Circle, San Diego, CA 92101 (map)
Dates: November 21, 2013 – January 5, 2014 (Closed Thanksgiving and Christmas Days)
– Monday-Thursday – 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM
– Friday-Sunday – 10:00 AM to 7:30 PM and 8:00 PM to 10:00 PM (Night Session)
– Christmas Eve and New Years Eve – 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Cost: Children (Under 12) – $12; Adults – $14; Season Pass – $35
> Find out more about Fantasy on Ice

Southern California’s Largest Outdoor Ice Rink – Viejas Outlet Center

SoCal's largest outdoor ice skating rink at Viejas Outlets!

SoCal’s largest outdoor ice skating rink at Viejas Outlets!

This expansive outdoor ice rink at East County’s Viejas Outlet Center is the perfect way to spend the day with your family. After some bargain holiday shopping at the center’s variety of outlet stores, grab a cup of cocoa or slice of pizza from the ice rink’s snack shack, then lace up your skates for some wintery fun.

Location: Viejas Outlet Center, 5000 Willow Road, Alpine, CA 91901 (map)
Dates: November 9, 2013 – January 5, 2014
Time: Monday-Friday: 5-10 p.m., Saturday & Sunday: 12-10 p.m.
Cost: $14 for adults; $12 for kids 12 and under (90 min. rental)
> Save Time and Print out the Ice Skating Waiver (PDF)

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

Skating by the Sea at the Hotel del Coronado

One of San Diego’s most breathtaking winter experiences,  the oceanfront Windsor Lawn at the Hotel del Coronado is transformed into a spectacular ice rink overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Where else in the world can you ice skate with a white sandy beach just steps away?

A portion of the skating proceeds will benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of San Diego.

Location: Hotel del Coronado, 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA, 92118 (map)
Dates: November 27, 2013 – January 5, 2014
– Daily – 1:300 to 6:00 PM and 7:00 to 9:00 PM
– Early Bird Sessions – 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM (Weekend and Holidays)
Cost: $23 adult, $16 children for a two-hour session ($5 discount if you bring your own skates)
> Pre-purchase Skating by the Sea Tickets
> Save Time and Print out the Ice Skating Waiver (PDF)

When you head out to Skating by the Sea, you just might spot yours truly out there on the ice. Watch as our Coronado expert Robert Arends takes us on a tour of the rink, and keep your eyes out for a guest appearance by this ice-loving blogger:

Know of any other outdoor ice skating opportunities in San Diego this winter? Let us and others know in the comments below.

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About Candice

Foodie, craft beer nerd, shopaholic, music geek, photographer and contemporary art fan could all be used to describe me. I’m a big proponent of highlighting San Diego’s hidden gems and local businesses and breaking stereotypes about our city. We’re more than just sunshine and beaches (though those are nice, too!).

What would you do on your ideal San Diego Day?

Eating and shopping around my favorite neighborhoods: Golden Hill, South Park, North Park, Little Italy and Hillcrest. Then popping into one of our great art museums and capping off the night with some live music and a a local beer at The Casbah.

What is your favorite San Diego outdoor activity?

Does shopping count as an outdoor activity? Or checking out the public art around town, like at Chicano Park? I do love visiting the La Jolla tide pools in the summer and ice skating at the outdoor rinks that go up each winter.

Do you prefer burgers and beer or linguine and red wine?

Let's get one thing straight here: San Diego craft beer goes with everything, not just burgers. Though it is really good with a burger.

Latest music purchases for my iPod player are…

I’m lucky to be married to a music journalist, so advance copies of the newest albums are constantly available to me for free. But I can’t seem to stop playing the new album by CHVRCHES, and San Diego band Rocket from the Crypt have been on repeat a lot lately.

Follow Candice on Twitter @candicesd

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