Where to Ice Skate in San Francisco
Getting out on the ice this holiday season doesn't mean that you have to leave the city. Here's everything you need to know about the four ice skating rinks in San Francisco, each with its own special moments of holiday cheer.
The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
The Union Square rink is open through Jan. 20. Put on some ice skates and enjoy the holiday fun any time from 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. daily. A new 90-minute skating session begins every even hour, so you’ll get plenty of time no matter when you show up.
Union Square will be decked out for the season, with an 83-foot Christmas tree topping off all the décor. You can attend the Macy’s Tree Lighting Celebration on Friday, Nov. 29 at 6 p.m. Be sure to attend one of the Flashback Fridays on the second Friday of each month so you can listen to 80s music while you skate—and even dress to impress with your favorite fanny pack and leg warmers!
Kaiser Permanente will be presenting free ice skating lessons every Saturday and Sunday morning from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. Other events to look forward to include a Silent Skate Party on Thursday, Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m., as well as an Ugly Sweater Party on Friday, Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Don’t miss Drag Queens on Ice on Thursday, Dec. 5 from 8 p.m. to close. Watch drag queens spread some holiday cheer as they skate while lip syncing to music.
Ice skating at the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square costs $18 for adults and $13 for kids 8 and under. These prices include skate rentals, though it’s an extra $6 to rent a skate helper for kids. The ice skating rink is in the heart of Union Square, near Powell and Geary streets.
Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
The Embarcadero Center rink is the largest outdoor rink in the Bay Area. It’s conveniently surrounded by dozens of eateries and shops. Through Jan. 5, you can rent skates and glide around the rink, admiring the views of the bustling neighborhood that surrounds it.
The rink is open between 10 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday. There are some days and times it’s closed for private events; call or check the website before you go. Skating sessions start every even hour and last for 90 minutes of holiday skating fun.
The Holiday Ice Rink is located in Embarcadero Plaza, across the street from the Ferry Building. The cost to skate is $12 for adults and $7 for kids, and it’s $5 extra to rent skates if you don’t have your own.
Winter Park at Civic Center
One of the best ways to share in the holiday cheer in San Francisco is by visiting the Winter Park in the Civic Center Plaza. Through Jan, 5, this popular plaza is transformed into a winter wonderland with a huge ice rink as its standout feature. It even has a 400-foot skating track that runs through a festive forest full of lighted trees!
Skating sessions go from noon to 9:30 p.m. every day, with a new skating session starting every other hour and lasting 75 minutes each. The cost to skate is $18 for adults and $13 for kids, and ice skate rentals are included in that price.
If you’re looking to do more than just skate at the Winter Park, you’ll want to check out the special events hosted here throughout the holiday season. Every Friday evening in December, iHeartRadio will host a dance party at this rink. Be sure to attend the tree lighting ceremony here at 4 p.m. on Dec. 4. It will feature a toy giveaway, arts and crafts for the kids, and live entertainment.
Yerba Buena Ice Skating
If you want to keep skating after the holidays are over, head to the Yerba Buena Ice Skating and Bowling Center. This indoor, heated rink is open year-round, including Christmas and New Year’s Day! And as the name suggests, it even features a bowling alley for when you need a break from skating.
This center adds extra public skate sessions in December and January. Be sure to visit on Frozen Fridays, when every Friday night skating session has a different theme! If you’re new to skating, feel free to sign up for lessons.
This ice skating rink is located at 750 Folsom St. in the picturesque Yerba Buena Gardens. The cost to skate here is $13 per person, plus $6 to rent skates.