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Arts and Entertainment

Here's Your Ultimate Guide To Outdoor Ice Rinks In L.A.

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You'd never describe Los Angeles as a "winter wonderland," but our city has a knack for conjuring up some improbable scenes. There's the Assyrian fortress of the Citadel Outlets to the east, and the Japanese palace of Yamashiro up in the Hollywood Hills. As such, when winter comes around we roll out the outdoor ice rinks and pretend we've been transported to the frozen ponds of, I don't know, Hartford, Connecticut? Here's a round-up of L.A.'s best outdoor rinks for this holiday season. After what seems like the longest heat wave in L.A. history, the temperatures have finally dipped low enough for us to strap on those skates and hit the ice.

LA Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. LIVE. (Photo courtesy of L.A. Live)
L.A. Kings Holiday Ice at L.A. LIVE

This outdoor rink has become a recent (wintertime) fixture of downtown. The crowds may be bigger, adding to the hassle of the holiday rush. But it can't be denied that, with the technicolor lights of L.A. Live flashing in the background, the rink is like a party for the senses.

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There's also the giant Christmas tree in the center of the rink to boost your holiday spirits. And, if you need some added enthusiasm before you hit the ice, you can catch a Kings game at the nearby Staples Center earlier in the evening. The Kings are, after all, the titular sponsors of this rink (as well as the other "Holiday Ice" locations listed below).

L.A. LIVE Holiday Ice is at 800 W. Olympic Blvd, downtown. Admission is $18 for adults, $14 kids age 6 and under, and $14 for seniors over 62. The rink operates until January 8. Check the rink's website for hours.

The rink at Pershing Square. (Via Facebook)
Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square

The Pershing Square rink will host an array of events to make the most of its icy anomaly. A DJ will be spinning tracks on Thursdays during the evening hours. If you'd rather skate to your own soundtrack, however, there'll be a "Silent Night Skate Party" on December 1; visitors will be given wireless headphones from which they can pipe in a hand-selected playlist of songs. Also, you'll be able to learn the sport of curling (author's note: it's way harder than it appears).

If you're into Pershing Square's current aesthetic (it's very '90's), you'll have only a few more chances to skate under that purple tower, as the park may go through a major face-lift by 2019.

Pershing Square is at 532 S Olive St, downtown. The rink is open till January 16. Admission is $9 (along with a $4 skate rental fee) for hour-long skating sessions. You can get tickets at the ticket window, though it's recommended that you purchase advance tickets. Price and hours also vary for the events; you can find a listing of them here.

CHILL at The Queen Mary

This location will, undoubtedly, be the most interactive of the pack. "CHILL" is an entire winter experience in which a wintry fortress is constructed next to the retired ocean liner. Aside from ice skating, visitors will also be treated to ice tubing, sleigh rides, and a Gingerbread House in which you can make edible arts and crafts.

This will be the event's fifth stint at the Queen Mary. To liven up the affair, planners have brought in a new, immersive experience called "Alice in Winterland." The setup, as you may have deduced, is a play on the Lewis Carroll's classic story about psychedelics the innate curiosity of children. "Winterland" involves a 14,000-square-foot space in which visitors will walk through and, with the help of digital wizardry, feel as if they've gone down the rabbit hole with Alice. There'll be optical illusions that play on the visitor's sense of space and scope (in one scene, guests are made to feel as if they're walking on a giant table at the Tea Party).

CHILL is at the Queen Mary at 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach. It runs from November 23 to January 8. Admission starts at starts at $49.99 for adults and $29.99 for kids ages 4 to 11. For tickets and hours, visit the event's website.

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(Photo courtesy of ICE at Santa Monica)
ICE at Santa Monica

The biggest advantage for ICE, which is coming back for its 10th season, is the ample room that's afforded for the skaters (the rink is an impressive 8,000 square-feet). Planners have also added some whimsical touches to amp up the wintry scene. There’s a swirl of "faux snowfall," for instance, and a winter-themed photobooth will provide you with a nice souvenir. Skating lessons, as well as "party cabanas" (why not?), are also offered.

The rink is at 1324 5th St, Santa Monica and is open through January 16. Admission (with skate rental included) is $15. For hours (and information about lessons and the party cabanas), you can visit the rink's website.

The rink in Downtown Burbank. (Photo via Facebook)
The Rink in Downtown Burbank

Located at the heart of Burbank, this rink offers a great deal in which you get unlimited skating for a $10 entrance fee and $5 skate rentals (other rinks enforce limited "sessions"). It's perhaps not recommended by the American Podiatric Medical Association, but this is the perfect spot if you're looking to get in a marathon of ice skating. There'll also be ice skating lessons every Saturday morning, as well as curling lessons on December 18.

The rink is at 150 N 3rd St, Burbank. It runs from December 15 to January 8. Admission is $10 for unlimited skating sessions (with a $5 skate rental). For more information about hours and events, visit the rink's website here.

Aboard the USS Iowa. (Photo via Facebook)
Holiday Ice at the Battleship IOWA

The USS Iowa is the West Coast's only battleship that's open to the public. Which also means that it's the only battleship on the West Coast that's outfitted with an ice rink on deck.

Aside from the ice skating, you'll have other options to add to your maritime jaunt. The battleship is it itself an interactive museum, after all. As noted by the museum's website, an app will lead guests through a "self-guided adventure" that "highlights life at sea for thousands of sailors over the past 70 years." The battleship is also hosting a number of holiday events, one of which involves an "illuminated North Pole Village." Santa will be on hand to greet children, and grub will be provided by local food trucks.

The USS Iowa is at 250 S. Harbor Blvd, San Pedro. The rink will operate up till January 8. Admission is $15 (includes skate rental) for the general public. Tickets are available on-site only. Check out the battleship's website for hours and information about other holiday events.

The rink at the Westfield Topanga. (Photo courtesy of LA Kings Holiday Ice)
Holiday Ice at Westfield Topanga

Between its 300-plus stores, we'd imagine that the Westfield Topanga has just about everything you'd want to ever to put in a stocking. So this rink (another "Holiday Ice" sponsored by the Kings) could be the place to visit if you're tardy on your Christmas shopping. Santa will be on hand, of course. Though the added twist here is that there'll also be opportunities for your pet can get in a photo session with Saint Nick. From December 11 to December 18, you can bring your cats and/or dogs to get a snapshot taken with Santa. FYI: all pets must be leashed.

Also, the mall will be hosting events at "The Village," where you'll be treated to live ice sculpting, holiday stilt walkers (huh?), as well as performances by the Los Angeles Ballet Academy and the West LA Children's Chorus. The rink will be open till the end of February, so it'll be the last one standing as the winter season starts to wind down.

The Westfield Topanga is at 6600 Topanga Canyon Blvd, Canoga Park. The rink will be running till February 20. General admission is $17 for adults (includes skate rental), $13 for kids 6 and under, and $13 for seniors over 62. For hours and more information, visit the Westfield Topanga website.

Ice rink at the Pike Outlets. (Photo by Smith Ryan/Facebook)
Holiday Ice at The Pike Outlets

Aside from the rink, the outlets will also give you ample options to get your last-minute shopping done at the nearby shops. There's also the giant ferris wheel that's next to the outlet, as well as the Aquarium of the Pacific that's just a short, five-minute walk away. Perhaps this is the perfect spot for an impromptu date (granted that you and your date are into retail and marine biology). Also, Santa will be visiting the outlets throughout the holiday season.

The Pike Outlets are at 95 S. Pine Ave. Long Beach. The rink will run up till January 8. Admission is $17 for adults (includes skate rental), $13 kids 6 and under, and $13 for seniors 62 and over. Check the rink's website for hours.

Holiday Ice at Redondo Beach

As one of the rinks that's situated shoreside, this location can simulate the blustery, cold winds of a midwestern hockey town. You'll probably have to ignore the briny smell of the ocean, but hey, it'll be nice to bundle up and pretend you're up in Columbus, Ohio. The local pier makes for a good nighttime walk. And the nippy weather will bring you to the nearest bread bowl of clam chowder.

The rink is at 239 N. Harbor Dr., Redondo Beach. It runs till January 8. Admission is $17 for adults (includes skate rental), $13 for kids 6 and under, and $13 for seniors 62 and over. For hours and more information, visit the rink's website.

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