When it's winter and the holidays, San Franciscans' thoughts turn to ice. And ice skating. Luckily we have rinks right here to glide on, including a couple that pop up in the city center just for the holidays.
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Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
Besides being the biggest outdoor rink in San Francisco, the holiday rink at Embarcadero Center is set in a wide-open plaza with views of the stately Ferry Building and the waterfront. No wonder this wintertime rink is so popular.
At Justin Herman Plaza, adjacent to 4 Embarcadero Center, San Francisco 94111.
Hours: Open Nov. 5, 2014–Jan. 4, 2015. Sunday-Thursday: 10 am-9:30 pm (open Dec. 31 until 11:30 pm). Friday & Saturday: 10 am-11:30 pm.
Info: (415) 837-1931.
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An oasis in a shopping maze, this rink gives you the option of skating til you drop in Union Square. While you’re at it, admire Macy’s Christmas tree hovering nearby.Part of the ticket proceeds benefits the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department. Drag Queens on Ice: Glitz & Glamour (Dec. 11, at 8-9:30 pm), with emcee Donna Sachet and guests like Sister Roma of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, features lip-syncing, dancing, performances and fabulous gay apparel. On Jan. 1, come in swimsuits or beach or polar bear outfits for the Polar Bear Skate at 2-3:30 pm.
At Geary and Powell streets, San Francisco 94102.
Hours: Open daily Nov. 5, 2014-Jan. 19, 2015, at 10 am-11:30 pm. Closes at 9:30 pm on Dec. 31.
Info: (415) 781-2688.
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Outdoor rinks too cold for you? Head inside, to Yerba Buena’s heated rink. The ice skating center, perched on the roof of Moscone Convention Center, is San Francisco's only rink that's open all year. Public skating, lessons, and special programs and sessions for adults, seniors, hockey players and figure skaters are all here--with added public skating sessions during late December and early January. On Dec. 22-23 and 29-30, the center offers a two-day, learn-to-skate class.
On the rooftop at Yerba Buena Gardens, 750 Folsom St., San Francisco 94107.
Hours: Open daily year-round (including Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year’s Day); hours vary.
Info: (415) 820-3521.
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More than 8,000 square feet of ice, encircled by palm trees? No, not in Hawaii, but in Silicon Valley. This seasonal outdoor rink in downtown San Jose is open daily, until as late as midnight. Kristi Yamaguchi is a sponsor of the rink, so the ice should be fit for champions.
At 127 S. Market St., San Jose 95113.
Hours: Open daily through Jan. 11, 2015; hours vary.
Info: (408) 291-0525.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
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Skate on the same ice as the San Jose Sharks do. The official practice rink of the Bay Area’s pro hockey team is open year-round for daily public skating sessions. Also available: classes for all ages (starting at age 2) and ability levels, including hockey, figure skating and synchronized skating; ice dance sessions; and private lessons. Twirl and glide to holiday music from Nov. 22 through Jan. 4, 2015.
At 1500 South Tenth St., San Jose 95112.
Regular public skating hours: Mon., Wed.-Fri. at 11 am-5 pm & 7:30-9:30 pm; Tues. at 11 am-5 pm & 8-9 pm; Sat. at 1:15-3:15 pm & 7:45-9:45 pm; Sun. at 1:15-3:15 pm.
Nov. 22-Jan.4: open daily; hours vary.
Info: (408) 279-6000.
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After twirling on the partially covered outdoor rink, you can warm your toes at the fireplaces at Winter Lodge. The facility also offers skating and hockey lessons on an indoor rink.
At 3009 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto 94306.
Hours: Open from Sept. 29, 2014-April 19, 2015; hours vary. Closed Thanksgiving; Dec. 24 & 25; Dec. 31 at 5 pm; and Jan. 1.
Info: (650) 493-4566 or firstname.lastname@example.org.