Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink
Get gliding! It’s that time of year again, when a batch of seasonal skating rinks pop up around the Sound for local families’ skating fun. While many holiday traditions involve eating treats, this seasonal pursuit gets your fam up and moving! And if you prefer indoor skating, there’s a swanky newer permanent rink on the scene, plus plenty of other spots to learn and skate year-round. So if you want to get gliding on the ice around Seattle, read on for where to go.
First, to get started ice skating, take a look at our 8 pro tips for teaching kids to ice skate.
1. Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink, Bellevue
This is the largest holiday ice skating rink around, located in Bellevue’s Downtown Park, and it's back for the winter season. This rink is outdoors, and while it's enclosed, plan for chilly temps. There is a viewing tent with benches, and a concession area selling hot drinks and snacks onsite. Note the nearest restrooms are at the playground nearby. (If you’ve not been, do not miss the park’s epic Inspiration Playground.)
Schedule: Open Nov. 17, 2023–Jan. 15, 2024; hours vary. Skating is open on Christmas Day!
Prices: Off-peak admission is $15, including skate rental; peak admission is $20, including skate rental. Book your skating session online.
Special events: This rink offers some pretty great special events! Free lessons are offered on select days, for kids and adults. Book your skating session for Apple Cup Skate Day (Nov. 25), Pride Night (Dec. 6), Superhero Skate Day (Dec. 13) and four Ugly Sweater Skate Nights!
2. Oly on Ice, Olympia
Thurston County entered the seasonal ice rink game a few years ago, setting up a rink near Capitol Lake in downtown Olympia. And families really love it! The rink is outdoors, but covered. There are several options here for getting the littles skating, plus cheapskate nights on select Mondays and Tuesdays, and a sensory-friendly skate on Sundays and Mondays. Helpful staff members are on the ice as well.
Schedule: Open Nov. 17, 2023–Jan. 15, 2024, even open on Christmas Day! Check the schedule for daily hours.
Price: Off-peak admission, including skates, is $12. Peak hours will set you back $15; tots ages 3 and younger, including skates, cost $5. Cheap skate days on select Mondays and Tuesdays cost $9, with skates. Booking tickets in advance is recommended, though you can just show up and skate if there's space.
3. Lights & Ice, Tulalip
Quil Ceda Village hosts a seasonal outdoor ice skating rink this year, part of the Tulalip Lights & Ice holiday festivities. Find the skating rink at the Tulalip Amphitheatre, between the resort and the outlet mall. The rink will be surrounded by more than a million lights, and close to 5 million more will make the entire village sparkle. On select dates you can also meet Mr. and Mrs. Claus, Buddy the Elf and the Grinch. Tip: The Clauses will visit generally Friday–Sunday, the Grinch on Saturdays and Buddy the Elf on Sundays, through Christmas. (Be sure to check the website to confirm dates and hours of character visits.)
Schedule: Open Nov. 22, 2023–Jan. 15, 2024, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. Check the website for daily hours.
Price: General admission, including skates, is $15; kids' admission, with skates, is $12. Birthday party packages and private rink rental are also available. Book tickets online.
4. Pacific Ice, Everett
Pacific Ice returns to Pacific Rim Plaza at Waterfront Place in Everett. This petite outdoor covered rink welcomes families from around the North Sound and beyond. Keep your eye out for special events such as Fire & Ice nights that will feature free s'mores (!) and character appearances on Magical Mondays.
Schedule: Open Nov. 25, 2023–Jan. 8, 2024, including Christmas Day. Check the website for daily hours.
Price: General admission, including skates, is $15; kids' admission, with skates, is $12. Birthday party packages, skating lessons and private rink rental are also available.
5. Snohomish Valley Ice Rink, Snohomish
Snohomish Valley Golf Center will once again open its covered outdoor skating rink this season. This rink features synthetic ice. All ages can enjoy trying out their skating skills, and also warm up around the heaters and fire tables to enjoy a snack or drink from the restaurant.
Schedule: The rink opens for public skating sessions on Friday, Nov. 24, and plans to be open Friday–Sunday through Jan. 28, 2024. Open Christmas Day. Check the website for daily hours.
Price: $5–$10; $2 skate rental.
6. Pop-Up Ice Skating Rink at Occidental Square, Downtown Seattle
Mark your calendars! The second week in December you'll find this free outdoor skating rink in the heart of Pioneer Square at Occidental Square Park. It's open for three days only so plan your trip to take a break from shopping, strap on some skates and go for a twirl on the ice.
Schedule: Friday, Dec. 8, 1–7 p.m.; Saturday–Sunday, Dec. 9–10, noon–6 p.m.
Price: Free. Skates are available to borrow.
More ice-skating rinks around Seattle and Puget Sound
The holiday rinks don’t stay around forever, and we can hardly ever hope for pond skating during our relatively balmy Pacific Northwest winters. But families can still try out their skating skills at indoor ice rinks, open in any weather and every season! Here’s a selection:
Kraken Community Iceplex, Seattle
This is the upscale newer rink we mentioned, on the site of Northgate Mall. It’s where the Kraken practice! Rental skates are hockey skates so you can catch Kraken fever. There’s also youth hockey, skating lessons, tot play hour and family skate sessions.
Lynnwood Ice Center, Lynnwood
An active ice skating rink north of Seattle, Lynnwood Ice Center is an excellent rink that feels a cut above some of the more worn rinks around. There’s a warm lobby and viewing area, snack shop, pro shop, and birthday party rooms. It offers a good Basic Skills program, as well as walkers for toddlers. There is also a hockey program. Skate rental stock spans toddler sizes up to men’s size 14.
Sno-King Ice Arena, Kirkland
Formerly the Kingsgate Ice Arena, Sno-King Kirkland offers public ice skate sessions, hockey, learn-to-skate programs and fun-sounding broomball where participants do not need to know how to skate. Walkers can be rented; look for group discounts.
Sno-King Ice Arena, Renton
Located in the Renton Highlands, Sno-King Ice Arena is a year-round, indoor ice-skating facility that offers two separate ice surfaces. In addition to public skating hours, this rink hosts broomball, figure skating, hockey, lessons series and summer camps. There is a café and game room for family members who don’t want to skate. There is also a skate shop on site. Walkers are available for rent.
Sno-King Ice Arena, Snoqualmie
This outpost of Sno-King offers the same wide range of ice sports as the rinks in Kirkland and Renton. In addition to public skating, there are learn-to-skate programs focused on both figure skating and hockey skating, youth hockey lessons, leagues and camps, and adult hockey, too.
Kent Valley Ice Centre, Kent
This rink offers all kinds of fun on the ice, including public skating, learn-to-skate programs, youth hockey, stick-and-puck sessions and more. This spot also offers other sports programs, with rentable batting cages, and hosts birthday parties.
This Tacoma ice rink boasts an NHL-regulation ice surface and offers all kinds of programs, including public skate sessions, hockey, figure skating, broomball and lots more. This rink also has something no other rink offers: ice bumper cars!
Centrally located in downtown Everett, the community ice skating rink is just one of the facilities at Angel of the Winds. This spot hosts Silvertips hockey games, concerts and more. Street parking can be tricky, but there are plenty of garages. In addition to frequent public skating sessions, junior hockey and learn-to-skate programs are available.
More wintertime family fun...
Editor’s note: Writers Gemma Alexander, Tiffany Doerr Guerzon and Nikki McCoy, along with ParentMap staff, all contributed to this article, which was originally published many years ago and updated with current info for 2023.