Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink
Slip and slide! It's that time of year again, when a batch of holiday skating rinks pop up around the Sound for kids’ and families’ skating fun. We missed out on these last winter — and some are still not back — but there is a new seasonal rink, and a swanky new permanent rink, on the scene. So if you want to get gliding on the ice around the Seattle area, read on for where to go.
First, to get started ice skating, take a gander 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 is back for winter 2021–22. 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 absolutely epic Inspiration Playground.)
Schedule: Open Nov. 19, 2021–Jan. 9, 2022; hours vary. Skating is even open on Christmas Day!
Prices: Off-peak admission is $13, including skate rental; peak admission is $16, including skate rental. Book online
Special events: This rink offers some pretty good special events! Free lessons are offered on select days, for kids and adults. On Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, show your skate admission for a free topping on your ice cream at nearby Molly Moon's (what?!). There are even a handful of Ugly Sweater skate days.
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 covered but outdoors. There are several options here for getting the littles skating, cheapskate nights on select Mondays and Tuesdays and helpful staff on the ice.
Schedule: Open Nov. 19, 2021–Jan. 17, 2022, even open on Christmas Day! Check the schedule for daily hours.
Price: General admission, including skates, is $12; tots ages 3 and younger, including skates, $3. Cheap skate days, select Mondays and Tuesdays are $8 (ages 4 and older).
3. Pacific Ice, Everett
Skating fans will notice that the Winterfest ice rink, Frozen Fountain in Tacoma, and Redmond Town Center's wacky synthetic rink are not on the list this year. Luckily, there's a new outdoor seasonal rink that we are glad to tell you about! Pacific Ice glides onto Pacific Rim Plaza at Waterfront Place in Everett, and welcomes families from around the North Sound and beyond.
Schedule: Open daily Nov. 27, 2021–Jan. 31, 2022, including Christmas Day. Check the website for daily hours.
Price: General admission, including skates, is $15; kids, including skates, are $12. Birthday party packages, skating lessons and private rink rental are also available.
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 ice skating in 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 fancy new 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 and family skate sessions. (And while you're feeling the Kraken fever, don't miss Pac Sci's ultra-kid-friendly and interactive hockey exhibit.)
Highland Ice Arena, Shoreline
This third-generation family-owned arena (it had the first Zamboni in the region) Highland has seen generations of skaters wobble on its ice skating rink. Highland does not rent walkers — they encourage even small children to try skating. Highland offers hockey programs, figure skating and lessons in addition to public skate sessions. It has a skate shop on site and does offer birthday party tables; no rooms, though. Deals: Family skate sessions, and free skate sessions on holidays. Check the website for updates.
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, and 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.
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!
Angels of the Winds Arena, Everett
Centrally located in downtown Everett, the community ice skating rink is just one of the facilities at Angel of the Winds, which 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.
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 most recently for 2021.