Outings + Activities | Holidays

Take a Spin! Best Ice Skating Rinks Around Seattle and Puget Sound

Indoor skating rinks and more places to get your 'Frozen' on around Seattle

Indoor rinks open year-round

There's no pond ice skating in the relatively balmy winters we have around here, but families can still try out their skating skills at indoor ice rinks, open in any weather and every season.

Lynnwood Ice Center, Lynnwood
An active ice skating rink north of Seattle, Lynwood 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.

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 session on holidays. Check website for updates.

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.

Xfinity Community Ice Rink, Everett
Centrally located  in downtown Everett, the community ice skating rink is just one of the facilities at Xfinity (formerly Comcast) Arena, 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. Look for Cheap Skate sessions and discounted "Lunch Break Skate" sessions offered weekdays.

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, they host broomball, figure-skating, hockey, lesson 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 can be rented. 

Sprinker Recreation Center Ice Arena, Tacoma
This Tacoma ice rink boasts an "Excellence on Ice" designation from PSA and has an NHL regulation ice surface. Look for Cheap Skate sessions.

FDad and daughter skatingour tips for helping kids learn to ice skate

1. Fit is very important. Terry Green, whose family owns Highland Ice Arena, says, “Skates need to fit snug like a ski boot and not loose like a tennis shoe. If your foot moves inside the skate, you can’t balance on the blade.” Rental ice skates are available for children as young as age three.

2. Some children will be ready to start ice skating as soon as they are big enough to fit in the boots, but others may have better luck waiting until school age. If your child is frightened of falling down or just hasn’t developed good balance yet, several arenas rent walkers for kids up to age five. Baby carriers affect parents’ balance and are never permitted.

3. Gloves and warm clothes are just as important for ice skating as they are for playing in the snow. Children should also wear a helmet. A regular bicycle helmet works great.

4. Many people learn to ice skate without lessons. It’s a good idea to practice safe falls (sitting down to the side, rather than backwards onto the tailbone) on carpet before going out on the ice. Highland Ice Arena offers a $20 half-hour mini-lesson on Saturday mornings that includes a practice session afterwards. For those who need a little more help getting started, all the arenas offer multi-week series. The minimum age for lessons is typically three, but check directly with the rink of your choice.

Three ways to save on ice skating lessons

1. Multi-week group lesson series are cheaper than private lessons for just learning how to skate. They are usually offered in two-month cycles and cost between $75 and $120 for beginners.

2. Buy used ice skates. Recreational ice skates can be purchased retail for about $60 for kids and $125 for adults. Hockey dad Paul Sewell recommends secondhand equipment. “When Tom first started playing hockey," he said, "I purchased his skates from Play It Again Sports. He was growing so fast, there was no point in buying new skates.”

3. Look for reduced fees and deals. Most rinks offer one weekly “Cheap Skate” session with discounted admission, discounts for young kids during select sessions, group discounts or punchcard discounts.

This article was originally written in 2012 and updated in 2015.


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