For a city used to fairly warm days in December, an
outdoor ice skating rink seems highly unlikely. Yet in Los Angeles — where
movie magic originated — several rinks open during the holiday season, with new
ones popping up for the first time this year in the neighbourhoods of Culver City and Beverly
But in addition to merely skating, the following three
options feature a few other quirky ways to celebrate the holiday season,
whether by taking in a concert, ice tubing or sipping on hot cocktails.
Chill at W Los Angeles Westwood
Regardless of the weather, fake snow is
scheduled to fall every hour at this 1,600sqft outdoor ice skating rink built
on top of the swanky hotel’s pool area. Post skate, guests cosy up in the poolside
Ice Bar for specialty cocktails like the “Chill Pick Me Up”,
made with Jameson Irish whisky, Kahlua and hot coffee, or comfort food including
sherry braised dates and clams baked with chorizo and mescal butter. On
weekends from 11 am to 1 pm, kids can decorate gingerbread cookies.
$10 and includes skate rental and cookie decorating. Opening hours are Monday
to Friday, 3 pm to 10 pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10 am to 10 pm. Open until 2
Downtown on Ice
LA ice rink nestled among the skyscrapers in front of the historic Biltmore
hotel is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year. The 4,500sqft rink is a popular choice,
thanks to free rink-side events such as lunchtime and weekend concerts, a
farmers market every Wednesday, championship skating exhibitions and broomball
games — think hockey except sneakers replace the ice skates and brooms the
the rink is $6, skate rental $2. Opening hours are Monday to Thursday, 12 pm to
10 pm; Friday to Sunday, 10 am to 10 pm. Open until 21 January.
Queen Mary’s Chill at The Ice Kingdom
The retired RMS Queen Mary ocean liner, one of Long
Beach’s most popular tourist attractions, provides the backdrop for this huge 6,500sqft ice skating rink and
the nearby Ice Kingdom, an indoor
exhibition featuring massive ice sculptures such as a 130ft-tall replica of the Queen Mary, an icy Santa’s Toyland and
a walk-through fairytale castle. Other wintry activities include ice tubing down a two-storey-high, 100ft-long ice tube and
strolling through the Holiday
Village, where visitors can decorate gingerbread houses, listen to carollers,
explore a Candy Lane-themed maze and visit with Santa.
admission is $9.95, skate rental $2.95; admission to the Ice Kingdom is
$24.95/$19.95 for adults/children; ice tubing is $12.95. Opening hours are Sunday
to Thursday, 10 am to 9 pm, Friday and Saturday, 10 am to 10 pm. Open until 6
Caroline Pardilla is
the Los Angeles Localite for BBC Travel. She also writes Carolineoncrack.com.