When Southern Californians want to experience a blast of winter fun, they have a surprising number of options. One popular choice is heading to one of the outdoor ice rinks that pop up this time of year. For the 19th year, the Holiday Ice Rink returns to Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles (532 S. Olive St., L.A.; www.holidayicerinkdowntownla.com). Open from Nov. 10 through Jan. 18, this 7,200-square-foot rink presents an array of activities for skaters of all ages.
One of the most scenic skating spots is ICE at Santa Monica (5th Street and Arizona Avenue). The 8,000-square-foot rink will celebrate its 10th anniversary with a free opening-day event Nov. 10. This season, which lasts Nov. 3 through Jan. 16, also offers lessons from world-champion figure skater Randy Gardner and his School of Skating. Visit www.ICEatSantaMonica.com for more information.
The L.A. Kings will sponsor several rinks, including one Nov. 26-Dec. 31 at L.A. LIVE (800 W. Olympic Blvd., L.A.; www.lalive.com/holidayice) and one in Woodland Hills (6100 Topanga Canyon Rd., Woodland Hills; www.lakingsholidayice.com). You can also lace up your skates Nov. 10-Jan. 25 at the Thousand Oaks Holiday Ice Rink (2200 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks; www.shoplakes.com) and Dec. 15-Jan. 8 at The Rink In Downtown Burbank (N. 3rd St. and E. Orange Grove, Burbank; www.dtnbur.com/event/the-rink-in-downtown-burbank).
Skating is also part of the seasonal activities at CHILL, which again makes its home near the Queen Mary (1126 Queens Hwy., Long Beach; www.queenmary.com/chill). Open on select days from Nov. 23 through Jan. 8, CHILL this year includes a new Lewis Carroll-themed Alice in Winterland interactive experience. While walking through the 14,000-square-foot CHILL dome, you’ll encounter some of your favorite Carroll characters. You can also go on a swinging sleigh ride, climb on a giant rocking horse, visit with Santa and Mrs. Claus and go sliding down 100-foot ice tubing lanes.
A new winter wonderland can be found in Elysian Park near Dodger Stadium. Snow Day LA (Montecillo De Leo Politi, Stadium Way and Scott Avenue, L.A.) will be home to some big-time snow tubing action. You can slide down tubing lanes that are all themed around their names: Avalanche, Friendly Yeti, Snowshoe Hare Hill, Arctic Fox, Polar Penguin and Aurora Borealis (Northern Lights), which has glowing snow. Other cool attractions include hourly blizzard shows and the Snowman Forest, populated with more than 100 snowmen that are part of the nightly interactive light show. Snow Day operates on select days from Nov. 17-Dec. 23 and you can get more dates, activities and ticket details at www.snowlosangeles.com.