The Bay Area’s largest temporary outdoor ice rink plays host to a wide collection of former East Coasters and Midwesterners over the holiday season, as recent transplants gather on the ice, longing for the frozen wintery ponds of home. What they get instead is a very San Francisco skate, although no less fun for its palm tree backdrop, tourist-heavy Embarcadero crowds and proximity to the Ferry Building’s gourmet treats. Customers can rent skates for $4 and join a 90-minute public skate session at the low price of $10 per adult and $6 per child age seven and under. Skaters can spin and fall and laugh to the pumped-in holiday tunes, then grab a bite from a nearby food truck (Sundays only). The Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center runs from early November to early January, seven days a week.
Open for over 38 years, Paradise Skate Roller Rink invites skaters to roll around its Hawaiian-themed decorations. Brightly colored palm trees adorn the painted walls, adding ambiance as skaters don rental quad or inline skates. A snack bar offers beer, wine, and sodas alongside hot dogs, personal pizzas, nachos, and burritos, which patrons can dine on as they watch one of several flat-screen televisions or events such as roller derby.
Silver Creek Sportsplex is a 240,000-square-foot facility that hosts kid- and adult-friendly leagues, camps, and classes for a range of activities, including indoor soccer, roller hockey, and flag football. The massive complex encourages healthy lifestyles with programs and services in its full service Club One fitness center and spa.
During Open Play sessions, children 12 years and younger can climb and crawl through the facility's bright, inflatable obstacle courses and venture through play zones. Waiting parents can bring personal laptops to surf the web on free WiFi access, or sign up for a whole host of sports and activities for themselves.
After a long day at play, kids can join their parents and recount harrowing stories from the front lines of tickle wars during meals at the facility's in-house restaurant, High Five at the Plex (food and drink not included).
Palm trees aren't normally present when Kristi Yamaguchi turns a triple axel. But that's par for the course at Downtown Ice, where the former Olympic skater has been known to circle the rink in celebration of a chilly San Jose tradition. Each year, Christmas lights wrap around the tree trunks in downtown San Jose’s Circle of Palms, lighting up the ice rink that spreads beneath the trees' fronds. Designed by rink architect Gil Garcia, the outdoor ice arena enables revelers to partake in a beloved winter tradition without being forced to partner skate with yetis. At night, the palms’ twinkling lights join stadium lighting so that skaters can practice their Scott Hamilton backflips all night long. The temporary ice rink is part of San Jose’s Downtown for the Holidays traditions, such as Christmas in the Park and the Winter Wonderland amusement rides.
Vacaville Ice Sports sends skaters spinning, coasting, and pirouetting across a pair of NHL-size rinks. Each day of the week, the facility swings open its doors for open-skating sessions, and, when the ice isn't getting its hard-to-reach itches scratched by public blades, the arena buzzes with hockey leagues, birthday parties, and learn-to-skate classes. An on-site arcade and free WiFi keep mitten-free fingers busy in between ice-based orbits, and the center's snack bar ensures legs remain fully fueled for additional spins around the polar sheets.
The expert trainers at Extreme Fitness and Sports push their clients to run faster, stretch deeper, and push harder. With their sports-specific and general fitness programs, they aim to help guests improve their performance using equipment either outdoors or within their sprawling facility. The facility boasts long stretches of flooring for sprints, free weights, and boxes of different heights to jump up upon.