Seasonal Rinks in Washington, Idaho and Oregon
As snow blankets the Pacific Northwest and winter freezes our shallow waterways, seasonal, outdoor skating rinks pop up all over the region. Whether you are on the Olympic Peninsula, in central or eastern Washington or live in the towns along Puget Sound, there’s an outdoor ice rink nearby.
Unlike frozen ponds, which can be unsafe and bumpy, these rinks are typically run by the city’s parks and recreation department, the chamber of commerce or nonprofit groups. The facilities are often covered, the ice surfaces are smooth and groomed, and you can even sometimes get lessons. A day on the ice at one of these seasonal rinks is a fun way to pass the time even if you’ve never laced up skates. Read on to find an outdoor rink in your area.
For nearly a quarter century, the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink has provided an icy wonderland for residents and visitors to the Eastside. As you glide over 9,000 square feet of ice, the Bellevue Ice Rink may become your favorite winter tradition, because it offers a wide array of events throughout the season.
Bellevue’s rink is open through Jan. 9, and $16 gains you entry to the rink and a pair of rental skates. Tickets are for 75 minutes of skating time. Evening skating lessons are sometimes offered for free.
The Pacific Ice Rink in Everett is an open air rink overlooking the Port of Everett Marina. Adorned with holiday lights and with music playing overhead, the rink is sure to get you in the holiday mood. Open until Jan. 31, $16 buys you 45 minutes of ice time and a pair of rental skates. The rink also offers skating lessons for individuals or groups up to three. Hot food and drinks are available.
At the base of Puget Sound is the city of Olympia-run Oly on Ice. Located at Isthmus Park, this rink is open until Jan. 17 and costs $12, skate rental included. Plan a day on ice with music, entertainment and even themed skates. If you are hoping for something a little more calm, Sunday mornings have low lights and no music for a quieter skate.
Near the salty waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca is the Olympic Peninsula’s only outdoor covered ice skating rink. You can glide on the ice right in downtown Port Angeles, creating a memorable time in this quirky, artistic and historic waterfront. The ice rink, decorated with holiday colors and lights, is open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week through Jan. 3, giving you a chance to skate near the Salish Sea. The cost is $15 or $10 for kids under 12, including skate rentals.
A rink also pops up every year through December at the fairgrounds in Puyallup. To enjoy skating at the fair, you’ll need to purchase tickets to both the Holiday Magic experience and the skating rink. Elsewhere on the grounds, you’ll find dazzling holiday lights, interactive displays and plenty of food and drink.
The Winthrop Ice Rink in north-central Washington is breathtakingly beautiful. Some say it is the best ice skating destination in Washington. Once you are on the ice, it is hard to disagree. Out in in the open air, with snowcapped mountains rising in the distance, the ice rink is truly spectacular.
Open through February, the Winthrop Ice Rink is one of the few outdoor, NHL-sized refrigerated ice rinks in the United States. The cost is $10 for adults, $14 with skates included. If you find yourself here on a Tuesday, enjoy the “Cheap Skate,” which is half price admission.
The Moses Lake Ice Rink is a family favorite on the east side of the Cascades. At the open air, roofed ice rink, open skates can be found each week until the rink closes on Feb. 27. The rink also has lessons and hockey. The cost is $10 per person for adults, which includes skate rentals. Check the schedule for the ice rink before heading to it, as hours and days of public skates vary.
A few miles east of the summit of Snoqualmie Pass, the resort at Suncadia in Cle Elum hosts a seasonal outdoor ice rink perfect for a memorable adventure day. Suncadia’s rink is rustic, open air and surrounded by the beauty of the Eastern Cascades. Between jaunts on the ice, skaters will have access to a nearby fire pit where they can sip on hot chocolate and bask in the picturesque winter wonderland. You don’t have to be a hotel guest to use the rink, but hotel guests can make advanced reservations. The rink closes on Jan. 3.
Spokane and Idaho
The Numerica Skate Ribbon in Spokane is another can’t-miss ice skating destination in the Pacific Northwest. Gliding around a 650-foot-long pathway, skaters at this rink in Riverfront Park experience slight rises and dips in the ice as they make their way around the 16-foot-wide path. To top it off, there is a 3,500-square-foot pond to skate on. Open through March, the Skate Ribbon costs $7.95 for an adult, with skate rentals at just less than $6.
Across the border from Washington, Coeur d’Alene on Ice is a family-favorite spot to glide on frozen water. Offering 90-minute skate sessions for up to $16 a person, skates included, heading to the rink at Coeur d’Alene is a great way to spend a day. At the rink, you’ll find a snack shack, selling loaded hot cocoa, cookies, pies, popcorn and more.
Farther South, Sun Valley Resort’s ice skating rink is open year round. Surrounded by the mountains of Idaho, this skating destination is worth the drive. You can hit the ice for around $16, with another $8 for rental skates. Once on the ice, keep a lookout for professional skaters. Olympic and world-class skaters often are found here. Get an autograph, watch them perform, or even take a lesson from one of them with a stunning vista in the background.
In Oregon, two more can’t-miss skating spots await. Near Bend, the Seventh Mountain River Company offers ice skating on their open air rink. For up to $15, skates included, you can hit the ice on central Oregon’s oldest outdoor rink.
You’ll need reservations to skate, as the rink has become a popular winter tradition for families in Oregon. Walk-ups will be asked to wait until 20 minutes after the skating session starts so that everyone with a reservation has had a chance to check in.
Farther south, the Bill Collier Ice Arena in the Klamath Basin is sure to give skaters of all ages a great time on the ice. Open through March, admission to the rink is $8 per person and $4 for a skate rental, with purchases required online ahead of time. Since January 2002, this 200-by-85-foot rink has been a cornerstone to winter recreation in the region.
–Written by Douglas Scott
–Top photo of the Bellevue Downtown Ice Rink is from VisitBellevue