Santa Clara Ice has returned to Central Park for a second year. It set up its outdoor rink Nov. 21 on the basketball court just outside the Community Recreation Center, 969 Kiely Blvd. The 50-foot by 90-foot rink is open through January 16, including holidays. Skating begins at 11 a.m. or noon, depending on the day, and continues all afternoon and evenings.
Skate early to beat the crowd. Also, watch out for the blue plastic walkers–new this year–that the kids push around the rink to keep their balance, sometimes ending up on near-collision courses.
Peterson Middle School seventh grader Zoraiz Syed was skating with his younger brother and sister on Thanksgiving eve.
“This is just too fun. I didn’t know how to skate last year, but I just learned by myself. It was actually really easy,” he said. His dad, Sabeel Syed however, had a different experience.
“I tried once last year, but it was difficult for me,” his dad said. “Maybe if time permits, I’ll try this year, but I’m afraid to fall again.”
In addition to open skating, private events such as birthday parties can be booked. Saturday and Sunday morning classes for children (already filling up) were so popular in 2015 that the number of openings was doubled to 180 spots this year. Adults can sign up for the age twelve and up classes.
For the second year, Santa Clara’s annual Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony, this year on December 2 from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m., will be held in Central Park. The tree is next to the ice rink, where there will be three open ice skating sessions for $5 per skater: 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m., 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m., and 7:30 – 9 p.m.
Regular skating rink admission, including skates, is $10 for kids four to twelve and $15 for adults for two hours. All-day passes are available. Mondays through Thursdays, kids under four skate free with a paid adult. The plastic walkers rent for $5.
“We’re absolutely glad to be back. The rink is a project of the City. They hired us to build and manage it,” said Dave Fies, vice pesident of Special Ice.
“Because it’s in Central Park, we tend to get a lot of families, which is great. Family activities for residents is what the city was looking for.”
Mike Rakow and his wife, Michelle, were skating Nov. 23 with their granddaughters, Johanna and Adrianna Garcia from Las Vegas. It was a treat that cost $50 for the four of them.
“I’m having fun, but it’s hard!” said Johanna.
“I’m okay with the cost of it if it helps fund the activity,” said Rakow, a Santa Clara resident since 1982.
Visit www.santaclaraonice.com or call (408) 663-5278 for daily schedules, to sign up for classes and for all other information, including special promotions. On Tuesday nights, a family of up to four, such as the Rakows, can skate for $30.