Seasonal San Francisco Ice Skating Rinks
Ice Skating FAQ
Is there an ice skating season?
Sort of, but not really.
A lot of ice skating, including sports that take place on the ice, such as hockey and curling, takes place during the winter months. Or, more accurately, from fall through spring.
Outdoor ice skating rinks also only pop up in the winter, for obvious reason, giving ice skating a rather seasonal reputation.
However, many cities have indoor ice rinks, which stretches ice skating into a year-round activity.
And some well-known ice sports, like figure skating, have competitive seasons that span the entire year.
Is ice skating hard?
Ice skating combines ultra-thin blades and a slippery surface, so it can be a little bit tricky.
But if you have decent balance and the will to learn, you’ll be fine… eventually.
What should you wear ice skating?
Indoors or outdoors, ice skating is a chilly activity, so you’ll want to wear enough clothing to keep warm.
You’ll also want to wear clothes that are comfortable and don’t impede your movement.
(Assuming, you really want to get into the physicality of skating. If you’re just going for a glide around a seasonal rink, you’ll be fine in jeans.)
From a purely logistical perspective (don’t take this as fashion advice!), you should wear the following things to ice skate:
- Long, flexible pants (or jeans, if you’re leisure skating)
- Two long-sleeve shirts (one thick, one thin)
- Coat or jacket
- Thin non-cotton socks
- Helmet or hat
Just keep in mind, when dressing to ice skate, it matters a lot whether you’re indoors or outdoors.
Indoor rinks don’t get real weather, so, though they’re cold, you will never have to contend with wind or precipitation.
Outdoor rinks do get real weather, and windchill and humidity can make a big difference in how many layers (and the types of materials) you’ll need to feel warm.
As for helmets, we think they’re a good idea for everyone, but especially for new skaters and younger children.
What should you bring ice skating?
Along with your cold weather accessories and helmet, you should bring water with you to ice skate.
We always recommend bringing water along for outdoor physical activity at any time of year.
How much is ice skating?
Ice skating typically has two separate pricing components – rink admission and the skate rental fee.
If you have your own skates, most rinks (though, not all of them) charge a lesser amount for admission alone.
The price to skate also varies depending on how long you want to skate. (Admissions at most ice rinks are for set periods of time.)
For the minimum admission time (1-2 hours, in general), the price for both admission and skate rental will run you $10 or more (but it can go a lot higher).
Temporary ice rinks (like those set up for the holidays) are quite similar in price to more permanent rinks, but generally give you less time on the ice for your money.
You can also buy an annual pass to most permanent rinks, which, if you’re dedicated skater, is by far the best deal.
What are appropriate ages for ice skating?
Kids around 4 or 5 years old are better equipped to learn the techniques of ice skating and to endure falls than younger children, which means they will be safer and have a better time.
So, we think the best age range for ice skating is:
5 to 60
Note: That’s not say people over 60 can’t or shouldn’t ice skate, but a fall on ice can be a hard fall, so we do advise older adults to consider their fitness levels and history with injury before jumping into a pair of skates.