Want to go ice skating in Davis? Tough patooties. Like various snow sports, there just isn't any ice skating to be done in town. Unless you've got a really big freezer, you're going to have to travel a little bit.
Vacaville Ice Sports 551 Davis St Vacaville, CA 95688 (707) 455-0225
Near Brenden Theatres in Vacaville.
Sacramento and Beyond
Iceland Ice-Skating Rink
1430 Del Paso Blvd Sacramento, CA 95815 (916) 925-3121
Downtown Ice Rink
|701 K St|
|Sacramento, CA Map|
|Open Nov. 4 - Jan. 16|
|See the website (special holiday hours)|
|Mon-Thur 2pm - 8pm|
|Fri-Sat 10am -10pm|
|Sun 10am - 8pm|
The downtown rink is put on by Westfield, the big downtown mall. It's located at the corner of 7th and K Streets, at the east end of the Downtown Plaza. It opens annually in early November and closes mid-January. All skill levels show up, from beginners to Olympians. They see around 15,000 skaters each season. Prices as of the 2009-2010 season were $6 admission and $2 skate rentals. Skates can sometimes be fairly shoddy, so you may have to trade in the ones you get for something a bit better. They periodically call everyone off the ice to re-freeze it and smooth it out, since temperatures are typically above freezing in downtown Sacramento.
Getting there is easy. Take 80/50, stay on 50 into Sacramento, hop on I-5 Northbound, and exit J street. Go straight up J a couple blocks and hang a right on 7th. You're there! There's a city-owned parking garage entrance on the right. Parking is $1.50 each 1/2 hour, but you can get your parking validated at any store in the mall (try the Macy's just across the street from the rink). Validation makes the first 3 hours in the lot free (and it might make you feel better about yourself), and you don't have to buy anything (at least at Macy's) to get validated. The ice rink may or may not validate. It's also right on regional transit lines, and only 4 or 5 blocks from the downtown Amtrak station.
If you're looking for a bite to eat, the rink basically sits on the patio of a very tasty, pretty new (2011) Mexican restaurant called Antigua Cantina & Grill. The owner's extremely nice, the prices are reasonable, and the food is great. Try a chimichanga or, if you just want an appetizer, the excellent ceviche. There's also a Subway, a little dive bar, and an Afghan restaurant just across J Street between 7th and 8th. On 8th, just north of J, you can also find La Bonne Soup, a famous little hole in the wall that does gourmet soups and sandwiches. It's also only about 2 blocks to Pyramid Alehouse, just east on K Street—be aware, though, that it's not the nicest part of town, so you might not want to make the walk at night. If you are headed that way after dark, walk on J Street instead.
On Wednesday, November 2, 2011, I'm watching a Zamboni out the window putting a nice finish on the first layer of ice. It's odd seeing a Zamboni cruising around downtown Sacramento when it's over 70 degrees out, but I assume this means the rink will be open by the weekend, if not before. It's been interesting watching them put it together. They shut down a portion of the alley on the north side of the little square to store their equipment. Most days it looked like only 1-3 people were working on setting it up. I didn't pay close attention, but it looked like they marked the borders, laid down sheets of plastic, added the fence directly around the rink, then the ornamented fence around the edge, then put down whatever system of sheets they use to keep the ice frozen. They hang strands of lights across the square, and have a couple of free-standing flood lights that they use to light it at night. And as I type this, the guy in the Zamboni is doing donuts on the rink. Fun stuff! —TomGarberson
1009 Orlando Ave, Roseville, CA 95661 Phone: (916) 783-8550
In addition to the Downtown Plaza Ice Rink, Sacramento used to have an outdoor rink in Midtown at 1050 20th St. from November through January. Admission was $8 for adults and $5 for children, and skate rentals were $2. Its last season of operation was 2009-2010.