'Tis the season for BARTable ice skating rinks
Editor's note: This article was updated October 2019
Just because it's not very cold outside doesn't mean outdoor ice skating is out of the question. Check out these holiday ice rinks near BART.
Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square
Nothing says the holiday season has arrived like ice skating around San Francisco’s most glamorous shopping district in the shadow of a giant tree. And that’s exactly what you can do if you grab your mittens, lace up your skates and take BART to Powell Street to enjoy the Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square. The ice rink is open from Nov. 6 until Jan. 20.
Nearest BART: Powell Street
Walk time: 8 minutes
Location: Union Square
Hours: Daily, 10am to 11:30pm
Admission: $18 for adults, $13 for children (eight and under), $3 for locker rental
Visit unionsquareicerink.com for special events, including a polar bear skate on New Year’s Day — wear you finest beach attire and brave the cold — and the famous Union Square tree-lighting ceremony. The ice rink is the best spot to see the tree. Tickets for the ice skating session during the November 23 tree-lighting tend to sell out quickly, but you can avoid the lines by buying tickets for other skating sessions through Eventbrite.
The Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center
Celebrate the holidays in San Francisco at the Bay Area's largest outdoor ice rink. Ride BART to Embarcadero Station and walk 4 minutes to the twinkle-lit holiday ice rink across from the historic Ferry Building. The ice rink is open from Nov. 5 until the first week of January.
Nearest BART: Embarcadero
Walk time: 4 minutes
Location: The plaza across from the Ferry Building
Hours: Sunday-Thursday, 10am-9:30pm; Friday-Saturday, 10am-11:30pm
Admission: $12 for adults, $7 for children (seven and under), $5 for skate rentals
Be sure to check online to see if the rink is closed for private events.
Walnut Creek on Ice
If the East Bay is your place, there’s BARTable skating for you, too. Walnut Creek on Ice is open Nov. 9 until Jan. 21. Take BART to Walnut Creek and catch County Connection Route 4, affectionately known to locals as the “Free Ride Trolley.” Yes, the trolley ride is free and drops you off right at the rink. The Trolley schedule is online here.
Nearest BART: Walnut Creek, and transfer to the "Free Ride Trolley"
Location: Civic Park, 1365 Civic Drive
Hours: Monday-Thursday, Noon-8pm; Friday, Noon-11pm; Saturday, 11am-11pm; Sunday, 11am-8pm
Admission: $13 Monday-Friday before 5pm; $15 Friday at 5pm through Sunday; $15 Nov. 10, 11, 22-Dec. 1, 20-Jan. 6, and Jan. 20
Be sure to visit on Family Skate Nights: a family of four skates for $35, including admission and skate rentals. For more information, a complete schedule of special events and more visit Walnut Creek on Ice.
Winter Park Ice Rink at Civic Center
In it's second year, the newest winter-themed wonderland is coming back to San Francisco. The Winter Park Ice Rink at Civic Center is scheduled to open Nov. 22. It's San Francisco's holiday ice rink and track, which includes a 400-foot skating track weaving through a lighted tree forest. The rink is in Civic Center Plaza, right in front of San Francisco City Hall.
Location: In front of San Francisco City Hall
Hours: Daily, noon-10pm
Admission: $18 for adults; $13 for children ages 8 and under