As the winter chill creeps closer and the days are getting shorter, you may find yourself wanting to stay inside the warmth of your own home. But this year the City of Olympia is encouraging the community to come out and have some fun with Oly on Ice, a seasonal ice rink in downtown Olympia.

Oly on Ice rink construction
Propel Construction finished their building preparations at the end of October before the ice was brought in. Photo credit: Stephani Hemness

The temporary holiday rink is scheduled to be open from November 16 through January 6 at the Isthmus Park in downtown Olympia. The ice rink is organized and hosted by the City of Olympia’s Parks, Arts & Recreation department, and presented by The Olympia Auto Mall.

Local families are already excited about the rink. “I’ve got two young children and we are all very active,” shares local parent Kelli Mae Willis. “The ice rink will be an activity we can enjoy in the rainy season. Giving families more reasons to come downtown is always a good thing.”

This covered ice rink is a fun way to bring the community together during an otherwise less active time of year. At 100 feet long by 40 feet wide, the rink will be able to host up to 125 people at a time. And it will be professionally installed and managed by Ice Rink Events, a national company that has hired local seasonal staff to run the rink.

Oly on Ice Ice developing 3
The temporary rink at Oly on Ice is 100 feet long by 40 feet wide with excellent views of the Capitol building. Here, the ice is developing. It will be smooth as glass by November 16.
Photo courtesy: City of Olympia’s Parks, Arts & Recreation

The official Grand Opening event for Oly on Ice will take place at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 25 as part of Downtown for the Holidays. Live music, skating demos, and special presentations will make this a celebratory evening to attend the rink and welcome a new holiday tradition to the community.

Before local schools go on winter break, the rink will be open to the public for reduced hours, but available for school field trips and private rentals during the day. “I am excited to share this active experience with my students, many of whom will be getting on the ice for the very first time,” says Lincoln Elementary teacher Angela Hannah. “I can think of no better way to celebrate winter within our learning community than a field trip to our own local ice rink.”

In addition to offering ample time for skating fun, Oly on Ice will also host weekly theme nights each Thursday, partnering with various local groups to add some extra magic to the winter festivities. The first will be Nutcracker on Ice on November 29 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Meet and greet with characters from this year’s production of The Nutcracker with Ballet Northwest. Co-artistic director Ken Johnson says that they wanted to be a part of the ice rink because it is a great thing for the community and an exciting addition to the holiday festivities.

December 6 is Pride Night hosted by Pizza Klatch, another fun evening for both youth and adults. “This is a good opportunity for our students to get together outside of school for an activity and have fun as a group,” says Pizza Klatch program manager Brett Rader.

Oly on Ice indoor ice rink
Oly on Ice will be open from November 16 to January 6. The rink is professionally managed by Ice Rink Events. Photo credit: Stephani Hemness

Other themed Thursday events include Wizards on Ice with the South Sound Reading Foundation and Downtown Ambassadors, Ugly Sweater Night with the Capital High School Chamber Choir, and Super Hero Night with Olympic Cards and Comics.

Glitter and Suede Events will host Fairytale Night on December 27. Bring the kids for a photo with Anna, Elsa, Darth Vader and other beloved characters, plus face painting and balloons to top off the fun.

“Our family is so excited about the skating rink,” says Olympia parent Jane Zemel. “We really try to keep our kids as active as possible, and as the weather turns more cold and wet, it’s a big challenge to get out and have fun. The ice will be such a great opportunity to get moving when the playgrounds are not as easy for play. As new Olympia residents, I’m also looking forward to this possibly becoming an annual tradition, something special the kids will remember in growing up here.”

Ice skating is perfect for date night, a family outing, or fun with friends during the holiday season. Though there is no guarantee of winter snow in Thurston County, this year there will be guaranteed ice and the chance to begin new traditions.

To view the full program events calendar as well as hours, ticket rates, and other details about the rink, visit OlyOnIce.com.

Oly on Ice
Isthmus Park Olympia
529 4th avenue W, Olympia

Hours November 16 – December 19
Monday – Friday: 3:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sundays: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Hours December 19 – January 2
Monday – Friday: 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sundays: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.

Oly on Ice Rink hours
Photo courtesy: City of Olympia’s Parks, Arts & Recreation

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