Open-air ice skating rinks to begin operation across Valley

Nov 20, 2014, 4:00 PM | Updated: 4:21 pm
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PHOENIX — The weather is cooling, turkeys are being bought and lights are being put up. The holiday season is beginning in earnest in the Phoenix area, and with it comes several open-air ice skating rinks.

At least two rinks will open this week — one in Scottsdale and one in Phoenix.

A 6,000-square-foot rink is scheduled to open Thursday at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess resort near Scottsdale Road and the Loop 101.

Austin Slapnicka said the rink is open to the public and people get 90 minutes of skating time and other holiday entertainment when they buy a ticket.

“We also have fire pits around the areas so people can hang out, watch the ice skaters and do s’mores,” he said. “We have over a couple million lights on property so there a lot of different light shows … we also have Santa Claus on the weekends.”

Slapnicka said there is also a Christmas train that runs from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and a carrousel.

Scottsdale isn’t the only city with outdoor winter fun. CityScape’s 5,442-square-foot outdoor rink in downtown Phoenix is scheduled to open Saturday.

“We’re excited about this year’s ice rink, it’s a little bit bigger and better,” said Eric Johnson, economic development program director with the city of Phoenix. “We’re excited to see how many people will come down and enjoy that activity.”

The Phoenix rink welcomed about 30,000 people last year and Johnson said the city expects about 50,000 to hit the ice this year.

“It draws people into downtown that weren’t typically going to be down here,” he said. “Hopefully then they’ll stop by for a cup of coffee, or get something to eat or go shopping in one of the stores in the downtown area.”

Tickets for the Scottsdale rink are $15 for adults and $10 for kids. Parking is extra.

Tickets in Phoenix are $12 for adults, $10 for students and $6 for those in the military, seniors and kids under 4. Tickets include a free skate rental.

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Open-air ice skating rinks to begin operation across Valley