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WinterSkate, downtown Saint Paul’s annual outdoor ice skating venue, opened this past weekend for the start of the holiday season. WinterSkate is a great way to experience Downtown Saint Paul, particularly during the holidays. We visit WinterSkate a number of times each year. My kids have honed their skills on this ice, especially early in the season when other outdoor rinks are unavailable. We’ll bring grandparents and other guests to enjoy the surroundings and watch our kids strut their stuff. With the amazing architecture in this area, the sound of holiday music and a diversity of participants, this is one of the more unique places to be in the Twin Cities.
The mechanically chilled sheet of ice, located in the shadows of the beautiful Landmark Center in Landmark Plaza, is available for free public skating all winter through the Saint Paul Winter Carnival. No skates? Don’t worry, skates are available to rent for only $2. Open skating is available from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the week, and open later on weekends, 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, 9 p.m. on Sunday. A warming house offers beverages and snacks.
In addition to WinterSkate, Rice Park, located kitty corner from the ice rink, is decorated in full holiday glory this time of year, featuring a gigantic Christmas tree adorned with 15,000 LED lights.
Although WinterSkate and Rice Park are destinations of and by themselves, our family parlays outdoor skating Downtown with visits to nearby coffee shops, one of our favorite restaurants, or shopping at Macy’s or another our other preferred shops such as Heimie’s Haberdashery. Also, special events take place throughout the holidays that make Downtown Saint Paul a unique place in December. Landmark Center offers the Holiday Bazaar in the main cortile, December 1-3. Saint Paul’s multiple theaters offer great shows this time of year, including the Ordway‘s Cinderella.
For more information on WinterSkate with directions and links to other things to see and do in Saint Paul, go to wellsfargowinterskate.com.