It’s one of our favorite yuletide scenes: The Peanuts gang twirls happily around an ice-covered pond. In The Nightmare Before Christmas, Jack Skellington visits a hockey rink for vampires. Manhattan-based telefilms linger over kids and their parents skating beneath the fluttering flags of Rockefeller Center. Until this month, however, aspiring skate champions had to travel to Tacoma to spend time on the ice. That ends Friday, Nov. 16, with the soft opening of Oly on Ice, a project launched by City of Olympia’s Parks, Arts and Recreation department and presented by Olympia Auto Mall. A grand-opening event is scheduled for the noon hour on Sunday, Nov. 25.
The covered, 4,000-square-foot rink will grace Isthmus Park, the Fourth-Avenue public space created by the razing of two derelict county offices in 2015. Figure and hockey skates will be available for rental, plus double-runner skates for toddlers. Weekend vendors include coffee and hot-chocolate stands. Thursday-night events include Ballet Northwest’s Nutcracker on Ice, Pride Night with Pizza Klatch, the South Sound Reading Foundation’s “Wizards on Ice,” Capital High School Chamber Choir, “Fairy Tale Night” from Glitter & Suede Events and an Olympic Cards & Comics tribute to superheroes.
“We’re really excited about this,” says Paul Simmons, director of Parks, Arts and Recreation. “We think it has the potential to have a big impact on the community and on the downtown, and hopefully give people a new holiday tradition to enjoy.” Expect Oly on Ice to appear in a significant fraction of all Instagram photos taken in Thurston County next month.
The rink will be closed on Thanksgiving but offers special hours Christmas Eve (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.), Christmas Day (noon – 6 p.m.), New Year’s Eve (10 a.m. – 6 p.m.) and New Year’s Day (10 a.m. – 9 p.m.). A 10-visit pass can be obtained for $89, and parking spots have been reserved for skaters in Isthmus Park’s bookending lots.
Oly on Ice
3:30-9 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays, 3:30-10 p.m. Fridays, Nov. 16 – Dec. 18 and Jan. 3 and 4; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Fridays, Dec. 19 – Jan. 2; 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturdays, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sundays, Nov. 16 – Jan. 6
529 Fourth Ave. W, Olympia