By Alec Clayton
Walking, driving or biking to the West Side from downtown Olympia, there’s a large white tent in the lot between Fourth and Fifth Avenues across from Capital Lake in one direction and from Bayview Market in the other. Bright lights and fun music stream from it — a fun mix of pop and rock or some Christmas music . Peeking inside, one sees people of all ages ice skating, couples dancing on the ice or holding hands and circling the rink, beginners struggling joyfully to stay on their feet. It’s Oly on Ice, the portable ice rink in that location every year about this time.
Oly on Ice is a joint venture of the City of Olympia and Ice Rink Events. It runs through Jan. 17, 2022.
“We had our first season of Oly on Ice in 2018, second in 2019, had to skip last year due to the pandemic,” said Anna Uyeda, marketing specialist for City of Olympia. “In the first two seasons we had over 20,000 skaters each, and we’ve been very pleased to see the community excited to have the rink back. And we’ve been just as busy as ever.”
As for the selection of music, Uyeda said, “We let the ice rink staff choose the music. Usually when I’m down there, they’ve got a fun mix of pop/rock going.”Special events will be added as the season continues, Uyeda says.
Oly on Ice will follow all local and state health guidance as required. All COVID-19 related considerations are subject to change as local and state health guidance evolves. Proof of vaccination is not required to enter the tent or to skate. All rink attendees and staff ages 5 and up are required to wear a mask at all times, with the following exceptions:
- Children under 5 do not need to be vaccinated.
- Children between 2 and 4 are strongly encouraged to wear masks while under the supervision and close assistance of an adult.
- People with medical, mental health or cognitive conditions, or disabilities that prevent wearing a face covering, are not required to do so.
- Attendees may remove masks while actively eating or drinking.
- Social distancing is encouraged but not required for all spectators. Occupancy limits are established by local fire code.
Tickets are for 75 minutes of skating time, which begins at the time of check-in. Tickets may be purchased online in advance, or on-site on a first-come/first served basis. Guests are highly encouraged to use the online option to ensure a reservation at the preferred time. Hours, information, answers to frequently asked questions and more can be found at olyonice.com.
Mondays and Tuesdays are “Cheap Skate” days each week, excluding winter break and holidays, with admission just $8 per person. “Sensory Friendly Skates,” when lights are kept low and music is turned off for skaters who need a mellower experience, are every Sunday from 10 to 11 a.m.
Oly on Ice
3:30-9 p.m. Mondays – Thursdays; 3:30-10 p.m. Fridays; 10 a.m. – 10 p.m. Saturdays; 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. Sundays; 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Christmas Eve and New Years Eve; noon – 6 p.m., Christmas Day; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. New Years Day and Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Jan. 17)
529 Fourth Ave. W, Olympia
$3-$12 (or an $89 season pass)