Ultimate Guide to Santa Rosa Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in Winter

Winter in Santa Rosa isn’t just about cozy nights and hot cocoa; it’s also about gliding on ice under the open sky. I’ve always been fascinated by the charm of outdoor ice skating rinks, where laughter fills the air, and the world seems to slow down just a bit.

Santa Rosa offers some enchanting spots for ice skating enthusiasts like me, turning the city into a winter wonderland. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or someone who wobbles more than glides, these rinks welcome everyone with open arms.

History of Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks in Santa Rosa

As a fervent fan of ice skating, I’ve always been intrigued by the history behind the outdoor ice skating rinks in Santa Rosa. It’s not just about gliding on ice; it’s about a tradition that brings the community together during the chilly winter months. The story of how these rinks came to be is as heartwarming as a cup of hot cocoa after a long skating session.

The outdoor ice skating culture in Santa Rosa began over two decades ago. Back then, the idea of skating under the open sky, amidst the Californian winter, was novel and exciting. The first rink was a modest setup in the heart of the city, initiated by a group of skating enthusiasts who believed that the joy of ice skating shouldn’t be confined to the indoors. It didn’t take long for the community to embrace this delightful winter activity.

What started as a single rink expanded quickly. As the popularity of outdoor ice skating grew, so did the demand for more rinks. Year after year, more spaces were transformed into winter wonderlands, enticing not just locals but visitors from neighboring cities and states. These rinks have been more than just places to skate; they’ve become venues for holiday markets, winter festivals, and community gatherings, marking the season of togetherness and joy.

One might wonder about the challenges of maintaining ice in a region where winter isn’t overly harsh. Innovation and technology have played significant roles here. Modern refrigeration techniques have made it possible to keep ice solid and skate-worthy, even when the temperatures soar above what’s traditionally considered ideal for ice skating. This blend of passion and ingenuity has ensured that Santa Rosa’s outdoor rinks remain a staple of winter festivities, providing a unique experience that contrasts markedly with the warmer, sunnier days that characterize much of California’s climate.

Throughout the years, these outdoor rinks have woven themselves into the fabric of Santa Rosa’s winter culture. They stand as a testament to the city’s love for ice skating, showcasing how a simple idea can evolve into a cherished seasonal tradition. Every year, as the city transitions into winter, anticipation builds for the day the rinks open, signaling the start of a season filled with joy, laughter, and the magic of outdoor ice skating.

Top Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks to Visit

When winter rolls around in Santa Rosa, there’s nothing I love more than lacing up my skates and hitting the ice. Over the years, I’ve explored nearly every outdoor rink in and around our city, experiencing the magic each one offers. Here, I’m excited to share with you a few of my must-visit outdoor ice skating rinks. Trust me, you won’t want to miss these!

First up is Snoopy’s Home Ice. Nestled in the heart of Santa Rosa, this iconic rink is more than just a place to skate—it’s a piece of our town’s history. Open for over fifty years, it was affectionally named after Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts character. The quaint, Alpine-style architecture and the warm, inviting atmosphere make it a perfect spot for families and first-timers. Plus, their hot cocoa is a treat I always look forward to after a few rounds on the ice.

Next on my list is Frosty’s Winter Wonderland. Although it’s a newer addition to Santa Rosa’s outdoor skating scene, Frosty’s quickly became a favorite for its stunning decorations and lively music that set the perfect backdrop for evening skates. The rink is particularly magical during the holidays when the surrounding trees are lit up, and the air is filled with classic winter tunes.

Another gem is Winter’s Park Ice Rink, situated just a short drive from downtown. What makes Winter’s Park stand out is its picturesque setting, surrounded by rolling hills and majestic pines. It’s a bit larger than the others, offering more room for skaters of all levels to glide freely. You’ll often find local food trucks parked nearby, serving up delicious treats and warm drinks to keep you energized.

Here’s a quick comparison of the three rinks to help you decide which one to visit first:

Feature Snoopy’s Home Ice Frosty’s Winter Wonderland Winter’s Park Ice Rink
Atmosphere Warm and Inviting Lively and Magical Serene and Picturesque
Ideal For Families and Beginners Evening Skates Skaters of All Levels
Unique Offering Historical Significance Holiday Decorations Scenic Surroundings

Skating Schedule and Operating Hours

When I’m planning a visit to an outdoor ice skating rink in Santa Rosa, I always check the schedule and operating hours first. It’s essential to know when the ice is open for leisurely glides or if there are any special events that might affect general access. Each rink has its unique timetable and special offerings, adding to the charm and appeal of skating in this beautiful winter wonderland.

Snoopy’s Home Ice is a gem with a skating legacy tied to Charles Schulz himself. They’re open every day, offering plenty of opportunities for everyone to hit the ice. Weekdays see the rink open from 12 PM to 5 PM, while weekends extend the joy from 10 AM to 8 PM. They also host themed nights and special events, so I always keep an eye on their calendar for something extra fun.

At Frosty’s Winter Wonderland, the schedule is tailored to create a magical holiday vibe. Operating from late November through January, it’s like stepping into a festive fairy tale. Their hours are a bit later, starting at 2 PM and lasting until 9 PM on weekdays. On weekends, the wonderland comes alive from 11 AM, wrapping up at 10 PM. It’s perfect for an after-dinner skate under the twinkling lights.

Winter’s Park Ice Rink takes advantage of its natural setting, with hours that highlight the beauty of its surroundings. They open at 11 AM and close as the evening settles in at 7 PM, providing ample time to enjoy the scenic views. This schedule applies seven days a week, ensuring that everyone has a chance to experience its tranquility.

For a quick comparison of their schedules and to help plan your visit, here’s a breakdown:

Rink Name Weekdays Open Weekdays Close Weekend Open Weekend Close
Snoopy’s Home Ice 12 PM 5 PM 10 AM 8 PM
Frosty’s Winter Wonderland 2 PM 9 PM 11 AM 10 PM
Winter’s Park Ice Rink 11 AM 7 PM 11 AM 7 PM

Tips for Enjoying Ice Skating in Santa Rosa

Diving into the world of ice skating in Santa Rosa has taught me a few tricks to make each visit as magical as possible. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or stepping onto the ice for the first time, there’s always a way to elevate your experience. Here’s what I’ve learned along the way.

Dress Appropriately is the mantra I live by whenever I head out for a skating session. The key is to strike a balance between staying warm and ensuring mobility. I usually opt for layers that I can remove if I start to feel a bit warm after a few laps around the rink. Waterproof gloves are a lifesaver, not just for warmth but also for those inevitable falls on the ice.

Choosing the Right Time to Visit can drastically change your skating experience. If you prefer a quieter atmosphere to practice your moves, weekday mornings are usually less crowded. However, if you’re all about the festive vibe, evening sessions on weekends during Winter’s Park Ice Rink’s thematic nights are absolutely enchanting. The twinkling lights and seasonal music add an extra layer of magic to the experience.

For those who are Planning a Group Visit, coordinating can seem a tad daunting, but it’s worth the effort. Frosty’s Winter Wonderland offers group discounts, and there’s something truly special about skating under the stars with your closest friends or family. Make sure to check the schedule in advance and possibly book your slots if the rink requires it.

As I’ve spent more time on the ice, I’ve realized the importance of Skate Maintenance. If you own a pair of skates, keeping them sharp is crucial for a smooth experience. Most rinks, including Snoopy’s Home Ice, offer sharpening services. It’s a small task that makes a big difference in how you maneuver on the ice.

Lastly, Don’t Be Afraid to Take Lessons. Even if you’re not aiming to be the next Olympic figure skater, a lesson or two can enhance your confidence on the ice. Snoopy’s Home Ice and other rinks in Santa Rosa offer classes for different skill levels. A little professional guidance can go a long way in making your skating outings more enjoyable.

Safety Measures on the Ice

When it comes to enjoying the outdoor ice skating rinks in Santa Rosa during the chilly winter months, prioritizing safety isn’t just smart; it’s essential. I’ve gathered some key safety measures that’ll help ensure everyone has a fun and harm-free experience on the ice.

First off, wearing appropriate safety gear is non-negotiable. Even if you’re confident in your skating skills, accidents can happen, and the hard ice is unforgiving. Helmets are a must, especially for kids and beginners, but I recommend them for everyone, regardless of age or skill level. Wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads can also significantly reduce the risk of injuries from falls. It’s all about protecting yourself so you can enjoy the day without any worries.

Another crucial point is to stay aware of your surroundings. The rinks can get crowded, especially on weekends and holidays, making it easy to bump into someone or take a tumble. Always keep an eye out for other skaters and maintain a safe distance whenever possible. If you’re a beginner, try to stick to the rink’s edges where it’s easier to hold onto the sides for balance. It’s also typically less crowded there, giving you more space to get comfortable on the ice.

Understanding and respecting the rink rules is another safety pillar. Each rink has its own set of guidelines designed to keep everyone safe. These often include direction rules, like skating in a designated direction, and behavior rules, such as no roughhousing or speed skating in crowded areas. Not only do these rules help manage the flow of skaters, but they also minimize collisions and falls.

Finally, I can’t stress enough the importance of proper skate maintenance. Dull or damaged blades can make skating more difficult and dangerous. Before hitting the ice, always check that your skates are sharpened and in good condition. Many rinks offer sharpening services, so take advantage of that if needed. Well-maintained skates make a world of difference in ensuring a smooth and safe skating experience.


Exploring Santa Rosa’s outdoor ice skating rinks during winter has never been more exciting. With the tips and information I’ve shared, you’re all set for a memorable skating experience. Dressing right, picking the perfect time, and making the most of group discounts can truly elevate your visit. But remember, safety always comes first. Wearing the right gear and staying alert can make all the difference. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to polish your skills, taking lessons can boost your confidence and ensure you glide smoothly on the ice. So lace up those skates, embrace the chill, and get ready to make some wonderful winter memories in Santa Rosa. Happy skating!

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Ben Rutstein is the publisher of this website, he started traveling to northern California in 2014, and the Santa Rosa is one of his favorite places to visit, from that time onwards he has explored everything from visiting cafes to yoga in parks, local hikes.

He is known to drop everything at a moments notice for a visit to a winery or a visit to a park.

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