Broomball, ice skating, curling and ice hockey fans, never fear, when it comes to skating in the Greater Los Angeles area, you’re covered. From November through January you can even skate outdoors in downtown L.A.’s Pershing Square. Picking a venue will depend on your skating proficiency, your personal budget, league fees, quality of the ice, the commuting time and a number of additional factors, but there is certain to be at least one ice skating venue on this list to get you skating this season. These are the best places to hit the ice in Los Angeles.
Toyota Sports Center
North Nash Street
El Segundo, CA 90245
The 135,000-square-foot Toyota Sports Center in El Segundo is the official practice facility for the Los Angeles Kings, the 2012 Stanley Cup winners, as well as the Los Angeles Lakers, so if you’re an NHL or NBA fan, this is an excellent place to hang out and watch your favorite players. Enjoy three NHL rinks, a full service restaurant (The Center Cafe), TSC Hockey & Skate Pro Shop and a fitness center that’s open from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. This is a great venue for hockey and ice skating tuition — it boasts a huge roster of coaches —school fundraisers and kids’ birthday parties with plenty of ice time set aside for the general public. Jason Morrell, owner of the Internet-based LA Hockey Meetup group and an avid skater for the past two decades, said he loves this venue though he also offered a number of great alternatives. “The best would be Toyota Sports Center and Bay Harbor (Skating Edge). I also skate at Burbank (Pickwick), Culver City and Valley Ice.”
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Culver Ice Arena
4545 Sepulveda Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90230
Culver City Arena is an older ice rink that is beginning to show its age. The arena’s gently decaying ambiance tends to get mixed reviews when it comes to the restaurant and restroom facilities, but the rink invariably scores well for the quality of its ice.The Ice Arena offers moonlight skating on Saturday evenings from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. for just $10 a head (including skate rental) making the venue a great date-night destination.
Palos Verdes Ice Chalet
550 Deep Valley Drive
Rolling Hills Estates, CA USA 90274
Palos Verdes Ice Chalet promises a custom-built, state-of-the-art ice skating facility that provides public skating as well as adult and youth hockey leagues, hockey clinics, skate camps, figure skating and ice skating tuition. The rink is a little on the small side, but it remains a great destination for recreational skating. New ice makes this the perfect low-budget option for any skater.
Skating Edge Ice Arena
23770 S. Western Ave.
Harbor City, CA 90710
With Broomball, party rooms, hockey leagues, figure skating, ice dancing and a skating school, the Harbor City Skating Edge Ice Arena has something for everyone. As a long-standing community business, the rink is smaller than some and the decor a little dated, but the ice is always in tip-top condition. It seems daft to remind skaters that it can be cold on the ice, but this rink is particularly cold. Bundle up accordingly.
Pasadena Ice Skating Center
300 E. Green St.
Pasadena, CA 91101
The Pasasdena Ice Skating Center — which opened a brand new facility in September 2011 — hosts a variety of ice sport programs, from public skating sessions and ice skating tuition to birthday parties and hockey clinics. This is a new rink with great ice, but if you want to avoid the car parking fee ($9 day rate or $7 with validation), park on the street. If this one doesn’t work, skaters based out in the Inland Empire may grab a set of blades and head over to Danny Kwan’s Center Ice Arena in Ontario, Calif., a great venue that received two thumbs up from local expert David Kent, a junior coach and 11-year skating veteran.
Julian Gothard is an internationally published freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. You can check out his popular RVing and travel column at Examiner.com.