By Emily G. Peters
For many, the start of November signifies the official sanction for holiday music and decorations. An alternative for some holiday cheer? A spin around Pasadena Ice Skating Center.
Standing sentinel in Pasadena since 1976, the center was remodeled in 2011 and now resides beneath a snowy tent on the grounds of Pasadena’s Convention Center. The NHL regulation-size rink is open seven days a week, 365 days a year, and has even launched the careers of Olympic medalists like Sasha Cohen and Hockey Hall of Famer Angela Ruggiero.
Run by general manager Randy Winship and a team of skating aficionados, the center offers respite in the oft-boiling San Gabriel Valley. Year-long ice sports are offered to participants as young as 3, including hockey, figure skating, even ice soccer and broomball. Winship himself is no stranger to the ice.
“I started skating in high school so I could perform in a professional ice show,” he said. “Since then, I have had ice skating jobs in 19 countries in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. I have been a coach for over 40 years, as well as an international competition director, judge, and referee.”
While the rink is certainly a home base for budding athletes, it’s memorable outing for any skill level—especially this time of year.
“We are one of the few rinks that offer public skating sessions seven days a week. We’re open an average of 20 hours a day, and have extended public skate times during holidays,” said Winship. Holiday specials are available in December, and party packages can even come with an intro lesson so guests get the most out of their skating extravaganza.
The action never really dies down around here. Open an average of 20 hours per day with more than 50 coaches on staff, its status as an athletic hub in Pasadena is undeniable.
“We provide private ice sessions for our 30-team adult in-house hockey league, Pasadena Maple Leafs (youth hockey association), Pasadena Figure Skating Club, Rose City Crystals synchronized skating teams, the Hollywood Curling Club, USC Figure Skating Club and USC Ice Girls,” said Winship. “We also host several commercial, photo, and film shoots throughout the year.”
As the only ice skating rink in San Gabriel Valley, the pedigree of the Pasadena Ice Skating Center is just one more thing that makes this area so special.
“Skating in SoCal continues to increase in popularity. We’re seeing more skaters of all ages take to the ice to enjoy and benefit from the exercise, learn new skills, meet their friends, and have fun at the ‘Coolest Place in Pasadena,’” said Winship. “Even after 40 years, I still get a thrill seeing new skaters enjoy their first time on ice!”
Pasadena Ice Skating Center is located at 300 E. Green Street in Pasadena and is open year-round. To learn more about Pasadena Ice Skating Center, contact them at www.skatepasadena.com | 626.578.0800 | firstname.lastname@example.org and follow on Facebook @skatepasadena.