Just call me Michelle Kwan, Nancy Kerrigan (pre-Tonya Harding incident), or Sasha Cohen. Or don’t, because let’s be honest, I couldn’t do a triple sow cow to save my life.
But in an interest of getting into the holiday spirit and well, making a complete fool out of myself and catching it on film, I recently channelled my inner Michelle, Nancy and Sasha as my family and I took to the ice at the Hotel Del Coronado’s “Skating by the Sea,” their annually constructed ice skating rink. And for always wanting to skate around at NYC’s Rockefeller Plaza, I must say, The Del’s rendition is the next best thing. The Big Apple may boast a lot of things, but where San Diego has it beat is the fact that this skating rink is literally a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. Let’s be honest, where else in this great country of ours can you ice skate beach side?
Starting the day before Thanksgiving and running through New Year’s Day, The Del transforms their back lawn into a Winter Wonderland. For $25 (for adults, $20 for kids ages 10 and under), tourists and locals alike can enjoy up to a three-hour session of skating, with part of the proceeds going to the Make-a-Wish Foundation of San Diego. Getting into the Holiday spirit and helping a great cause? Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
On our adventure, not only did my family and I had a wonderful time, I must also boast that, though there were a few close calls, all three of us managed to avoid falling (insert applause here)! The staff was very helpful in providing our proper-sized skates and though the weekends tend to be particularly busy this time of year, the rink was pleasantly not overcrowded (which was an added bonus for me as I tended to hug closely to the wall for added support).
As I gazed around at my fellow skaters, I couldn’t help but notice the myriad of age ranges and walks of life. There were Moms and Dads with their children (much like my own), making a Holiday memory. There were couples on a romantic date (this is a great date idea, fellas). There was even a group of pre-teen girls who I can only assume were on a Birthday outing. No matter the age or the level of ice skating expertise (although, I will say it was a bit humbling being shown up by the lady performing her own ice dancing show), every single person on that rink had a smile from ear to ear. And with upbeat music playing nearby to accompany the swooshing of the skates gliding along the ice, how could you not slap on a silly grin?
And if all of that time on the ice has made you a little chilly after your session, there is even a nearby coffee stand with an assortment of warm beverages and treats to reheat you in no time.
So while San Diego’s version of winter may never bring us any real snow, it’s still nice to pretend. And pretend you can all month long at the Hotel Del Coronado’s “Skating by the Sea.” Because as I said before, where else in the country can you ice skate while gazing at views of the Pacific Ocean?
A few friendly tips:
Ladies, I suggest you bring an over-the-shoulder purse on your expedition as there are not any lockers or cubbies to store your valuables. Also, it can get chilly down by the water (and on the ice itself), so I also suggest bringing an extra layering piece or scarf to keep your body nice and toasty. And finally, just like with bowling, these ice skates have been worn by many a skater before you, so please, don’t forget your socks!
November 23-December 16 (closed December 14)
Daily: 2 p.m.-5 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Weekend and Holiday Matinee: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
December 17 -January 1, 6 p.m.-8 p.m.
Daily: 2 p.m. -5 p.m. and 6 p.m.-9 p.m.
Daily Matinee: 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
Hotel Del Coronado “Skating by the Sea”
1500 Orange Avenue
Coronado, CA 92118
COST: Adults: $25/3-hour session.
Children (10 and under): $20/3-hour session
Daily Matinee (2-hour session): Adults: $20
Children (10 and under): $15