Outdoor rinks open in time for Christmas

Published 6:57 am Wednesday, December 23, 2009

For all the Apollo Anton Ohnos, Michelle Kwans and Wayne Gretzkys in Austin, Wednesday is a big day.

That’s when Kaufman Park’s warming house is opening for the season and outdoor skating in town begins.

Kaufman will be open for free to skaters between 6 and 9 p.m. Starting Thursday, Galloway Park will join the mix, and both rinks will be open from 1 to 4 in the afternoon on Christmas Eve.

Parks and recreation director Kim Underwood said outdoor ice skating is a great family activity during the holiday season.

“It’s free; it’s fun,” she said.

But if the outdoors isn’t really your thing, there is indoor skating, too. Austin-area public skates are held at Packer Arena, and cost $4 per skater, or $5 with a skate rental.

During the Christmas weekend, there will be open skates on Saturday from 3:45 to 5:15 p.m. and on Sunday from 1 to 2:30, Underwood said.

The parks and recreation director said people who want to skate indoors more often can purchase season passes. Those cost $65 for a couple. Additional family members can be tacked on for $5, and Underwood said passes are great bargains.

Austin outdoor skating schedule

Kaufman Park

Wed., Dec. 23: 6 to 9 p.m.

Thur., Dec. 24: 1 to 4 p.m.

Dec. 26-Jan. 3: 1 to 5 and 6 to 9 p.m.

Jan. 4 and after: Mon-Fri, 6 to 9 p.m.; Sat-Sun, 1 to 5 and 6 to 9 p.m.

Galloway Park

Thur., Dec. 24: 1 to 4 p.m.

Dec. 26-Jan. 3: 1 to 5 and 6 to 9 p.m.

Jan. 4 and after: Fri, 6 to 9 p.m.; Sat-Sun, 1 to 5 and 6 to 9 p.m.

There are also land rinks at Sherman and South Grove parks open during daylight hours. These do not have warming houses.