Winter in Downtown Santa Monica
For the past 11 years, Downtown Santa Monica has brought the spirit of winter and the holidays to the usually beach themed town. Nov. 8, 2017, marked the Grand Opening Celebration of Ice at Santa Monica with free admission, ice skating, and food for all attendees.
The event brought in local Santa Monica families, couples, and teens all clad in Los Angeles winter gear. Children flooded the smaller “Tot Spot” rink while on the main rink, couples held hands to keep their balance steady and to steal the occasional frosty kiss under the colorful overhanging lanterns. Later in the evening, the skaters were surprised with faux “foam-snow” sprinkling down into the rink and on to the their amazed faces. The DJ was set up at the main rink providing up-beat electronic music to keep up with the high energy of the celebration.
Outside of the rink, local restaurants like Lemonade Santa Monica and Red O provided bite sized samples of their food. Yogurtland provided free samples of their yogurt, which was popular despite the chilly temperature. Families and friends lined up to take stop-motion sequenced pictures at the photo booth. Children also had the opportunity to take pictures with Disney Princesses, Princess Arielle, Ana, Elsa, and Belle. Dawn Smith, who was dressed as Princess Belle, is the owner of Pacific Princess Parties and makes all the colorful dresses for the princesses. Smith and friends greeted families as they walked in to the winter wonderland.
When asked about the origin of the ice skating rink, Mackenzie Carter, Director of Marketing and Communication for Downtown Santa Monica stated, "Santa Monica Place was closing for a remodel and we wanted something extra for people to do during the holiday season... since the mall was closed." Its purpose was to provide something for the community to do during the holidays. Operating cost for the rink is $875,000 and it faces the daily problem of direct sunlight and the threat of melting, but the organizers counter the issue with constant running chillers set up to keep things cool.
Ice at Santa Monica is located on 4th and Arizona and will be open from now until January 15, 2018. More info about hours can be found on downtownsm.com.