Ice Skating and Other Wintry Delights in Santa Monica
November 22, 2013
SANTA MONICA, US – Los Angeles has been experiencing a cold snap this week (yes, that means it’s gotten down to the brisk 60s!), but certainly the city can’t claim much of a “real” winter. The lack of snow and ice, however, doesn’t stand in the way of Angelenos seeking chilly thrills. This being the land of masterful illusion (hello, Hollywood), outdoor ice rinks pop up this time of year that rely on technology, not Mother Nature, to maintain the frozen surface.
One of the more popular ice skating spots is the outdoor rink at 5th Street and Arizona Avenue in Santa Monica (affectionately named ICE), and it just opened for the season on November 21. Sure, it’s no Rockefeller Center (the iconic place for skating in New York), but there are ice skating lessons, hockey clinics with the LA Kings, and even late-night skating (until midnight on Saturdays). Plus, it’s a treat for the senses to be ice skating while smelling the salty sea air. Here are our favorite things to do nearby the rink−make a day (or night) of it!
See: Bergamot Station
This clutch of contemporary art galleries (plus the Santa Monica Museum of Art) is housed in an industrial-chic former Red Line trolley depot. Works on display range from furniture and sculpture to painting and photography while specialist design shops vend cutting-edge pieces from local and international artists. Stay with the wintry theme by checking out the “Winter Spirit” exhibit at the Schomburg Gallery (December 7-21).
Spa: Dermalogica on Montana
If your skin is chapped from all that ice skating, find relief at this specialty skincare spa. The expert clinicians at the “Skin Bar” will evaluate your skin with custom “Face Mapping” and recommend some of their soothing, luxurious products expressly for your needs. You can also opt for an excellent facial or other treatment in one of the private pods. The clean, white, ultra-modern space is as pristine as a snowflake!
This is elegant Cal-French fare at its very best. Smoky purple walls, cream linens, and crystal chandeliers set the stage for a special-occasion meal. Warm up from skating with a table by the fireplace, a selection from the excellent wine list, and hearty seasonal dishes like Liberty duck or lobster bolognese. For dessert, the molten apple tart is sure to thaw you out from tongue to toes.
Cocktail: Cameo Bar
Hop from the skating rink to the poolside at this stylish bar in the Viceroy Santa Monica hotel. The poolside cabanas are ultra plush, with oversized armchairs and sofas. If you want to be a little more toasty, head inside to soak up the eye-catching green-on-white Hollywood Regency décor. Order one of the stellar signature cocktails and toast the fact that the only ice you really have to contend with in LA is the stuff in your glass!
Read more about these and other venues in our Los Angeles Guide.