Skating is a favorite winter pastime in places like Minneapolis, Buffalo and, perhaps most famously, New York’s Rockefeller Center. But who would have thought it would be popular in sunny Los Angeles, where daytime temperatures average a balmy 67 degrees in January?
Celebrating its 20th year, the downtown Holiday Ice Rink at Pershing Square is the biggest of a half-dozen outdoor rinks in the area.
Open from Nov. 15 to mid-January, the 7,200-square-foot rink hosts about 54,000 skaters and 450,000 spectators each season. And in a twist on polar bear plunges where hearty souls immerse themselves in frigid lakes and oceans, skaters at Pershing Square are encouraged to show up in swimming attire on New Year’s Day for the Polar Bear Skate.
The facility offers the usual rink-side amenities; the only difference is that skaters get to drink their cocoa under a palm tree.