Celebrate the holidays with pop-up ice rink in downtown Sunnyvale

The ice rink in downtown Sunnyvale

Kaylee Flores

The ice rink in downtown Sunnyvale

On a chilly November night, the Winter Ice Rink in downtown Sunnyvale opened on Murphy Street. The tickets are $15 for an ice skating session, including skate rental.

Visitors can purchase tickets for a one-hour time slot with cashless payments through QR codes and the website. Visitors are also offered ways to purchase tickets on entry and rent lockers during their ice skating session.

“I never had the opportunity to ice skate growing up,” said Tatianna Ramon, visitor. “This was an affordable experience and it was exciting to have a location so close to home.”

After showing proof of vaccination upon entry and scanning tickets, visitors can pick up their sanitized skates and get on the ice. The ice rink is also sanitized between ice skating sessions.

The penguin-shaped skate helpers for children (Kaylee Flores)

Skating sessions are enjoyable for people of all ages and beginner skaters, with skate helpers shaped like penguins for children to lean on and assist in skating.

“Everyone gets to interact with families. We also help out the little ones, make sure everyone’s safe and make sure their skates are tied up,” said Rebecca Iofis, 20, assistant manager at the Winter Ice Rink, and TV/film animation major at De Anza College.

The environment was friendly as music played while visitors skate on the ice. There is an employee on the ice at all times to help ensure the safety of skaters.

Employees also all know how to ice skate and give tips to new learners.

“I’m a very outdoorsy person and I like to interact, so it doesn’t feel like a job that much,” said Rebecca Heymann, 18, host at the Winter Ice Rink, and communications major at De Anza.

The workers were accommodating, ensuring that skaters got the right size skates and that visitors have a safe experience on the ice.

“We have a host on the ice, and we have another host at the skate rental,” Heymann said.

The company providing the Winter Ice Rink also hosts pop-ups in San Francisco and San Jose.

“It’s technically an entertainment business because it’s under Willie B. Tech Productions, which is this company that hosts pop up ice rinks in Downtown San Jose, Union Square and here,” Iofis said. “They also do on ice productions like the characters on ice.”

The skating session at 6:30 p.m. on Sunday wasn’t very crowded, with plenty of space for skaters of all experience to enjoy the rink. Skating sessions in the early afternoon often sell out, with crowds thinning out during the night sessions.

“We are open for the holidays. It’s gonna be pretty flooded by that time because that’s when it’s going to be most popular,” Iofis said.

The Winter Ice Rink in downtown Sunnyvale will be open through Jan. 2.