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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica

By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

November 3, 2016 -- Holiday ice skating returns Thursday to Santa Monica, celebrating its 10th birthday in the balmy breezy climes of the beach city with swirling faux snow at what is, normally, a downtown parking lot.

A popular novelty for winter-challenged Southern California, the 8,000-square-foot rink of real ice at the corner of 5th Street and Arizona Avenue opens at 2 p.m.

Closing day for the rink is January 17.

ICE at Santa Monica by Downtown Santa Monica Inc. this season includes a birthday bash on November 10 that will feature a giant cake styled and iced after the rink itself, a spokesperson said. It serves 300 people (so arrive early). It is from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Free food stations will be staffed by Pono Burger, Lemonade, Sweetgreen, Bowl of Heaven and Yogurtland.

The party also includes an interactive wintry-themed photo-booth, live t-shirt screen-printing and souvenirs.

Athough the party is free, downtown officials are asking that guests bring a new unwrapped gift or gift card to support the PAL Best Gift Ever Toy Drive.

The idea of setting up the outdoor ice-skating rink as a winter wonderland was considered risky at first, especially in a locale so well known for its sunny views of the Pacific and its distinctive Southern California beach-city vibe.

“The first year was a big experiment,” Kathleen Rawson, DTSM’s chief executive officer, told the Lookout in 2014. “We didn’t know what would happen, if people would come by or if it would even draw a crowd."

Last season the rink attracted more than 59,000 skaters and hosted 126 birthday celebrations in the cabanas that line the perimeter, officials said.

This year, ICE at Santa Monica is also marking its 10th anniversary with music genre-themed skate parties each Thursday, said Ryan Porter of the Jeff Wagner Agency, which helps handle publicity for DTSM Inc.

The “ICE Grooves” are from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. each Thursday throughout the season and include everything from “Disco Fever” on November 17 to “Motown Funk,” “80s Vice” “Beatles vs Bowie” and an “Indie Rock Festival” on January 12.

Admission with skate rental is $15.

Rink hours are from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m., Monday through Thursday; 2 p.m. until midnight on Friday; 10 a.m. until midnight on Saturday; and 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Sunday.

More information can be found on Downtown Santa Monica's blog:

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