Editor’s note: Oregon’s COVID-19 restrictions have eased, but businesses may ask you to wear a face cover – bring one along and be patient and kind if asked to wear it. It’s also wildfire season – plan ahead and do your part to prevent wildfires.
For many the winter season just isn’t complete without spinning and twirling on an icy surface, letting out your inner figure-skating champ as you glide in circles around a rink. Oregon is home to a handful of outdoor skating rinks — a great way to get outside even during COVID-19, and an activity perfect for first-timers and skating pros alike. Here are some of the state’s outdoor ice rinks — with tips on where to warm up with a hot beverage when you’re all skated out.
Slick Winter Excursion in Bend
The Pavilion in downtown Bend is a covered open-air rink for you to lace up your skates and glide across a frozen surface. Space is limited this winter, so reservations are encouraged and can be made online up to 7 days in advance. There are no changing rooms or lockers, and there will be no helmet rentals or skate assists this year, so come ready to skate safely and with minimal belongings. Face coverings must be worn indoors, outdoors and while skating. Maintain social distance on the ice and follow signage to skate in one direction.
Another of Bend’s ice skating hot spots is Seventh Mountain Resort, which is outdoors and uncovered — making it the perfect location to skate around watching flurries fall from the sky. Reservations and face coverings are required. End your excursion at either of these rinks with a java kick at cozy local hangout Jackson’s Corner, and don’t forget to pick up a loaf of their fresh-baked bread for the ride home.
Frozen Fun in Sunriver
South of Bend, Sunriver Resort opens its covered open-air ice skating rink each winter, though reservations are required this winter for its four daily public sessions, each limited to 50 skaters. Skaters are required to wear face coverings and can anticipate a wait of 15 minutes outside prior to their session, so everyone is encouraged to bundle up. Additionally, spectators are not allowed in the lobby or warming areas, so make sure to dress warmly to watch the action.
Next to the skating rink is the Village at Sunriver, where you can warm up with coffee or hot chocolate at Hot Lava Baking & Coffee Co. While you’re there, pick up one of their famous cinnamon twists to make the day extra sweet.
Family Skating Outing in Klamath Falls
When it comes to frosty fun with the family, the Bill Collier Ice Arena in Klamath Falls takes the cake. In addition to cheap skate dates and after-school sessions, the full-size outdoor ice arena, covered by a fabric roof, also rents child-size plastic seals that are perfect for little ones who want to participate but need a little help. (Seals cost $10 to rent and are available on a first-come, first-served basis.) Open skate is limited to 45 skaters, so make reservations online and bring in your receipt for admission. Afterward, head to A Leap of Taste in downtown Klamath Falls, where a habanero mocha is sure to help you thaw out.