Lace up the ice skates at outdoor rinks around Central Texas
Looking for a Texas-style winter holiday experience? Lace up some skates and try one of the area's outdoor ice rinks set up especially for the holiday season. Enjoy everything from karaoke on ice to Christmas caroling while you glide. A novelty for many southerners, some of these family-friendly ice rinks provide skates and skating lessons.
Austinities this year have several outdoor ice skating options, it just depends on what kind of experience you're looking for. At the Oasis Texas ice skating rink, where skaters can take in panoramic views of Lake Travis, it's all about atmosphere.
"It's Austin Hill Country at its best," said Justin Rose, Oasis Texas Venue Manager. "It's not pretentious and people are not skating very fast. It's just relaxed and laid-back fun."
So if skating under the stars sounds like the right way to kick off the holiday season, here are some places you can experience the ice for the first time or try out the triple Lutz.
• Oasis Texas, 6550 Comanche Trail — Not just a restaurant anymore, the Oasis has become a retail and entertainment complex that sits atop the cliffs of Lake Travis. Its 1,760-square-foot ice skating rink is now open and can hold about 70 people. Music and Christmas carolers are planned to entertain skaters. Need a skating lesson? Private and group lessons are available by appointment. With new eateries like Uncle Billy's Brew & Que and casual Mediterranean restaurant Soleil Lake Travis within the village, skaters also can make it a night out. Skating hours are 4 to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday. Special hours on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. Admission is $10 plus tax and skate rental. Skating rink open through Jan. 1. Group discounts available for parties of 15 or more. Military, police and fire department employees also qualify for discounts. For more information, call 761-5302 or visit oasistex.com .
• Whole Foods Market, 525 N. Lamar Blvd. — Experience downtown Austin views while on skates at Ice Skating on the Plaza, which features a rooftop outdoor skating rink. Like karaoke? Swing by on Wednesday nights for Disco Karaoke on Ice. In true Austin-style, skaters also will enjoy the Royitos Don't Do Mild Live Music series every Thursday night. Skating hours are 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Jan. 15. About 45 skaters can enjoy the rink for a 50-minute session. Admission is $10, including skates. For more information, visit the store calendar at wholefoodsmarket.com
• Barton Creek Resort & Spa, 8212 Barton Club Drive — Treat yourself to outdoor skating in a luxurious setting through Jan. 1. Proceeds from skate rentals benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. To get you in the holiday spirit, S'mores and hot chocolate will be available. Skating hours on the 3,800-square-foot ice rink are noon to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 11 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Dec. 16. Extended hours through Jan. 1. $16-$40. For more information, call 800-336-6158 or visit www.bartoncreek.com .
• Eisbahn Outdoor Ice Skating Rink at Markplatz, 122 W. Main St., Fredericksburg — Head to the charming Fredericksburg downtown square for this holiday winter tradition. Proceeds of Eisbahn benefit Heritage School and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Skaters welcome through Jan. 1. Closed on Christmas Day. Skating hours are Monday through Friday 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Extended hours weekdays beginning Dec. 22. Hours on weekends are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sundays. Admission is $10. For more information, visit skateinfred.com or call 830-997-6597.