Imagine gliding across an ice rink in the center of downtown Los Angeles, looking up as the stars twinkle between majestic skyscrapers. It’s a one-of-a-kind perspective on my city and a view I can only get one time during the year.
Every December we dig out the skates and head to an outdoor rink. It’s one of our family’s special holiday traditions. If you’re in the market for a new tradition to add to your family’s festivities, skating might just be for you. If you don’t skate, just remember it’s not what you do, but that you’re doing something special for the holidays with your family. Shared holiday traditions will be something that you and your children remember and cherish.
Our family has always enjoyed ice skating, so it was natural for us to try an outdoor rink. Now, it just wouldn’t be Christmas if we didn’t sling our skates over our shoulders and hit the ice. We have other, more simple traditions, like reading Christmas stories and opening one gift on Christmas Eve. But the fact that these rinks only go up once a year -and sometimes pop up in new and exciting places – makes this a special tradition.
If you haven’t heard of outdoor skating in your town, do some checking. Seasonal, temporary rinks have become popular holiday attractions in most major cities. Our holiday skating tradition has taken us on outdoor ice adventures in Los Angeles, Yosemite National Park, Chicago, San Francisco (two rinks there) and even beachside in Redondo Beach, California.
If you’re concerned that skating may be too difficult, have no fear. Most of the people at the rink will be beginners, just like you. You’ll see multi-generational families, all smiling and enjoying their holiday time together. When we started our holiday skating, my youngest son couldn’t make it around the rink alone. Now everybody in the family can lap me over and over again. If everyone in your group can’t go out on the ice, no doubt they’ll find some hot chocolate and a nice bench nearby.
The more holiday traditions you have or can create, the better. Perhaps it’s something as simple as trimming the tree together, or hopping in the car to look at holiday lights in the neighborhood. Maybe it’s decorating cookies, having a home holiday movie marathon, inviting neighbors in for eggnog, or wrapping gifts together for a local charity.
Whatever your favorite holiday tradition, keep it alive and maybe it will be passed down through the generations. We won’t be finished with our ice skating tradition any time soon. There’s one famous skating rink we haven’t hit yet. Rockefeller Center, smooth out the ice and get some hot chocolate ready for us.