By Kathy L. Collins

There is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than to enjoy some wintery fun of ice skating on an outdoor rink. Residents can take a trip to a winter wonderland in downtown Tampa. The holiday season gets kicked off with a return of the outdoor ice skating rink at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park located at 600 N. Ashley Dr. in downtown Tampa.

The rink will be open daily, with the exception of Thanksgiving, now through Sunday, January 5. The hours are Mondays to Thursdays from 4-9 p.m. On Fridays, the rink is open from 4-10 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m.-10 p.m.

There will be special holiday hours the week of Thanksgiving and from Saturday, December 21 through Sunday, January 5. The rink will be open Mondays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sundays from noon to 10 p.m. The rink is closed on Thanksgiving. On Christmas Eve, the rink will be open from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and on Christmas Day it will be open 4-10 p.m. The cost to enjoy this wintery activity is $10. This includes a pair of skates and 90 minutes of skating time. Group rates for groups of 20 or more are available. The rink is also available for private parties Monday through Thursday from 6-10 p.m.

Marie Murphy of Valrico said, “I have been visiting the outdoor skating rink for the last few years and it is such a fun family outing that we look forward to it all year.”

There will also be a Santa Fest and Rough Riders Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 7 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The parade will start at Morgan St. and Madison St. in downtown Tampa at 11 a.m. The Curtis Hixon Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland on Saturday, December 7. Bring the whole family and enjoy free photos with Santa Claus, holiday entertainment, make and take holiday crafts, games and a Christmas Market. The best part of this day long festival is skating at the outdoor rink for just $5. For more information on the outdoor ice skating rink, visit For more information on Santa Fest, visit


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