By Kathy L. Collins

Tampa IcelogoNo matter what the temperature is in Tampa this holiday season, a trip to Tampa’s Downtown On Ice outdoor rink presented by The Tampa Bay Lightning will help get into the Holiday spirit. The holiday season gets kicked off with a return of the popular 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 now through January 4, 2015. The hours are Monday to Thursday from 4-9 p.m. On Friday, the rink is open from 4-10 p.m. On Saturday, there is skating from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. On Sunday, there is skating from 12 Noon-9 p.m.

There will be special holiday hours. 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 from 4-10 p.m.

The cost to enjoy this wintery activity is $10. This gets you 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. To book the rink, e-mail info@friendsof

Charlie Murphy of Valrico said, “I love taking my family to the outdoor skating rink. It really puts the whole family in the holiday spirit no matter what the temperature is.”

Also in Tampa in time for the holiday season is the annual Santa Fest and the Rough Riders Holiday Parade on Saturday, December 6 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The parade will start at Morgan St. and Madison St. in downtown Tampa at 11 a.m. Curtis Hixon Park will be transformed into a winter wonderland on Saturday, December 6. Bring the whole family and enjoy free photos with Santa Claus, holiday entertainment, make and take holiday crafts, games and a Christmas Market. There will be discounted skating prices for just $5.

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