By Kathy L. Collins

The holiday season is upon us, and there is no better way to get into the holiday season than with a trip to Tampa’s Downtown On Ice outdoor rink located at the Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park located at 600 N. Ashley Dr. in Downtown Tampa.

The rink will be open daily now through Sunday, January 3, 2016. The hours are Monday to Thursday from 4-9 p.m. On Friday, the rink is open from 4-10 p.m. On Saturday, guests can skate from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. On Sunday, skate is open from 12 Noon to 9 p.m.

There will be special holiday hours. On Christmas Eve the rink will be open for family from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. On Christmas Day guests can bring family and friends and skate from 4-10 p.m.

The cost to enjoy this wintery activity is $12. 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, email info@friendsoftamparec.org. It is always a good idea to make sure that the rink is not closed for a private party, so call 682-8876 to check availability.

In addition to ice skating, guests can bring the whole family to the 34th Annual Downtown Tampa Christmas Parade and Annual Santa Fest on Saturday, December 5 from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. The parade will start at Morgan St. and Madison St. in Downtown Tampa at 11 a.m. You can then stay and enjoy Santa Fest and see Curtis Hixon Park as it is transformed into a winter wonderland after the parade. Bring the whole family and enjoy free photos with Santa Claus, holiday entertainment, make and take holiday crafts, games and a Christmas Market. You can skate at the outdoor rink for $5.

For more information on the outdoor ice skating rink, visit www.tampasdowntownonice.com or call 682-8876. For more information on Santa Fest, visit www.friendsoftamparec.org.