Liberty Station's new ice rink has opened for its first holiday skating season, which will run through Sunday, Jan. 3. Rink hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily. / Photo by Dave Schwab
Claudia Guzman gets ready to rent ice skates for an expected after-school customer rush. / Photo by Dave Schwab
Liberty Station has opened something special and rare in San Diego – a public ice rink – just in time to make it the centerpiece of its planned holiday season festivities.
Best of all, proceeds from Fantasy on Ice, the new open-air ice skating rink located behind the NTC Command Center at 2640 Historic Decatur Road, will benefit the Peckham Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders at Ray Children's Hospital.
The Peckham Center, named for the Point Loma Peckham philanthropist family, is the largest pediatric Hematology/Oncology program in San Diego, Imperial and Riverside counties. It is the region's only facility for pediatric bone marrow and blood cell transplantation.
The later Peter Peckham and friend Malin Burnham were among 15 partners who bought the Padres in 1990 from Joan Kroc, then re-sold the team in 1994 to John Moores.
Permanently relocated from Horton Plaza in downtown San Diego and formally dedicated Nov. 19, Liberty Station's new ice rink has opened for its first holiday skating season, which will run through Sunday, Jan. 3. Rink hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, with ticket prices ranging from $10 to $14 with season passes also available.
“He (Peter Peckham) envisioned an ice rink in San Diego 19 years ago and purchased one up in the Bay area and brought it to San Diego,” said Kathleen Caffo, Rady Children's Hospital Auxiliary chair. “It had been in Horton Square for 15 years.”
Caffo said a Canadian company specializing in outdoor skating rinks was hired especially to “come to San Diego and build this for us.” She said the new rink's cooling infrastructure is built right into the concrete foundation so it doesn't have to be re-created every year.
At the rink's check-in area last week, Claudia Guzman stood inside a room full of ice skates awaiting an expected after-school customer rush.
“We have 600 pairs of skates in this building,” said Guzman noting skate rentals are part of the daily rink admission price.
Carissa O'Connor, of H2 Public Relations representing Liberty Station, noted the new facility is yet another piece rounding out the mix of offerings at the former Naval facility.
“McMillin (developer) was able to bring another form of hospitality activating the space within the whole arts district,” O'Connor said, adding, “They're (Liberty Station's) doing a lot of rebranding, along with updating its website and helping with wayfinding (signage).”
Other holiday happenings at Libery Station:
• Holiday Tree Lighting: Wednesday, Dec. 2, 6:30 p.m., free ceremony with 100-foot pine tree being transformed into the “Holiday Wishing Tree,” with thousands of lights and decorations at a ceremony with live music and tasty treats from Liberty Public Market, which is scheduled to open early next year. Santa and guests may stroll the grounds of Liberty Station following the ceremony.
• Holiday “Walkabout”: Kick-off a new quarterly community-driven ‘walkabout' series on Saturday, Dec. 12 from 6 to 9 p.m. Tour the neighborhood's north end "Arts District" between Roosevelt Road and Lytton Street. Feast on complimentary holiday-inspired tastes and sips from favorite local eateries, wander the artisan galleries and boutiques for the perfect gift, or hit the new ice rink for an evening of family-fun.
• Family Movie Night: Sunday, Dec. 13, 5-8 p.m. Round up the kids, grab a blanket and head to the North Promenade Pump House, where holiday classic “Home Alone” will be playing on the outdoor big screen. The Surfin’ Santa band will serenade holiday moviegoers before the screening. Specialty food items, hot cocoa and popcorn. will also be available.
• Santa Claus takes flight: Saturday, Dec. 5, 4-6 p.m. Santa Claus takes a more modern approach this year as he hoverboards around Liberty Station this holiday season. While gliding through the neighborhood spreading holiday cheer, kids and families lucky enough to spot him will have the opportunity to share their secret wishes and pose for a photo with Jolly Old Saint Nick. Families may visit with Santa every Saturday during December (Dec. 5, 12 and 19).
For more information, visit fantasyonicesd.com.
Fantasy on Ice
Where: Liberty Station, 2640 Historic Decatur Road.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Cost: Ticket prices range from $10 to $14 with season passes also available.