For a place where the average high temperature is 62 degrees in November and 53 degrees in December, Charlotte sure does like outdoor ice skating. This year there are three places in the Charlotte region where you can ice skate outside.
They all open in mid-November, 2020, and will stay open until January or February. Here’s what you need to know.
Ice Skating at Whitewater Center
Ice Skating at U.S. National Whitewater Center
Where: U.S. National Whitewater Center, 5000 Whitewater Center Parkway, Charlotte
When: The attraction is open now and will be open through mid-February, 2021. It is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on the weekends, and 12 p.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays.
Price: You’ll need to purchase a Single Activity Pass ($20) or an All Access Pass. In addition, parking is $6. With the pass you can skate all day. If you have an annual pass already, you’re set.
What else: This is Charlotte’s largest outdoor skating rink, with 17,000 square feet of ice. It’s located in the Upper Pond of the whitewater river and will include a 600-foot ice trail.
You can skate the trail or free skate. There is also be a skate-up beverage outlet in an Airstream.
The current Raft Pavilion has transformed into a new beer garden environment, complete with indoor heating, fire pits, and panoramic views of the skating. The price ($20 for a Single Activity Pass) includes skate rental. You can bring your own skates, but that doesn’t affect the price.
New this year: you’ll need to reserve a time slot along with your pass. This is to keep the crowds to a limited capacity.
A second attraction, Lights at the Whitewater Center, is a half-mile walking trail through the forest that leads viewers through a series of immersive light installations designed by Charlotte artist Meredith Connelly. It includes honeycombs, vines, crystals and other natural features. Lights does not require a pass.
Ice Skating at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Ice Rink at Charlotte Motor Speedway
Where: Charlotte Motor Speedway, 5555 Concord Parkway South, Concord
When: November 21st through January 17th, except Christmas Day. Monday to Thursday: 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday: 4 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturday: 12 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Sunday: 12 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Price: $15/hour, including skate rental. Parking is free.
What else: This ice skating rink is new for this year. It’s 5,400 square feet.
This all-new attraction is an addition this year to Speedway Christmas, the 4-mile drive-thru light display with more than 4 million lights.
However, these events are ticketed separately. You do not have to buy a ticket to Speedway Christmas in order to skate, or vice versa.
Tickets are available by calling 1-800-455-FANS (3267), online at www.charlottemotorspeedway.com, or at the gate upon entry. Tickets and concessions at the ice rink will all be cashless to limit contact points for guests.
In accordance with health guidelines around social distancing, there will be a cap on the number of skaters allowed on the ice at any given time.
Masks will be required for all visitors. Parking for those visiting the rink, which is located near the Gate 6 entrance across from the Fan Zone, is free.
Founders Holiday Ice Rink in Rock Hill
Founders Holiday Ice Rink in Rock Hill
Where: 205 Saluda Street, Rock Hill, SC
When: It will be open from Thursday, November 19th, 2020, to January 18th, 2021. It will be open every day except Monday, and Christmas. (The last day it’s open is a Monday, though.) Please check back soon or follow the above link, though, because they might tweak the schedule.
Cost: $10, including skate rental, for one hour. Buy tickets for your time slot online.
Other Outdoor Ice Rinks
Last year there were three other ice rinks in the Charlotte area. Either we haven’t yet gotten official word on them, or we have heard that they’re not opening in 2020.
- Holidays on Ice, at NASCAR Hall of Fame
- Winter Wonderland, at SouthPark (Not opening in 2020)
- The Ice at Sun Valley Commons (Indian Trail)
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