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Originally published Wednesday, December 11, 2013 at 7:29 PM

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Taking to the ice in Bellevue

Ice skating at Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena, Winterfest at Seattle Center and Polar Plaza, Tacoma.

Seattle Times staff

Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena

Time: 3-11 p.m. Friday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday; 3-9 p.m. Monday-Tuesday; 1-9 p.m. Wednesday; 3-9 p.m. Dec. 19; 3-11 p.m. Dec. 20; hours vary through Jan. 12,

Cost: $12/with skate rental, $9/bring your own skates; $8/ages 6 and younger; free for spectators.

Location: Bellevue Downtown Park, 10201 N.E. Fourth St., Bellevue.

More information:

Winterfest Ice Arena

Time: 11 8 p.m. Sundays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays through Jan. 5; closing 4 p.m. Dec. 24, closed Dec. 25, closing 11:30 p.m. Dec. 31.

Cost: $7/adults, $5/ages 6-12, $2/ages 5 and younger, includes skate rental, cash only; free for spectators. Free skating 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 22.

Location: Fisher Pavilion, Seattle Center.

More information: 206-684-7200 or

Polar Plaza

Time: 4-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday, 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, 4-9 p.m. Monday through Dec. 19, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Dec. 20, hours vary through Jan. 9

Cost: $8; $7/military and ages 60 and older, $4/ages 5 and younger; skate rental $2.

Location: Tollefson Plaza, South 17th Street and Pacific Avenue, Tacoma.

More information:

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Take a spin at Bellevue Magic Season Ice Arena, the region’s largest open-air ice-skating rink, in Bellevue Downtown Park. The rink’s been enlarged this year with improved ice resurfacing for smoother skating, with special events including Family Skate Day with guests from STAR 101.5 and KOMO 4 from noon to 2 p.m. and skating with pros from the Seattle Thunderbirds hockey team from 3-5 p.m. this Sunday.

Part of the rink is sheltered for all-weather skating and there’s a concession stand with snacks and beverages (cash only). The Ice Arena is open daily through Jan. 12, including Christmas and New Year’s Day, with no reservations needed. Saturdays are usually the busiest, with the venue often filled to capacity, so be prepared for longer lines and wait times.

To avoid crowds, visit close to opening time; most days, 6-9 p.m. is the busiest time. Dress for the weather — gloves and socks are available at the concession stand in case you need them, and you may want to bring a helmet for young children if you have one (a few are available to borrow).

Stroller skating is available for an hour before the venue opens every Thursday, with accompanying older children welcome to skate along. Strollers aren’t allowed on the ice any other time.

Bellevue Downtown Park is centrally located across the street from Bellevue Square, with free parking available daily for as long as three hours.

Other Bellevue Magic Season attractions include the Snowflake Lane lights, music, live toy soldiers and magical snow display on Bellevue Way at 7 p.m. daily, and the Bellevue Botanical Garden Garden d’Lights through Jan. 4. Ornate gingerbread structures are on display at Gingerbread Lane at Hilton Hotel Bellevue through Dec. 20, with a holiday concert, auction and awards at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Other seasonal ice skating is available at Seattle Center Winterfest, indoors at Fisher Pavilion daily through Jan. 4, and outdoors at Tacoma’s Tollefson Place in partnership with Tacoma Art Museum through Jan. 12.

Madeline McKenzie:

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