North and South Park Ice Rinks Will Open For the Season This Week
After last year’s COVID-19 restrictions, skating might look a little bit more like it used to.
The city may not yet look like a winter wonderland — but that doesn’t mean you can’t hit the ice.
The North and South Park ice rinks opened Thursday, Nov. 18. The first public skate will take place at 7:30 p.m., and the rinks will remain open through mid-March, weather permitting.
Last season, COVID-19 restrictions limited public skating to Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as a few special holiday sessions. Only 100 skaters were allowed per session, and face masks and social distancing were required both indoors and outdoors at all times. There were no concessions or parties permitted.
But this year, things might look a little bit like they used to before the pandemic.
Public skate sessions will be on Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday. There’s a limit of 250 skaters for each session, and tickets — which can be purchased in advance online — are expected to sell out quickly.
Concessions will be available each day, including hot food.
Admission rates are $5 for county residents, who can rent skates for $2 with a $4.50 fee for skate-sharpening. Non-residents will pay $6 for admission, $3 for skate rental and an additional $6 for skate sharpening. Coin locker cost 25 cents.
Additional rink time has been set aside for programming, too, for introductory classes, a women’s league, open stick time for hockey players and more. Folks are encouraged to pre-register for all programs because they tend to fill up quickly.
Anyone interested in booking a birthday party or celebration at either rink should call 724-935-1280 for North Park or 412-833-1499 for South Park. More information is on the county’s website.
Right in the city’s center, Downtown’s UPMC Rink at PPG Place will also kick off its winter plans this week on Nov. 19. The rink will celebrate its grand opening this season with a “lighting spectacular” that will feature “the world’s most technologically-advanced holiday tree” and rooftop fireworks by Zambelli.
The tree is more than 66 feet tall, and will combine high-resolution LED lights to create more than 150 festive scenes. It also features thousands of ornaments and weighs just under 12,000 pounds.
“We are excited to sponsor this iconic rink enjoyed by all ages and the new holiday tree in an effort to brighten the holidays for the children and families of Pittsburgh. We have all been through some tough times this past year, and this time of year is about family and loved ones,” said Mark Sevco, President UPMC Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and President, UPMC Hospitals, in a press release.
Friday’s events at the UPMC Rink will also include a figure skating show, a performance by Pittsburgh Steeline Drumline and live music.
After Friday, the rink will be open daily until Feb. 27, with a range of special events like the Ho Ho Holiday Skate with Santa Dec. 4, 11 and 18 from 2 to 4 p.m.
For a more detailed schedule and information about the rink, including admissions prices and hours, check out its website.