Love ice skating and want to have a fun winter experience doing the winter sport in Greenville, SC? We’ve got just the place for you at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena for Skating on the Big Ice.
I love ice skating in Greenville, SC and honestly, I can ice skate and not fall (often). I just can’t stop, which means I’m eternally grateful for all the space at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena and the sideboards. I had plenty of opportunities to practice though and teach my kids a little about how to hold their own on the ice at Skating on the Big Ice, which happens in December at the arena.
Skating on the Big Ice
The Bon Secours Wellness Arena has been offering Skating on the Big Ice for several years and I’ve always had such a great time with my family there. The ice rink is enormous – the same size they use for the Swamp Rabbits hockey games – and there is plenty of space no matter how many people are skating.
The atmosphere is quite festive as Christmas music is pumped into the arena. Feel free to sing along to the tunes – it’s fun! Even if you are awful at ice skating, you can use a complimentary ice walker that you hold onto and push along in front of you as you skate. Or you know, cling to the sides as you test your skating skills.
There are also fun sleds to pull younger kids along the ice. I tried this solely for the reason of writing it about it. It looked hard because you have to not fall yourself while dragging a kid along with you. It wasn’t exactly easy but it wasn’t hard either. The sled slid easily along the ice and the hardest thing was trying to make sure I didn’t hit anyone else while dragging it along (mission accomplished).
Two Hours of Skating + Skate Rentals
You get two hours of skating time with your admission and your skate rentals are included in the ticket price. The employees at the arena are so incredibly kind and helpful. We had to switch out our skates a few times to find the right size and they were accommodating and patient.
The woman at the rink helping people with the ice walkers was totally on top of her game, switching them out quickly and helping people on and off the ice. And I had cut my finger while tying the skates onto one of my kids and an employee quickly got me a Band-Aid. Everyone was wonderful and I want to give a shout-out to all the employees helping to make that experience a good one for all the people participating.
Parking at the Arena
You get to be a VIP when you go skating at the arena because you can park in the VIP lot right off Church Street. It’s exciting, I promise. And parking is free so even better.
When you pull into the lot, park all the way to the left near the fence and look for signs pointing to the back entrance to the arena. Don’t go up the stairs as you would for an event at the arena. You’ll walk down a ramp on the left into the back entrance to the secret door and begin your adventure.
Skate Roll & Stroll ADA Sessions
The arena again usually offers Skate Roll & Stroll ADA sessions for 2023. These are totally free and equipment is provided. 2023 dates are December 19th and 27th from Noon-2 pm both days.
Santa at Skating on the Big Ice
Not only can you go ice skating during Winter Break but if you weren’t able to get Santa photos, you can do so at your session before Christmas. Santa is there ready to pose for free photos (bring your own camera) with a pretty Christmas tree. Santa’s Wonderland will be open December 16, 17, and 21 from Noon-2 pm and 3-5 pm.
There are also concessions available for purchase like hot chocolate and soft pretzels. Yum.
Tickets and Skates
Tickets are $15 per person and include your skate rentals. You can also bring your own skates. We saw plenty of expert skaters whirring past us who definitely knew what they were doing and brought their own skates.
You can purchase tickets online or just buy them when you get there. You’ve got two full hours of skating per session so there’s lots of time to enjoy the ice. Ice walkers and sleds are first come, first serve. They have plenty of ice walkers though. Tickets are card only, cash is not accepted.
The smallest size skate the arena has is 7 little kids. We saw kids as young as maybe four years old skating. It was impressive.
Tips to Enjoy Skating on the Big Ice
Here are a few ways to get the most out of your time skating on the big ice:
- Wear socks that go way above your ankle. Skates go high up above your ankle and need to be tied tight. To avoid the skates rubbing against skin, be sure to wear crew socks or the like.
- Go to the bathroom before you start skating. They have restrooms on site.
- It’s chilly at the rink. Wear layers, bring a hat and gloves, and maybe a scarf. I hate being cold so I brought all the things just in case I needed them!
- Parents/non-skaters can sit and watch in the stands if they don’t want to skate. So if you’ve got grandparents in town that aren’t that active, this would still be fun since they can hang out and watch their grandkids attempt to skate.
- Get there around 10 minutes early before your session so you can pay and get your skates to get the most out of your two hours skate time.
2023 Skating on the Big Ice Dates
- December 16th – Noon and 3 pm
- December 17th – Noon and 3 pm
- December 21st – Noon and 3 pm
- December 26th – 3 pm
- December 27th – 3 pm
- December 28th – Noon and 3 pm
- December 29th – Noon and 3 pm
- December 30th – Noon and 3 pm
Need other ideas of things to do over winter break in Greenville? See our winter break things to do list of more than 50 ideas!
Bon Secours Wellness Arena
650 North Academy Street, Greenville