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Coolest place in county? Ice rinks coming to fairgrounds

DEL MAR — During the summer horse racing season, the Del Mar Racetrack is cool as ever, and for two weeks this December, the Del Mar Arena will be totally chill.

Frozen Fairgrounds will feature two ice rinks offering public skating, youth and adult hockey and activities for those who would rather not glide on a 1.5-millimeter blade.

A 7,200-square-foot community rink will be open daily from Dec. 15 through Dec. 31 for individual, group and private skating. Prices range from $10 to $25.

The San Diego Gulls will be the first professional ice hockey team to practice on the largest outdoor NHL rink ever built in the county. The free, public event begins at 10 a.m. Dec. 18.

The Gulls will also host a public skating session under the lights from 6 to 8 p.m. Dec. 20. Attendees can meet and skate with players, team mascot Gulliver and the Gulls Girls.

Frozen Fairgrounds will also feature a hockey fan fest, with themed off-ice attractions including a custom-made ice hockey rink jump house, a hardest-shot and accuracy shooting challenge, a mini-street hockey rink and more.

On opening weekend, teams from Southern California will play in the Hero’s Cup, an adult ice hockey tournament honoring the military and first responders.

Other events include a Dec. 18 game between San Diego State University and Long Beach State University at 8:15 p.m. and a Dec. 19 military and first responders appreciation day featuring a Wounded Warriors hockey game and holiday costume night.

High school varsity and junior varsity hockey tournaments begin Dec. 21. More than 50 youth teams from throughout California will compete against one another starting Dec. 26.

There will be several hockey interactive skill zones and a daily chuck-a-puck contest, during which participants will toss a puck onto the ice. Prizes will be given to those who get as close as possible to targeted areas.

When both rinks are operating for public skating, the community rink will be “family safe,” providing a slower-paced skating environment for younger or less-experienced skaters.

Parents who prefer to watch can grab an adult beverage in the lounge. 

Frozen Fairgrounds, hosted by California-based specialized ice hockey production companies Golden State Ice Sports and International Hockey Events, will be open Christmas Eve and Christmas Day and conclude with a New Year’s Eve skate party.

Visit for more information.