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Ice, ice baby: The Winter Wonder SLO Jiffy Lube ice-skating rink returns 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Again. When the seasonal Diet Coke cans arrive, Christmas specials are playing on every single channel, and family bonding time is taken to the next, unavoidable level.

So instead of going with the old celebratory standbys, like ugly sweater parties, or the inevitably awkward family dinner, why not try something new?

click to enlarge DO YOU WANT TO FILM A SNOWMAN?:  Winter Wonder SLO has a new "Frozen" theme, complete with sing-alongs and character photo ops. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WINTER WONDER SLO
  • DO YOU WANT TO FILM A SNOWMAN?: Winter Wonder SLO has a new "Frozen" theme, complete with sing-alongs and character photo ops.

The third annual Winter Wonder SLO Jiffy Lube ice-skating rink is returning to San Luis Obispo for the holidays. Produced by Create Promotions, this year’s event will have a Frozen theme, décor, and sing-a-longs guaranteed to make your kids squeal with barely controlled glee. In addition, there will be photo opportunities with the charming, buck-toothed snowman himself, Olaf. Just let it go, you’ll never be able to go back to a time when those songs weren’t stuck in your head, or your kids weren’t obsessed with a talking snowman with a death wish.

“This is really one of the only seasonal ice-skating rinks from Oxnard to San Jose,” said Chelsea Modlin, the senior account coordinator of On the Horizons Communications. “There’s a smaller rink in Atascadero, but that one’s not typically holiday-focused. Winter Wonder SLO is typically a big draw for tourists.”

In the past, as many as 20,000 skaters attended the 18-day event, but this year, Create Promotions estimated that as many as 21,000 skaters will show up. Additionally, Bietek Productions, the same company that provides skating rinks for the Winter Olympics, the Ice Capades, and the Rockefeller Square Rink, is providing the ice for the rink—just in case there were any doubts about the sheer awesomeness of this ice rink.

“People aren’t going to be skating on chunk ice,” Modlin said. “When I was a kid, I remember the seasonal ice skating rinks being small and janky, but ours isn’t going to be like that. It’s going to be professional quality.”

A portion of the ticket fees will be donated to the Big Brothers and Big Sisters of San Luis Obispo County, an organization that provides mentor relationships for at-risk youth. 

“It’s just a fun, festive event that the whole family can enjoy,” Modlin said. “And then there’s that feel-good donation to something beneficial to the community too.”

Winter Wonder SLO begins on Dec. 19 and goes through Jan. 4., at the Alex Madonna Expo Center at 100 Madonna Road in San Luis Obispo. Tickets (which include skate rentals) cost $9 for children under 12, and $13 for anyone aged 13 or older. Skating sessions will be held every hour from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., and will remain open during the holidays. For more information about the event, go to, or call 996-0652.


Fast fact

The Rotary Club of Pismo Beach-Five Cities will be sponsoring a movie night on Dec. 20, starring the dashing Jimmy Stewart. And no, it’s not the completely overhyped film It’s a Wonderful Life. It’s the underrated 1940s classic The Shop Around the Corner, also starring Margaret Sullavan. The movie is suitable for all ages. The price of admission is a donation of a non-perishable food item or an unwrapped toy, which will be donated to the Food Pantry or Toys for Tots, respectively. Santa, as well as a few of his helpers, will run the prize drawing before the movie, which features free prizes donated by various local businesses. The showing will be at the Fair Oaks Theatre in Arroyo Grande at 11 a.m. For more information call 472-2900.


Intern Adriana Catanzarite is one with the wind and sky. Send your holiday greetings, or business and nonprofit news to [email protected].

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