California is one of a handful of states not feeling the arctic cold that's blasting most of the country. Even Oregon and Washington are bracing for snow later this week.
If you feel as though you're missing out on the national big chill, break out your mittens and head to ice skating rinks that are popping up around the state.
--The ice rink at Pershing Square in downtown Los Angeles opens at 11 a.m. Thursday with a show that includes skating performances by U.S. Olympic silver medalist Peter Carruthers, the L.A. Ice Theater Ensemble, Snoopy from the Knott's Merry Farm ice show, and nationally known pairs skaters Ai Setoyama and David Botero.
The rink, now in its 17th year, will feature DJs spinning music on Thursdays, "Wicked" Wednesdays with the musical soundtrack and green-glowing ice, and a Polar Bear Skate to welcome the new year on Jan. 1.
Check the website for hours and other featured events. One-hour sessions cost $9 per person, $3 to rent hockey or figure skates.
Info: Holiday Ice Rink Pershing Square, 532 Olive St.; (213) 624-4289.
--Ice Santa Monica has opened at 5th Street and Arizona Avenue just blocks from the beach. This 8,000-square-foot rink offers occasional evenings featuring DJs and other activities. Santa will arrive at the nearby Third Street Promenade to light a Christmas tree on Nov. 20, and "snow" will fall at 6 p.m. Thanksgiving Day at the Promenade and Wilshire Boulevard. Skating costs $15 and includes rentals.
Info: Ice at Santa Monica, 1324 5th St.; (310) 260-1199
--Ice at Mission Valley in San Diego opens Nov. 26 at the Westfield Mission Valley shopping mall. It will feature 5,000 square feet of ice and also has theme nights and activities planned. Admission costs $14 and includes skate rental.
Info: Ice at Mission Valley, 1640 Camino Del Rio North, San Diego; (757) 296-3404
--The rink at Embarcadero Center in San Francisco is open to skaters who want to take a twirl under the stars and enjoy the waterfront at the same time. It's open until 11:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve too. Admission is $10 and rentals are $4 a pair.
Info: Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center, Justin Herman Plaza.
--There's also a Holiday Ice Rink at Union Square surrounded by holiday lights in surrounding shops and a Christmas tree.
--The ice rink in downtown Sacramento offers long skate sessions: an hour and 45 minutes. It costs $8 to hit the ice and $2 for skate rentals. There are theme nights too: family nights, date nights, "Polar Express" Day, Ugly Sweater Night ... you get the idea.