Outdoor Skating Rink in City Plaza Opens Friday Night

Outdoor Skating Rink in City Plaza Opens Friday Night

December, 02, 2009, by Jedidiah

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As mentioned in October, Downtown Raleigh is getting an outdoor ice rink this winter for the first time.

The opening event is called AT&T Raleigh Winterfest and begins on Friday December 4th at 5pm and last until 11pm with lots of events planned on the plaza. The event will include a reading by Ira David Wood, remarks by Mayor Meeker, lighting of the downtown tree, and a handful of other performances by local groups. A handful of local artists/vendors will be present on the plaza selling goods and art.

The weather for the weekend includes snow, so it looks to be a perfect time for some ice skating under the stars in Downtown Raleigh. The ice rink will be open until January 31st.

Click here (pdf) for the hours of operation for the ice rink. More information on the event’s homepage and Facebook page.


Schedule of Events:

5:00 pm-11 pm: Ice Rink Open (Admission and Skate Rental: $6) ***Please note, on ice performances will be scheduled at 5 pm and 7:30 pm.***
5:00 pm: Broadway Series South
5:15 pm: Raleigh Boys Choir
5:35 pm: NC Dance Institute
5:45 pm: Explore
5:55 pm: St. Mary’s Choral Group
6:10 pm: Stage Door
6:20 pm: City Ballet
6:30 pm: NC Little Theatre Cinderella
6:37 pm: Ray Walker
6:50 pm: Reading by Ira David Wood
7:00 pm: Headliner Michelle Branch
7:25 pm: Mayor Remarks and Tree Lighting
7:45 pm-9 pm: Cafe Mars

Scheduled Activities (5 pm-9 pm):
• Santa’s Village
• Snowmyyard.com Sledding Ramps on Davie Street
• Trackless Train on Davie Street
• FREE Carriage Rides

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  • Betsy
    12/02 12:03 PM

    Oh, now THIS will be awesome. 

    And, looking at the schedule from now til January 31, isn’t it nice that someone had the presence of mind to open the rink all day on teacher workdays, when kids will be out of school.

  • Micah
    12/02 04:15 PM

    I am trying really hard to figure out why this is so exciting to people?  I saw this rink yesterday and it looks to be maybe 50x80.  There is (NC’s only) Olympic-sized (like 100x200) sheet of ice at Iceplex just a couple of miles away.  Is it just because it is outside?

  • Brittney
    12/02 05:21 PM

    I think outdoor skating rink is a great way to get more people out and about in downtown Raleigh.  The city has done a great job creating what sounds like an exciting event, including a musical performance by Michelle Branch.  It’s a good way to celebrate the holiday season and engage Raleigh citizens and visitors with all that downtown has to offer.

  • RaleighMAC
    12/03 02:31 AM

    There is something truly magical about an outdoor rink. Have you seen the world-famous rink at Rockefeller Plaza? TINY!!!! But it’s outdoors, surrounded by skyscrapers, and is truly a work of urban magic. Granted, the Raleigh version won’t be as urban, with our much smaller skyscrapers… but no worries - it will be excellent. The best outdoor rinks are intimate… and haters feel free to stay away! More room for me - a true lover of this new Raleigh tradition!!!!

  • RaleighMAC
    12/03 02:32 AM

    sic - make that “Rockefeller Center,” rather… eek! :)

  • Micah
    12/03 02:38 AM

    Well, I am glad it might be quite popular. You are right, Rockefeller is small.  When I lived there I would go in winter just to watch hundreds of skaters attempt to utilize the postage stamp of ice.  It was amusing for sure. Urban magic? Oooookay. And don’t worry about me being on the ice in downtown Raleigh;  I will skate at Iceplex where it is large and warm.  You guys will need all the space you can get on that rink anyway!

  • Brian
    12/03 01:52 PM

    The Iceplex is indeed large and warm…but the ice is bad.  Not that the ice at an outdoor rink will be any better, but at least there’s a view that’s not a crummy mural and some boards that are four inches too high.

  • Phillo
    12/03 07:48 PM

    If only the outdoor rink had boards.  Midnight drunken pickup hockey, anyone? :P

  • Phillo
    12/03 08:54 PM

    Hrm…it does have boards…

  • Todd Morman
    12/05 01:43 AM

    Swung by between galleries around 9 or so and it was packed with people of all ages and types, lots of kids, all having a good time. A seriously infectious good time that those of us watching on the sidelines felt too. Nice vision and decent implementation - hard to be cynical about this one.

  • Michael
    12/07 03:53 PM

    Concept, A. Execution, D-.

  • Micah
    12/11 08:57 PM

    Apparently they are showing an outdoor movie immediately next to the ice rink on Monday night, 14 December.

  • G
    12/17 07:35 PM

    It would help if someone would put the actual address on ANY website so we could actually know where to go (400 block of Fayett… nr bank building is not good enough to look up on yahoo.com maps or other site)....can someone post the actual address.

  • RaleighMAC
    12/17 09:38 PM

    Not sure of the address, but it’s at City Plaza, which is where Fayetteville Street ends… That should be easy enough to locate on any map site… You could try entering “Fayetteville at Davie St”

  • RaleighMAC
    12/17 09:42 PM

    And actually, if you just enter “400 Fayetteville St, Raleigh, NC” the location comes up clearly…

  • G
    12/17 09:57 PM

    Microsoft Streets and Trips had it as 400 Fayetteville St. Mall - didn’t pick up without the “Mall”.  Thanks.

  • dAN
    12/23 08:02 PM


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