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Your Frequently Asked Questions about the Winter Lights Rink


When do tickets go on sale?

Tickets will go on sale November 1! You'll be able to find the link here.

Rain or Shine?

The Winter Lights Rink is open rain or shine! Please prepare for inclement weather if you're skating when it's raining, but note that umbrellas are not allowed on the rink. Refunds are not given for bad weather, unless the weather is extreme enough to cause safety concerns, in which case the rink will be completely closed. We don't anticipate that to happen, so please be prepared to skate either way.

What exactly is a “Synthetic Ice Rink”?

The Winter Lights Rink is manufactured by Smart Rink. Synthetic ice is a substitute for real ice which should allow its users to practice ice skating and other ice sports such as ice hockey, figure skating or curling without the horrendous energy costs of conventional ice skating rinks. The engineered plastic comes in sheets that are 100% seamless in order to create excellent glideability. 

Our rink employ a sustainable skating technology that requires no water, energy or carbon emissions. So it’s not only a fun experience, it’s one you can feel great about participating in!

Can I change my ticket dates or get a refund?

Date change requests made with at least 48 hours notice, will be accommodated. Requests with less than 48 hours unfortunately cannot be provided. Refunds are not available. 

How long is my skate session?

Skate sessions are 45 minutes long. You should plan to arrive 15 minutes early to get checked in and buckle up those skates!


What is the age limit?

Children with feet large enough to safely fit into a size 9 skate, are welcome to skate with our rental skates.  We also have skate helpers children (and adults!) can use as they get acquainted with the rink.

What time should I arrive?

It’s smart to arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your skate session start time to allow time for our volunteers to get you checked in and put on your skates. You will have to sign a waiver and provide either your name or your EventBrite QR code.


Why do I have to arrive early?

To ensure you have as long as possible on the rink, we recommend you arrive at least 15 minutes early to go through the check in and skate rental process with our marvelous volunteers. If you arrive late, you will only be able to skate for the amount of time left during your skate session.

Is there food on site?

Yes! We'll have a snack shack featuring popcorn, candy and of course, hot chocolate.


Are there lockers?

No. We recommend you only bring belongings you can take with you on the ice as we will not be responsible for any lost or stolen items.


Are spectators allowed?

Yes! Spectators who check in with skaters will be allowed into the event area. If you are not accompanying a skater, you can see all the fun from Courthouse Square.


How much do tickets cost?

Tickets are $8.50 each, not including EventBrite ticket and transaction fees imposed by EventBrite.


How do I buy tickets?

You can buy tickets through EventBrite starting on November 1. 


How many people can be on the rink at one time?

Skate sessions are limited to 44 people each, so once 44 tickets are sold, tickets will be unavailable. This allows for more space on the rink and more fun for all.


When is the rink open?

With some exceptions because of holidays or on-rink events, Skating on the Square will be open to the public on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 to 8pm and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 8pm.

Is the Rink ADA accessible?

Yes! However it does take a specialized staff member to provide access, so we appreciate you letting us know ahead of time if we can make that accommodation for you. 

Can I practice my fanciest skating moves?

Yes, and no. If you’re a figure skater, all jumps are permitted except toe-pick jumps (salchow, the flip, the lutz, toe loop) which can damage the skating surface and are not permitted.


What does it cost to rent skates?

The skate rental cost is included in your ticket price, and we have skates available in a child’s 7 through men’s 13. You can also bring your own sharpened skates.


What size skates do you have?

We have skates in child’s size 7 through men’s 13. While we have plenty of skates available, we recommend you bring an extra pair of socks in case you need to size up. If you have Shaquille O’Neal sized feet, you’ll need to bring your own skates. Skates are sanitized and deodorized after every use.


Can we bring our own skates?

Yes, if your skates are sharp, you can bring them. The skate rental cost is included in your ticket price, and we have skates available in a child’s 7 through men’s 13. You can also bring your own sharpened skates. Bringing your own skates? Make sure they’re sharp.

Do I need socks?

Yes, absolutely. We will not let you put on the skates without socks.

Do we need helmets?

We highly recommend that children (and parents too!) bring their own helmets to wear while on the ice. 

Do you have skate aids for children?

Yes, we have a limited number of skate aids available for kids (and adults!) to use while skating.


What COVID-19 safety precautions are you taking?

The rink will be sanitized regularly and skates are sanitized and deodorized after every use. All volunteer rink operators are vaccinated or have showed proof of a negative test within the past 48 hours. Capacity on the rink is limited to 40 people and we encourage you to keep a festive social distance from the other skaters.


Are masks required?

Current public health measures do not require outdoor events to require masks, but please wear one if that will make you feel more comfortable.


Where do I park?

Parking is free in all City garages on weekends during the holidays. If you skate on a Thursday or Friday, you'll get your first hour free in any City owned garage. The garages located on 3rd Street and D Street have very convenient access to the Square.


Is there security on site?

Yes! Downtown’s amazing NexStreet team will be on site whenever the rink is open.


Who is running the Rink?

All the Winter Lights events are being managed by the Metro Chamber, Downtown District and Visit Santa Rosa, with financial support from our local sponsors and the City of Santa Rosa. The rink itself will be managed by Chop's Teen Club work ready program, which helps prepare teens to enter the workforce.


But wait, I have more questions!

No problem! This is the first time we’re managing a rink, so we’ve definitely forgotten something. Feel free to email us at

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