Less Traveled

Page Ivey



Gliding through the holidays

Posted 12/6/2013 2:31:00 PM

Let me just get this out of the way, in case my cousins are reading. I cannot ice skate. I have tried it twice when I was younger and thinner and falling down was not so bad. I hated it.

But, and this is a very important but, I love watching other people ice skate. I have no jealousy or envy of their obvious grace and skill, I just enjoy watching. And, even to this Southerner, outdoor ice skating just screams Christmas.

Through the miracle of modern icing technology, you, too, can ice skate outside in South Carolina, where temperatures can range from 0 to 80 in December.

All this month and a little of next month, three South Carolina downtowns will offer displaced Yankees and hearty Southern souls the opportunity to strap on the blades and glide effortlessly around “frozen ponds.” Some will even offer lessons to the clumsy.

I am still not trying it, but I will be there to watch, take pictures and enjoy your grace, or at least your willingness to pick yourself up off the ice when you fall.

And, hey, watching is free.

Here are the details from the fine folks at Upcountry South Carolina and the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau:

Columbia: through Jan. 20
Magic Ice U.S.A. Inc. operates this 50-foot by 53-foot synthetic ice-skating rink (I told you it was a miracle).

Where: Boyd Plaza 1515 Main St. (Corner of Hampton and Main next to the Columbia Museum of Art)
Open: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 1-9 p.m. on Sunday. (Closed Christmas Day)
Cost: $10 for adults, $8 for children 12 and younger with discounts for seniors and members of the military.
Large groups can make reservations by calling (803) 545-3100 or emailing pio@columbiasc.net. For more information, click here.

Greenville: through Jan. 20

Where: 208 N Main St. (Village Green, in front of the Courtyard by Marriott)
Open: 2–9 p.m., Monday–Thursday; 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday.
Cost: $10 for adults and $8 for children younger than 12.
For more information, call (864) 467-4491 or click here.

Spartanburg: through Jan. 5

Where: Morgan Square
Open: 3-9 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 3-11 p.m. Friday; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday; and 1-9 p.m. Sunday.
Cost: $10 to skate all day.
For more information, call (864) 596-3603 or click here.