THE SAFEWAY HOLIDAY ICE RINK PRESENTED BY KAISER PERMANENTE RETURNS TO SAN FRANCISCO’S UNION SQUARE
September 18, 2023
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Opening Celebration to take place Wednesday, November 1 at 5 P.M.
San Francisco’s only outdoor ice rink, the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink will host favorite on-ice traditions including Learn to Skate, Drag Queens On Ice, Flashback Fridays, Simba Saturdays, Silent Skate, and Polar Bear Skate
SAN FRANCISCO (September 18, 2023)—Today, Willy Bietak Productions announced the return of The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente, open to the public daily from November 1, 2023, through January 15, 2024. Set in San Francisco’s iconic Union Square, the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink is the only outdoor ice rink in the City, and is one of the Bay Area’s favorite annual holiday traditions. The season of outdoor skating and special on-ice events kicks off with an Opening Celebration on Wednesday, November 1 at 5 p.m. The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink’s roster of events includes the return of the highly anticipated Drag Queens On Ice, Learn to Skate presented by Kaiser Permanente, Simba Saturdays presented by Disney’s The Lion King, Flashback Fridays presented by 80s+, Silent Skate, and Polar Bear Skate. Tickets are on sale now at www.unionsquareicerink.com.
For over 15 years, The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente has delighted children and adults with its holiday-themed ice park in San Francisco’s Union Square. From families to friends, and couples to colleagues, everyone can enjoy ice skating in San Francisco’s iconic
plaza surrounded by festive lights and the sights and sounds of the season. Novices and naturals alike will love the outdoor ice skating experience in the heart of San Francisco.
“Kaiser Permanente is pleased to sponsor the San Francisco holiday ice rink, located in San Francisco’s Union Square, once again. This beloved and popular holiday tradition is a fun way to keep families active during the fall and winter months,” said Tarek Salaway, senior vice president and area manager for Kaiser Permanente’s Golden Gate service area. “Skating can improve balance and strength and is a great workout for cardiovascular health. We hope to see you, your friends and family on the ice!”
The hours for the Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente are 10 a.m.–11 p.m. daily through January 15, 2024, with special extended hours December 18–29 (8:30 a.m. – 11 p.m.) on weekdays. The rink will close at 9:30 p.m. on December 31, 2023.
Tickets for The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink are $20 for adults and $15 for children 8 and under, with skate rental included in the cost of admission. All tickets must be purchased in advance by visiting unionsquareicerink.com. A portion of ticket proceeds benefit the San Francisco Recreation and Parks Department.
Wednesday, November 1, 2023 | 5–7 p.m.
The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente will open with a festive evening ceremony to kick off the holiday ice skating season. Guests are invited to skate before and after the celebration, which will include on-ice performances and a performance from a cast member from Disney’s The Lion King. Additional special guests will include local dignitaries and celebrities, who will be invited to take to the ice alongside guests of all ages for the first official skate of the season.
LEARN TO SKATE PRESENTED BY KAISER PERMANENTE
Select Saturdays & Sundays | 8–9 a.m.
Kaiser Permanente invites skaters with little to no experience to The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente to learn from professional skate instructors every weekend. Lessons are free (including skate rental) to those who sign up in advance. Space is limited to 50 participants per day. All registered skaters must check-in no later than 7:30 a.m., or spot will be released to another guest. Advanced registration opens 2 weeks before each lesson date. Reservations will be allotted through a lottery system.
SIMBA SATURDAYS PRESENTED BY DISNEY’S THE LION KING
Saturdays through December 30 | 5:30 and 7 p.m. sessions
This season, “Simba Saturdays” roar to life at The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente. Guests will glide across a golden-hued wonderland transporting every skater to the heart of the Pride Lands. Sway and skate to the iconic tunes from the original Broadway cast recording of Disney’s The Lion King. Whether skaters are mastering their roar or their rink moves, families of all ages will find magic on the ice. A roaring good time awaits with special giveaways for the first 100 guests at each session.
FLASHBACK FRIDAYS PRESENTED BY 80s+
November 10, December 8 & January 12 | 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. sessions
The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente invites skaters to ride the retro wave by throwing it back to the musical hits of the ‘80s at “Flashback Fridays.” On the second
Friday of each month, the rink will host firstname.lastname@example.org personalities who will crank up the ‘80s vibes, dropping iconic tracks from Duran Duran, Pat Benatar, Madonna, Lionel Richie, and more! Dust off the legwarmers and rock the unitard at the rad rendezvous at the rink!
DRAG QUEENS ON ICE
Thursday, December 7, 2023 | 6:30–8:00 p.m.
The ice rink never sparkles more than when the City’s most radiant event, “Drag Queens on Ice,” returns in full splendor to The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente. It’s an evening of glitz, glam, and unmatched on-ice exuberance. Attendees can lace up their skates and twirl alongside the Queens or grab a prime spot ringside to watch the fiercest drag queens in the San Francisco Bay Area deliver holiday performances that’ll sleigh your heart away.
SILENT SKATE PARTY
Thursday, December 14, 2023 | 7 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. sessions
The popular Silent Skate Party returns to The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente for one night only! It’s a silent disco on ice that transports skaters to an on-ice dance party like no other! Lace up your skates, don a cool pair of headphones, and skate the night away with WiLD 94.9 Magic Matt, Star 101.3’s Janine Da Feen, and Bay Area’s DJ Von onsite, spinning your favorite tunes.
POLAR BEAR SKATE
Monday, January 1, 2024 | 2:30–3:30 p.m.
The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente welcomes skaters of all ages to start the New Year off in your swimsuit…on the ice…in the middle of Union Square! As a nod to the popular Canadian tradition, this version of “taking the plunge” skaters are invited to wear their wildest and most inventive beach attire, in hopes of walking away with cool prizes, awarded on theme, originality, and overall appearance.
Sponsors of The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente are Safeway, Kaiser Permanente, Disney’s The Lion King, Hilton San Francisco Union Square, Parc 55 San Francisco, San Francisco Marriott Union Square, Galleria Park Hotel, Grand Hyatt San Francisco, Hotel Emblem, King George Hotel, Union Square Alliance, KTSF26, BART, SFMTA, STAR 101.3, 98.1 The Breeze, 106.1 KMEL, 80s+, WiLD 94.9, PRIDE Radio and Telemundo 48.
About Willy Bietak Productions
Los Angeles-based Willy Bietak Productions is a full-service production company specializing in the development and production of high-quality family entertainment. With a staff of award-winning designers, directors, choreographers and musical arrangers – backed by a talented production and management team – Willy Bietak Productions conceives, packages and tours international entertainment spectaculars as well as special events. For more information, please visit bietakproductions.com.
About the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department
The San Francisco Recreation and Park Department currently manages more than 220 parks, playgrounds and open spaces throughout San Francisco, including two outside city limits—Sharp Park in Pacifica and Camp Mather in the High Sierras. The system includes full-complex recreation centers, swimming pools, golf courses, sports fields and numerous small-to-medium-sized clubhouses that offer a variety of sports-
and arts-related recreation programs for people of all ages. Included in the Department’s responsibilities are Golden Gate Park, Coit Tower, the Marina Yacht Harbor, the San Francisco Zoo and Lake Merced. In 2017, San Francisco became the first and only city in the nation where all residents have access to a park within a 10-minute walk, a direct result of the Department’s commitment to increasing and improving parkland in the city.
Find The Safeway Holiday Ice Rink in Union Square presented by Kaiser Permanente on social media with the hashtag #unionsquarerink, and connect on Facebook (Facebook.com /UnionSquareRink), X (@UnionSquareRink), Instagram (@UnionSquareRink), and TikTok (tiktok.com/@unionsquarerink).
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