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Usher in the holiday season with Polar Plaza

A list of fun, family-friendly activities

Get your skates and your smiles on at Polar Plaza. Photo credit: Metro Parks Tacoma

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It's that time of year again! Time to strap on your ice skates and head to downtown Tacoma to show off your best moves. CHI Franciscan Polar Plaza is back again and is quite possibly the perfect complement for your downtown holiday experience. Now in its sixth year, this temporary ice skating rink has become something of a local holiday tradition. After a long day of shopping or visiting the museums, paying Polar Plaza a visit only seems fitting. Beyond the blades and Zambonis, there's also a series of exciting activities slated for November and December.

The Polar Plaza rink will spring up at the City of Tacoma's Tollefson Plaza, just across the street from Tacoma Art Museum Nov. 19. Public ice skating sessions will take place throughout November and December with its final day on New Year's Day 2017. Metro Parks Tacoma will serve as the rink's operator and, in addition, will host the other free, fun, and family-friendly activities and events.

Saturday, Nov. 19, there will be a story time event presented by W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory. This activity as well as other Polar Plaza activities will take place in a tented event space adjacent to the rink. "Staff from the W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory in Wright Park are giving skaters a taste of what occurs during the Conservatory's story time," said Roxanne Miles of Metro Parks Tacoma. Both the kiddies and adults are bound to have an excellent time making memories listening to stories from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 20, there's another fantastically fun event - Let's Play with Mini Sports & Ollie the Orca. Last year's Polar Plaza was focused on live music, this year there's more of a spotlight on family-oriented events. "We wanted to focus on hands-on intergenerational play," added Miles. This complimentary event is on from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Not all the events are targeted solely at kids. Saturday, Nov. 26, Groovin' with Metro Artists is taking place from 4 p.m.- 8 p.m. This is a terrific opportunity to catch live music from incredibly talented local musicians. The following day, meet local sport celebrities with Skate with the Seattle Thunderbirds on the rink from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Shred the ice with the Thunderbirds, but don't blow a tire. Ah, hockey!

Saturday, Dec. 3, bring your love for building to Legotasic Creations. This event allows creativity to flow through the medium of Lego blocks. This event takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. There are many more wintery activities being held at Polar Plaza including Ugly Holiday Sweater Fest and Jingle Bell Karaoke. For a complete list of all the Polar Plaza's non-ice skating events and group skating rates and private parties, go to

CHI FRANCISCAN POLAR PLAZA ICE RINK, Saturday, Nov. 19 to Sunday, Jan. 1, Tollefson Plaza, 17th and Pacific Ave., Tacoma, $11, $10 military and seniors, $5 children 5 and younger,

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