Hendersonville ice rink opens Tuesday

FILE PHOTO - The Hendersonville ice rink in 2016. (Photo: WLOS staff)

After its debut last year, holiday skating returns to downtown Hendersonville on Tuesday, December 19, 2017 and continues through New Year's Day.

"We weren't sure what to expect last year, but it exceeded our expectations," says Mia Freeman, a downtown merchant who oversees the event. "We had more than 3500 visitors."

This year, the rink in the Visitor Center parking lot on South Main Street includes activities: Visitors can roast marshmallows over a fire pit and make s'mores, sip hot chocolate and cider, visit with Santa Claus, take photos in Christmas-themed cutouts, play games, and take carriage rides.

The skating rink's synthetic ice allows for skating in any weather. Rink representatives say the surface is ideal for learning to skate, because it provides more control than water ice.

Skating sessions are 45 minutes long, and the rink accommodates 40 people at a time.

"Word really got out last year, and we expect a lot more people this year," says Beth Carden, executive director of the Henderson County TDA. "With that in mind, we decided to add activities around the rink, so people can enjoy themselves before and after their skating sessions."

Holiday skating ise part of Henderson County's Home for the Holidays events, which run through the New Year.

"We hope people come and make a tradition out of it," Freeman says. "We hope they go uptown from the skating rink and try the restaurants, do some shopping, and see all the different things Main Street has to offer. It's a wonderful way to bring the whole community together."

Regular skating hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, with the final skating session beginning at 7 p.m. The rink will hold special hours on Christmas Eve, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Christmas Day, noon to 4 p.m.; New Year's Eve, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and New Year's Day, noon to 4 p.m.

Visits with Santa take place Dec. 19-24, from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and carriage rides will run Dec. 22, 23, 30 and 31, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Skating is $8 for adults and $5 for children ages 10 and younger. Group rates are available for 12 or more. Proceeds benefit the nonprofit Henderson County America in Bloom Committee.

For a full schedule of Home for the Holidays events, click here or call (800) 828-4244.

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