Brenton Skating Plaza Opens for Winter Season

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DES MOINES, Iowa -- Cold weather often makes you want to stay inside with some hot chocolate, but some winter attractions might change your mind.

Brenton Skating Plaza opens for the season Friday at noon.

“We have been working around the clock to get everything ready for opening day. They laid the ice at night, when it’s dark, so it’s taken quite a few days to get everything ready,” Brenton Skating Plaza General Manager Robbin McClelland said.

They have something for everyone, even beginners.

“We are doing a clinic once a month where you learn how to fall and a few key moves,” McClelland said.

Greater Des Moines Partnership CEO Jay Byers said he and his daughter took some ice skating lessons together and love to come to the plaza to skate every season.

“I think it’s really important for Iowans to embrace winter. I think sometimes we tend to want to stay inside, but we’ve got a lot of great things to do in this city. One of those being skating at Brenton Plaza. It’s a great way to get exercise and spend time with your family,” Byers said.

Brenton Skating Plaza is also part of a special holiday event happening Friday in the East Village called the Holiday Promenade.

“Miss Iowa will be here and taking pictures with the kids to promote Disney on Ice and Santa will be here around 6 for the tree lighting,” McClelland said.

Holiday Promenade schedule:

  • Santa will be at Brenton Skating Plaza at 5 pm to help light the tree at 6 pm. Live ice carving starts right after at 6:30 pm.
  • At 7 pm, you can find Santa at LifeServe Blood Center. At LifeServe, you can also enjoy live entertainment including Ballet Des Moines performances at 5:30 pm and 6:30 pm and photo ops with a princess and superhero.
  • Free horse-drawn trolley rides on Walnut Street start at 5:30 pm and run until 7:30 pm. Carolers will be strolling around the neighborhood throughout the night and there will be tap dancing performances starting at 6 pm in the Soho Breezeway.
  • Most shops in the neighborhood will have extended hours and treats making it the perfect time to start your holiday shopping.
  • There are more than 40 shops to enjoy snacks and sips. From cookies and cocktails to wine and cheese, you’re sure to find something to enjoy while you shop.
  • Attendees can find free parking in the State of Iowa parking garage at Grand and Pennsylvania Ave or the new City of Des Moines parking garage located at E. 2nd and Grand. Patrons can also park on the street, but remember that metered parking is free starting at 6 p.m. If you’d like to park close, there is parking available at Embassy Suites for a small fee.

Brenton Skating Plaza hours:

Monday- Thursday 3-9 p.m.

Friday and Saturday Noon- 11 p.m.

Sunday Noon- 6p.m.