Franciscan Polar Plaza: Holiday Skating in Downtown Tacoma

Starting November 23, 2012 through January 6, 2013, the public can ice skate at Polar Plaza located at 1701 Pacific Avenue Tacoma, WA 98402 (across from the Tacoma Art Museum and next to the Courtyard Marriott). This is the second year this opportunity has been available.

General admission is $8, children aged 5 and under are $3, members of the Tacoma Art Museum are $6, members of the Franciscan Health System are $6, and military and seniors aged 65 and older are $7. Skate rentals are $2. Cameron Fellows, deputy director for the Tacoma Art Museum, explained discounted prices: “Monday through Thursday, three weeks in a row there are half price days, November 26 through 29, December 3 through 6, and December 10 through the 13.”

Cameron mentioned some brief history on the ice rink: “Downtown merchants and the Chamber tried to get the thing going approximately 4 to 5 years ago and there’s one in Bellevue. It’s been around and very successful, so we decided to work on it on our own and got Franciscan Health System as the lead sponsor and they are very supportive of the ice rink.

We wanted to be a downtown community member and thought it’d be a great way to bring people downtown. Once we got a sponsor, we could make the thing happen.”

Cameron commented on the ice rink: “It’s exciting, a place to be seen. The fun thing is seeing three to four generations skating and a family holding hands and having a good time. Skating seems to have a higher population of women than men, but overall having a good time listening to music and having fun.”

Cameron mentioned the best thing about the ice rink: “Polar plaza is easy to get to and there’s plenty of parking. You come as a group and go to your favorite restaurant such as: Two Kwoi, Pacific Grill, Indochine, the Spaghetti Factory, and the Swiss which are all sponsors; just have a good time downtown.”

Cameron discussed what many people may not know, “We have benches to put your skates on and we’ve had community groups come in and paint them (high school and junior colleges) painted the bench this year. We had other museums paint them and that’s kind of fun, they’re really neat. They painted them in holiday themes and did whatever they wanted for the art work. Last year the painting took place all onsite and we gave awards for the best paint job.”

Cameron revealed how this ice rink was unique compared to others: “It’s outdoors, it’s tented but open on side when you drive by on Pacific Avenue you can see the skaters. You’re only 10 to 15 feet away from the people in front of the Marriott and if you look to the right, you can see the skaters right there; as we pulled the ice rink as close as we could to the street.”

When asked who he recommended visit the ice rink, Cameron replied, “Everyone; a lot of times some people will come in groups and two out of six people do not know how to skate. The non-skaters enjoy leaning against the rail and watching. For every two non-skaters, they have fun with the have hot cocoa, cider, muffins, and cookies that are for sale.”

For more information, please visit:, call Cameron at: 206 518-0630, or email: “We will have opportunities for you to learn how to skate on most Saturdays. We open at 10 am which is the best time for people to learn as someone will be there to help with ice skating. Wear good socks when you come down here,” Cameron concluded.


By: Carly Calabrese, staff for

3 thoughts on “Franciscan Polar Plaza: Holiday Skating in Downtown Tacoma”

  1. This brings back memories not sure my ankles would like to try it anymore.the rink is set up in a very great location easy to find.

  2. As a kid my friends and I would go skating as often as we could. It was a lot of fun as many of the people reading this will remember. I want to check this place out.

  3. I love ice skating Carly. WOW thanks for the article. My soon to be husband and I may go tonight. Ha-ha I’m the events coordinator in our relationship. And I have the best boyfriend ever. He tags along and never complains. Thanks Carly

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