The rink at Yosemite's Curry Village is anything but standard

Wobbly toddlers holding their daddies’ hands, groups of teens trying desperately to keep their ankles straight, show-offs pulling hockey-style crossover moves. The crowd is fairly standard, but the rink at Yosemite’s Curry Village is anything but.

Tucked among tall pines, the rink practically bumps up against the granite walls at the base of Glacier Point.

With the views, the Christmas music, the colored lights garlanded around the rink, and the roaring bonfire where skaters can warm up with hot chocolate, a better place for a family skate is hard to imagine. Many make a holiday tradition of returning year after year.

On weekends, choose from four 2 1⁄2-hour sessions offered from morning to evening. Once it’s dark, you can only see Half Dome by the light of the moon, sometimes clearly, sometimes just barely―all the better to work on those turns. ―Abigail Peterson

INFO: Curry Village ice rink (open daily mid-Nov-early Mar, weather permitting; call for session details; $6.50, $5 ages 11 and under, $3.25 skate rental; follow signs to Curry Village in Yosemite National Park; or 209/372-8319)

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