At one of Huntsville’s newest holiday extravaganzas, the skating rink is just the tip of the iceberg. Winter Park at the Orion Amphitheater runs all December long, inviting families to glide, wander, sip, and sing their way through the open-air venue and beyond.
“The ice rink is the crown jewel of the event, but we really lean into the idea that we’re surrounded by a city park,” says Ryan Murphy, the venue’s managing director. “We activate it with a lot of winter wonderland activities.”
A few spins around the bowl of the Orion give skaters panoramic views of the venue bedecked in lights and festive finery.
Head over to the adjacent Apollo Park, where local choral groups and a musician perform holiday favorites; firepits beckon kiddos to toast s’mores; and visitors can book cozy, curated spaces with après-ski vibes.
If the outside twinkle lights and decorated trees aren’t enough to inspire the holiday spirit, head indoors to the venue’s new Jeff & Blues building. The soaring wood-framed barn is decorated like a ski chalet during Winter Park. (It’s also a great spot for the grown-ups to grab a hot beverage as the evening progresses.)
Also new this year on select dates: rink-side dining on the stage above the skaters, à la Rockefeller Center. “We’re working with some really great regional chefs,” Murphy says.
Plan a visit for Thursday through Sunday. Entrance to Winter Park is free. Fees apply for skating, food, and beverage options throughout the event, and other add-ons.