Winter Skate

There's a lot about the holidays to set your teeth on edge: obnoxious clothing shops trying to get you to open a store credit card, toy commercials setting your kids' hyperactivity at level 10; your mother forcing you to watch some Christmas special featuring Barry Manilow. Yikes. But there are still some activities out there low-key enough to make you appreciate the season and be merry. This week, Rice Park once again turns into a holiday wonderland. What makes it so wonderful? It won't cost you a dime. The park's centerpiece will be the monstrous tree, a behemoth specimen around the same size as the one showcased in Rockefeller Center. Though the tree will no longer spew O2 into our precious environment, this year's symbol of holiday cheer will be lit 24 hours a day by 30,000 energy-efficient LED lights. Twelve-foot sculptures will also decorate the park. Those looking for physical activity should be sure to check out the ice rink. Bring your own skates, or flash a Wells Fargo credit or check card for a free skate rental (skates are $2 otherwise), and skate till you drop. Then get up and skate some more. This Saturday, the park kicks off events from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. with a tree-lighting ceremony, skating exhibitions, and other fun activities. Free; $2 skate rental. Rink hours 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Wednesdays; 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. 109 W. Fourth St., St. Paul. Through February 1
Nov. 29-Feb. 1, 2008

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