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Sports & Recreation

Best Cheapo Ice Skating 

Yerba Buena Ice Skating & Bowling Center

Skating rinks are magical places. Maybe it's the motion -- that graceful, circular glide. Maybe it's the nostalgia -- that memory of skating hand-in-sweaty-hand with your middle-school sweetheart. Maybe it's the cheesy, upbeat pop hits that blare from the speakers -- the perfect soundtrack for next week's bruises. Welcome to Wednesday nights in Yerba Buena Gardens, which features San Francisco's only year-round public ice skating rink. The use of skates is free, and a moderate admission charge ($7 for adults, $5.50 for seniors and kids 12 and under) gets you a couple of blissful hours on the ice. You don't have to be Kristi Yamaguchi at Yerba; there are lots of beginners bobbling around the rink, and a watchful staff stands ready should you wipe out. The scene is (rightly) dominated by 15-year-olds with raging hormones, but more mature skaters won't feel like they're crashing the party. Quite the opposite: When you unlace the skates to get a cup of cocoa at the concession stand, it's impossible not to feel like a kid again.


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