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Ice sports find home at Stockton arena

Derek Eisler is part of a grass-roots effort on ice skating.

A former assistant coach of National Hockey League’s San Jose Sharks, he’s the current general manager – along with Dayv Glusing – of the Oak Park Ice Arena.

“We’re here to promote all ice sports – hockey, figure skating, broom ball, and curling,” Eisler said.

But it all starts with the basics.

On Wednesday evenings and Saturday mornings, Eisler instructs the “Learn to Skate Program,” which is designed to build confidence and provide fundamentals to people of all ages and skill levels, from Tiny Tots to Adults.

“Right now, we have more hockey players than figure skaters,” he said.

Cost is $100 per session and includes skate rental (if needed), ice time, and a skate punch card good for eight free admissions to the public sessions. This registration fee also covers the annual dues for the U.S. Figure Skating Association.

Students as young as age 3 can enroll in the Beginners class.

Public sessions are on Monday (3-5 p.m.), Tuesday (2-5 p.m.), Wednesday (2-5 p.m. / 7:45-9:15 p.m.), Friday (2-5 p.m. / 7-9 p.m.), Saturday (2-4 p.m.) and Sunday (3-5 p.m.). Those in the “Learn to Skate Program” can use these sessions for practice.

“Skating is a good cardio exercise,” Eisler said. “For recreational skaters, it works out all your muscles.”

For those in the skating program – this includes the Stockton Colts, which has been around since 1957 or back when the ice rink was located at the San Joaquin County Fairgrounds – Oak Park employs a fitness trainer to work with students on “exercises to mimic ice skating,” said Eisler.

The next step for some will be the “Learn to Play Hockey,” a Saturday morning initiation in to the sport as well as a three-on-three cross-ice development program.

Players ages 4 through 10 can take part in this eight-week session. Cost is $175 and includes loaner gear made possible by Rick Pelascki, Podesta Farms, and The Stockton Colts.

Eisler, who also coaches the Colts of the NorCal Youth Hockey League, came to Oak Park three years ago with an impressive resume.

From 1993 to 1996, he served as an assistant to the Sharks, where he assisted in tactical kills and developing the organization’s young talent. Eisler held the position of Youth and Amateur Hockey Director.

Prior to that, he was the Assistant Director of the U.S. Development League in Brainerd, Minnesota.

In addition, Eisler was with the IMG Hockey Academy from the U.S. Hockey League, where served as the assistant coach for the Rochester Mustangs.

The Oak Park Ice Arena, located at 3545 Alvarado Ave., in Stockton, opened in 1970 and remains as one of the few year-round indoor ice rinks in California. Eisler indicated that the only other ice-skating facilities nearby are in Fresno, Dublin and Roseville.

The ice surface is 85 by 200 feet and the Oak Park facilities seats up to 350 spectators and is equipped with a full-service pro shop.

For more information, call the Oak Park Ice Arena at 209.937.7433 or log on to


Skating in the 209

The forecast for Dell’Osso Family Farms come December calls for snow.

That’s when Holiday on the Farms at 501 S. Manthey Road in Lathrop is scheduled to open along with “Ice Skating on the Farm.”

Dress warm for this outdoor skating rink that will run from Dec. 6 through Jan. 3.

Sessions are held daily on a first come, first serve basis. A special Mom’s and Dad’s Stroller Skating on Ice will be held Monday through Thursday, from 10 a.m. to noon.

Cost for the sessions are as followed:

Monday through Thursday
– General (ages 8 & up), $12 with skates, $10 without; Children (ages 7 and under), $10 with skates, $8 without; Special, Stroller Skating, $10 with skates, $8 without. u Friday, Saturday, & Sunday
– General (ages 8 & up), $14 with skates, $12 without; children (ages 7 & under), $12 with skates, $10 without. A season pass is available for $47.

Check the listings for the times and schedule.

For more information call 209.982.0833 or visit


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The Curry Village Ice Skating Rink in Yosemite National Park has been a tradition since the 1930s.

Opened through early March, this outdoor ice skating rink is tucked beneath the majestic forms of Half Dome and Glacier Point, making it a one-of-a-kind Northern California experience.

Cost is $10 for adults and seniors and $9.50 for children.

The rink sessions for weekends and holidays are 8:30 to 11 a.m.; noon to 2:30 p.m.; 3:30 to 6 p.m.; and 7 to 9:30 p.m.

The weekday schedule is noon to 2:30 p.m.; 3:30 to 6 p.m.; and 7 to 9:30 p.m. For more information call 209.372.8319 or visit

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R.A.M. Farms is holding its second season of Fields of Ice, an outdoor ice skating rink located at R.A.M. Farms in Turlock. The rink is bigger and better this year and concessions are available.

The ice rink is located next to the farm's Christmas tree lot, making for a festive atmosphere.

Week day pricing per two-hour session for children ages 3 to 12 is $8, and adults $10. Weekend and holiday pricing for a two-hour session is $10 for children and $12 for adults.

The rink is located at 716 N. Daubenberger Dr. in Turlock and operates daily from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., with sessions every two hours, through the holidays until Jan. 19.

For more information, call 209.668.2425 or visit