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Tuacahn adds ice skating to Christmas in Canyon


By Lisa Larsen

In a Christmas setting featuring twinkling lights, a visit with Santa Claus, carolers, hot cocoa and a live nativity program, all you need to complete this picturesque memory is to add a little ice.

And now they have.

For the first time Tuacahn’s Christmas in the Canyon will feature an ice skating rink situated beautifully at the base of Tuacahn’s towering red canyon.

“It’s going to be spectacular,” says Kevin Smith, Tuacahn CEO. “This is what Tuacahn is all about, offering something unique to visitors and helping them create memories that will last a lifetime.”
The 85-by-55-foot space is situated on the rehearsal pad just behind the new Arts Center, near the Entrada Dance Studio. It is easily viewable from the windows in the Gift Gallery and in the Snow Canyon Café. At night, the area will be enhanced with a variety of theater lighting techniques, making it even more awe-inspiring. “The setting alone makes it worth the trip to Tuacahn,” Smith says.

Offering an ice rink as part of Christmas in the Canyon and beyond is something Smith says has been on the minds of the Tuacahn team for years. Building and maintaining such a space in southern Utah, a region known for its relatively warm temperatures, meant Smith and his staff had to get a little creative to make this happen.

Extensive research by Smith and Brad Shelton, set designer for Tuacahn, led them to a state-of-the-art self-lubricating synthetic ice product that looks and feels just like real ice.
“It’s kind of a novelty,” Smith says, adding that allowing people to experience something as though it is real is part of the overall magic of Tuacahn
That philosophy extends from the ice rink to the live nativity production and into the Hafen Theater where audiences can enjoy the fabricated reality of a story about Santa Claus and several classic fairy tale characters in “Fairy Tale Christmas.”

“It’s all part of Christmas in the Canyon as it continues to grow,” Smith says. Christmas in the Canyon, including the ice skating rink, opens the day after Thanksgiving. Skating hours are 5-9 p.m. Skate prices are just $7 per person with group rates available for $5 per person. See the online calendar for specific dates for “Fairy Tale Christmas,” Christmas in the Canyon and ice skating at www.tuacahn.org or call 435-652-3300.

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