First Lady Jill Biden’s 2023 White House Christmas decorations expanded to the grounds of the White House with the addition of a temporary ice skating rink on the South Lawn, the Associated Press reported.
Mrs. Biden hosted the opening of the rink last Wednesday with performances from figure skaters including 1988 gold medalist Brian Boitano.
The 50’ by 70’ rink will be available for children throughout the month of December and is part of the First Lady’s “Magic, Wonder, and Joy” 2023 holiday theme.
While the White House did not specify the hours the rink would be available, it did say Washington-area school children, as well as the children of service members, frontline workers, teachers, and first responders, would be invited to use the rink.
Earlier in the week, Mrs. Biden unveiled the Christmas decorations inside the White House which she said were designed to bring the same “magic, wonder, and joy” of the holidays that people felt when they were children.
In opening the rink last week, Mrs. Biden reminisced about ice skating with her siblings on the canals along the Delaware River as a child in Pennsylvania. After her speech, the first lady joined the audience to watch the ice show.
According to the White House, the NHL Players Association and the National Hockey League will offer lessons through their “Learn to Play/Learn to Skate” program. The program offers first-time skaters coaching, weekly sessions, and free skates and equipment.
The rink is supported by the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service, and Comcast Spectator.
This is not the first time an ice skating rink has been set up on the White House Grounds.
In his final Christmas at the White House, President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn constructed a skating rink on the South Lawn so Olympic skater Peggy Fleming could perform during Christmas receptions.