Spectrum Center’s outdoor skating rink is back. Last year, more than 24,000 community members made it part of their holiday tradition.

Hit the ice at Spectrum Center

by LORI BASHEDA

Never mind the late autumn sunshine and warm winds. Now is the time to pull out your furry earmuffs and warm woolly mittens, because the Spectrum Center’s ice rink is open for business.

Orange County’s only outdoor rink is open, signaling that the holiday season is underway.

The rink wraps around a 78-foot-tall holiday tree decorated with 23,000 ornaments and more than 40,000 twinkling lights. It is located under the Giant Wheel, itself a beacon of 50,000 lights in motion.

Last year a record 24,000 community members glided on the ice, and this year more are expected.

If you go, be sure to keep your eye out for starry-eyed couples since at least one couple a year chooses the rink to get engaged.

If you don’t have your own ice skates, by the way, you can rent a pair at the rink.

Even if you don’t skate, or are simply too humble to show off your triple salchow, the scene will be sure to put you in the holiday spirit. Every 30 minutes the towering tree turns into a light show with synchronized festive music.

The rink is open every day until Jan. 5 except Thanksgiving and Christmas: 3-5:30 p.m., 6-8:30 p.m. and 9-11 p.m.