With the support of Sacred Heart Hospital, Marcus Pointe Baptist Church, donations and volunteers, the first Blue Wahoos Winter Wonderland event will run each weekend until Dec. 29.
Children run from life-sized game to game on the outfield with their exhausted parent lagging behind. Other children hold on to their parent’s hand while learning to ice skate for the first time on the rink that covers the infield.
“There are about 350 skates to be rented out, and they are almost all rented right now,” volunteer Kim Owens said on Saturday.
Upcoming events this weekend include showings of “The Polar Express” on the stadium’s jumbo-tron on Dec. 7 at 7 p.m. and Dec. 8 at 11 a.m. Also this weekend is the First City Art Market on Dec. 8 and 9 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Tickets are $11 for anyone over five-years-old, and children under five are free of admission. The ticket price includes ice skate rental, as well as unlimited turns on the blow-up toboggan hill and bounce house.
But how is the ice not melting from the Florida heat?
The ice rink is made up of a polymer plastic material that acts as synthetic ice.
But don’t think that just because it’s plastic, that you have less chances of falling. Children were wobbling out to the middle of the rink Saturday afternoon, while adults grasped at the safety railings on the side of the man-made rink for support.
“The ice skating rink is really popular,” volunteer Ashley Egan said. “There’s been a constant, steady want for renting the skates.”
But if you’re not good at skating, don’t worry! There are life-sized chess, tick-tac-toe, checker and Twister boards that have been painted all over the outfield grass.
One small child darted from game to game, running in circles in between boards, while his grandmother tiredly sprinted after him trying to keep up.
Also on the outfield is the blow-up toboggan hill, Sacred Heart Hospital’s 60-foot artificial Christmas tree, and in the late afternoon the Blue Wahoos mascot, Kazoo.
If you’re too early to get a picture with Kazoo, head up the bleachers to sit down with Santa Claus. A photographer will take your picture and post it on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Facebook fan page.
Port Side Grill, located inside the stadium, will be open to serve guests throughout the day. On Thursdays, wear your tackiest sweater to receive a discounted beverage.
Upcoming scheduled events include showings of “It’s a Wonderful Life,” story times with Santa Claus, hayrides around Maritime Park and choral performances. A link for the daily schedule can be found on the Pensacola Blue Wahoos Facebook fan page.
Tickets can be bought at the Blue Wahoos ticket office, or online at BlueWahoos.com.