It isn’t always easy to get into the holiday spirit when there isn’t any snow.

One way to experience holiday cheer is to head to The Big Chill in Brentwood, where an icy winter wonderland awaits. Brentwood’s newest holiday attraction at The Streets of Brentwood features a 10,000-square-foot ice rink, a polar plunge ice slide, a 3,200-square-foot ice lodge, light and sound shows, food trucks on the weekends, live music on select nights and more family fun.  

“The Big Chill is the perfect place for families to come together and celebrate the holidays,” said Laura Montalvo, co-owner of Polar Sports and The Big Chill in Brentwood, along with her fiancé Paul Bates.  

According to Montalvo, The Big Chill was modeled after the ice rink at Northstar in Lake Tahoe.

“Even the furniture we have in and around the Ice Lodge is the same,” she said. 

The venue celebrated their grand opening Dec. 2 with live music, food trucks, holiday treats, gourmet popcorn and hot chocolate. 

“We created an attractive seating area, lights and decorations and have arranged to have food trucks by the Foodie Crew on the weekends,” said Montalvo. “We want people to stay and hang around and listen to music and enjoy the festive environment.” 

Since opening, local residents have loved hitting the ice and plunging down the slide.

“Small and big kids had so much fun,” said East County resident Melanie Policar, who celebrated her daughter’s sixth birthday at the venue. “Take your kids – they’ll have a blast!”

For those who don’t know how to skate, The Big Chill offers skating lessons on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, available only by reservation.

“We love, love, love to create joy and happiness in others through skating,” said Montalvo.

The owners’ love for skating is what led them to create their first ice rink in Dublin in 2009 and 2010. Since then, the couple, which used to live in Brentwood, had planned to bring a classy holiday skating venue to the city. 

“We are a small business – not a big corporation – and had a dream to build a holiday ice rink for some years now,” said Montalvo.

The Big Chill is planning to stay open through the end of January or longer, if weather and business permits. They will also have extended hours and special rates during the holidays, which are listed on their website. 

The Big Chill is located at The Streets of Brentwood, 2445 Sand Creek Road. For more information, including attraction hours and rates, visit www.bigchillbrentwood.com or call 925-437-2445.

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