'Tis the Season for Hillsboro's Winter Village
Skate Together at Orenco Station on the Region's Only Open-Air Ice Rink
Search online for “ice skating in Oregon” and you’ll discover you don’t have to travel far to enjoy the classic winter pastime.
Ice skating comes to Hillsboro’s Jerry Willey Plaza at Orenco Station this week when Winter Village’s 3,000-square-foot ice skating rink opens the day after Thanksgiving, Friday, November 23, and lasts through Sunday, January 6.
“I love watching people — from toddlers to adults — take their first steps on the ice,” said Iris Ringer, Special Events Supervisor for the City of Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Department. “Skating at Winter Village is fun for people of all ages and abilities to do together over the holidays, and the rink is wheelchair-accessible.”
Winter Village: An Unforgettable Experience
Picture yourself in the scene: Passengers step off the MAX and hear holiday tunes from the Winter Village nearby. Holiday lights twinkle around the plaza as a snowman waves to welcome visitors to the covered outdoor ice skating rink.
This is Winter Village.
Every year, Hillsboro residents of all ages bundle up, lace up orange skates, and share smiles as they venture out onto the ice. Parents push the tail of a cute orange seal while their young child rides perched on its back. A couple holds hands for romance — and balance — as they circle the rink.
The crisp winter air carries the sound of laughter and chatter in different languages. To warm up after an hour or so on the ice, visitors drink hot cocoa, rest in a cozy café, or pick up presents in local shops.
A New Hillsboro Tradition
Several years ago, Hillsboro residents asked City leaders for more family-friendly activities during winter break. Hillsboro Parks & Recreation Department employees dreamed big: What if they transformed Jerry Willey Plaza at Orenco Station into a winter village with an outdoor ice-skating rink?
Thousands of people came to the only outdoor ice skating rink in the Portland metro area during the first year in 2015. In the years to follow, Hillsboro Parks & Recreation employees extended the skating season and provided a larger ice rink to welcome even more skaters.
More than 14,000 people experienced the Winter Village during its first three years. Now, Winter Village continues to grow as a permanent, annual community celebration.
Winter Village: Make Your Memories
Gliding across the ice at Jerry Willey Plaza is fast becoming one of Hillsboro’s time-honored seasonal traditions. Grab family and friends to hold onto while you unwind together and try something new. Don’t forget to bring your phone for selfies — and tag them #WinterVillageHillsboro.
Laughing at yourself when you fall is part of the experience. Plus, did you know that ice skating is a great exercise? It works almost every muscle group, burns between 300–650 calories an hour, and improves balance and joint flexibility.
After years of organizing Winter Village, Iris Ringer extends an open invitation to hockey players, speed skaters, figure skaters, and absolute beginners: “Come make lasting memories and create holiday magic, all without leaving Hillsboro.”
Jerry Willey Plaza at Orenco Station, 943 NE Orenco Station Loop, Hillsboro. Orenco Station Loop is at the south end of Orenco Station Parkway at the Orenco MAX Station. Plan your visit:
Winter Village opens in November on Friday, November 23, the day after Thanksgiving. It closes for the season after its final day on Sunday, January 6, before school resumes. Check out the latest on the schedule, prices, and private rentals for this year’s Winter Village.