Ice skating and more: Christmas in July on Eakins Oval

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This may be the last day of July, but on Eakins Oval, it seemed a lot more like late December. (WPVI)

This may be the last day of July, but on Eakins Oval, it seemed a lot more like late December.

They're calling it Christmas in July.

For her first time on ice skates, 7-year-old Chase Ingram of Chestnut Hill in Philadelphia told Action News it was an unusually warm experience.

"I didn't know I could go ice skating in the summer time!" she exclaimed.

The plastic ice-skating surface, complete with rental skates, was set up on Eakins Oval as organizers tried to transform the space from blistering to blizzard-like.

"It's just plastic sheets that lock together like tongue and groove flooring," said Ed Donowick of BH Skating. "And we just cover it with glycol so you can glide over the top of it."

This is the third summer that Philadelphia Parks and Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy have teamed up to turn Eakins Oval into a pop-up park, bringing thousands of people into the Oval each week for family fun.

On every Friday through the end of August, there's a "Food & Flicks" night, featuring a movie and themed food trucks, and a beer garden, featuring local brews like Yards and Victory.

"It's a great way to get out and meet other people, make new friends, enjoy activities they wouldn't normally experience," said Kathryn Ott Lovell of the Fairmount Park Conservancy, "and just enjoy being outdoors in Philly in this great summer."

"I love all these pop-ups, and there's always something going on," said Sarah Kurliand of Manayunk. "It's just really fun and it's a good way to build community."

And for the novice synthetic ice skater, a word of advice:

"It's a lot more like roller blading than ice skating," said Christine Horn. "You have to stand up straight. Be confident you're going to go forward and not down."
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