ALAMEDA -- The Little Ice Rink is back and is opening Friday at Alameda South Shore Center and will run through Jan. 21.

The rink first opened in 2011, thanks to the generous support of Alameda-based Perforce Software Foundation. Perforce is spearheading the effort to bring an ice rink to the Island again this year, along with Executive Inn & Suites Embarcadero Cove of Oakland, Bayside Hotel Oakland and the Bank of Alameda.

"We are pleased to offer a home to what has quickly become a local treasure and invite everyone to come skate at the beach," said Michael Phillips, chief operating officer of mall-owner Jamestown. "The rink, along with our Santa House and Winter Wonderland, will be the site of many community-focused holiday activities this year."

The 3,000-square-foot rink is located at Park Street and Franciscan Way, next to Petco. It was put up by Ice-America, who will operate the rink from 3-10 p.m. Monday through Thursday and from 12 noon to 10 p.m. Friday through Sunday.

Organizers say that, as in past years, skating celebrities like Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano and others VIPs are expected to make a special appearance at the rink.

Santa Claus will take to the ice at 2 p.m. on Black Friday, Nov. 23. Later in the afternoon and through Dec. 24, he will be available for photos with children and family members in the courtyard near Daiso and Kohl's. Pet photos can be taken with Santa on Dec. 6 and 13.

Visitors are also encouraged to try out treats being sold at the mall's Candy Shop. Shoppers with a Candy Shop receipt will get a 20 percent discount on tickets to the ice rink. Peter's Kettle Corn will also be sold on site.

Tickets for the ice rink, including rented skates, are $10-$15. Group discounts are available and skaters can also rent Bobby the Seal skating aids for $5 a session.