Plunging temps don’t mean you have to hide away, especially when you have easy access to so many of the city’s excellent indoor and outdoor skating rinks. Between your many merry Christmas events, time reserved rooting for the Blackhawks and nights out sipping steamy hot cocktails, find time to hit the ice with your family and friends this winter.
Note: Ice skating hours may vary based on weather conditions. Always call ahead before setting out to skate.
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Outdoor ice skating rinks in Chicago
The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is open to the public for skating with one of the best views of the downtown skyline. Experience one of the city's finest winter traditions from November 18 (the same day as the city's 103rd annual Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration) to March 5. Check the website for daily hours of operation. Admission is free with free skating lessons Friday through Sunday one hour before the rink opens.
The Maggie Daley Park ice ribbon looks like a Mario Kart track, but you won't have to worry about dodging koopa shells or banana peels while you glide around the quarter-mile circuit. The Park Department claims that the slippery ring can accommodate up to 700 skaters, so you'll need to arrive early if you want to set a new course record. The rink opens mid-November and runs through March.
Watch the planes fly out of Midway while you glide across the ice on the rink at Wentworth Park. If you're looking for something to do after your fingers are frozen, consider heading south for a beer at the 5 Rabbits Cerveceria. (See the park's website for ice rink hours.) Skate rentals are $6.
Indoor ice skating rinks in Chicago
Located in Wilmette, the Centennial Ice Rinks offer skating lessons in addition to open skating hours. The facility also contains a skate sharpener and a concession stand for post-skating snacks. Daily admission $7.50–$8.75, children five and under $4. Skate rental $3.75–$4.50. See their site for daily hours and availability.
Skaters of all ages can hit the rink at the Glenview Ice Center, which offers skating lessons, a figure skating school, ice hockey and broomball. Public skating hours: Mon noon–2pm, Tues 10am–noon, Wed noon–2pm, Thurs 10am–noon, Fri noon–2pm & 8:15–10:15pm, Sat & Sun 1:30–3pm. Admission $7–$8. Skate rental $4.
Housing one of the Chicago Park District's two indoor ice rinks and its only indoor tennis courts, McFetridge Sports Center offers sports experiences for athletes of all ages. The facility regularly hosts competitive and recreational ice skating, hockey and tennis programs, as well as special events. Open skate Friday 3:30–4:45pm and 9:30–11pm, Saturday 4:40–6:10pm and Sunday 4:30–6pm. Admission $5. Skate rental $3.
This Chicago Park District facility on the far southwest side offers a year-round, NHL-sized indoor ice rink (with programs in hockey and figure skating as well as open skates), gymnastics classes and a fitness center with classes in yoga and jiujitsu. Open skate: Saturday 4:30–5:50pm; Sunday 3:30–4:50pm; $5, kids 12 and under $4. Adults-only public skate (18+): Mon, Tue, Thu, Fri noon–1:30pm; $3.
The Skatium Ice Arena in Skokie boasts a fullsize rink as well as a smaller ice rink that can be rented for private parties. The venue offers hockey, figure skating and recreational skating year-round. Public skating Tuesday and Wednesday 10:15am–1pm, Thursday 11:15am–1pm, Friday 7–8:30pm, Saturday 2:10–3:40pm and 6–7:30pm, Sunday 2:30–3:45pm. Admission $4.50–$5.50. Skates rental $3.