No holiday bucket list is complete without a lap or two around the best ice skating rinks in Chicago. Lucky for us, most of the top Chicago Christmas events have built-in skating features, so you can lace up at Millennium Park, Winterland at Gallagher Way and Navy Pier's Winter WonderFest. No skates? No problem—many of the rinks on this list offer low-cost rentals for littles ones and adults. Once you're done dancing on the ice, drive around in search of dazzling Christmas lights in Chicago or warm up at one of the city's best bars with a fireplace.
Don't forget: Rink hours may vary based on weather conditions. We suggest calling ahead before lacing up your skates.
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Ice skating rinks in Chicago
During the World Columbian Exposition of 1893, Midway Plaisance Park was filled with amusement park rides and attractions. Today, the park serves as a connector between Jackson and Washington Park, featuring paths for biking, walking and jogging. When the temperature drops, the green space makes way for a sizable ice rink with free admission. Stop by on Saturday and Sunday for Pond Hockey sessions or Monday through Friday for open skate.
Want to watch planes fly out of Midway while you glide across the ice? Wentworth Park is your South Side destination. If you're looking for something to do after your fingers are frozen, consider heading south for a beer at the 5 Rabbits Cerveceria. The park's website has the upcoming season's ice rink hours.
This year, the Brookfield Zoo teamed up with the Chicago Wolves and the Chicago Zoological Society to debut a temporary, energy-efficient skating rink that's made of heat-pressed layers of polymers (so, no ice involved).
Skate on an NHL-sized indoor rink at one of the Chicago Park District's two indoor ice rinks. 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 is only available Friday 3:30–4:45pm and 9:40–11pm, Saturday 4:40–6:10pm and Sunday 4:30–6pm. Admission is $5, and skate rental is $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), a gymnastics center and a fitness center with yoga classes and a jiujitsu school. Parents: Keep an eye out for classes for little ones, like Baby Blades, Toddler Crawl and Snowplow Sam.