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A photo overlooking the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond surrounded by historic homes
Photograph: Philip Case Cohen

The best ice skating rinks in the USA

At these ice skating rinks across the country, lace up your boots and take yourself for a spin

Written by
Emilee Lindner

Before the best ice skating rinks in the USA even existed, skaters would carefully monitor the conditions on their frozen-over family ponds (read: not cool). The whole practice was as safe as it sounds (read: not at all), but these days there’s less to worry about. When it comes to lacing up and going for a twirl on a sheet of ice, you’ll find charming ice rinks all across the country — naturally, some are just a cut above the rest.

Each modern ice rink has something unique to offer. In California, Siskiyou Ice Rink frames mesmerizing views of the Cascade Mountains, while New Hampshire’s Puddle Dock Pond takes skaters back in time as they spin around an old-timey village — you’ll even find slick rinks in unlikely places like Las Vegas (complete with man-made snow), and an indoor rink in Houston (inside one of the largest malls in America).

Ready to take a lap? Check out our list of the best ice skating rinks in the USA and start practicing your quadruple axel before the ice melts away until next year.

RECOMMENDED: best winter vacations in the USA

Best ice skating rinks in the USA

There’s nothing like winter in New York, and even when the weather is cold, nothing beats a night at the rink beneath the city’s most iconic holiday symbol: the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree. The Rink at Rockefeller Center is perhaps the most famous skating rink in the world, visited by an estimated 250,000 people each year. The place is so special, in fact, The Rink offers engagement packages if you’re looking to get down on one knee... on the ice!
 Admission: $20-$54

The Guidant John Rose MN OVAL: Roseville, MN
Photograph: Guidant John Rose MN OVAL

The Guidant John Rose MN OVAL: Roseville, MN

Is your refrigerator running? At the Oval, it’s always running — all 800 tons of refrigeration, which makes this the largest ice skating rink in North America. With 84 miles of underground piping to maintain the ice, the rink holds up even when temperatures sneak into the 50s. Speed-skaters love all the extra space, which hosts racing events like World Cup Speed Skating. More unique sports like “bandy” (kind of like hockey) and “aggressive skating” (exactly what it sounds like) are also played here. But don’t let the professionals deter you from taking a turtle-like pace, however — it’s open to everyone. Admission: $7


Ice skating truly is a quaint, wholesome winter activity. Some might say it’s too wholesome. But for anyone who needs to get their holiday aggression out, this rink in Providence, Rhode Island, offers ice bumper cars. That’s right, you can can steer your frustrations into a fellow bumper buddy. Of course, the rink — which offers a beautiful view of the city’s skyline — accommodates low-key ice skaters as well, but you might as well do something bumpin’ while you’re there, don’t you think? Admission: $12 - $15 bumper cars; $7 skating

Olaf hive, rise up. If you’re a snow bunny and beach bum all in one, this rink is for you. Nestled on the shore of the Pacific Ocean at Hotel Del Coronado, just north of the U.S.-Mexico border, you can skate even when temperatures hit 70 degrees (brrrr!). The hotel goes all out for the holidays, and during their celebrations guests can cuddle up by a toasty fire in a private rink-side lounge while they nosh on holiday-themed libations and bites. Admission: $35


Skate back in time at the Labrie Family Skate at Puddle Dock Pond, part of the Strawbery Banke Museum, a 10-acre living museum that celebrates history from Indigenous people to current times. Visitors to the professionally maintained rink can glide right past historic homes that sit on their original colonial foundations — they’re outrageously charming, too. In the summer, you can watch as role-players recreate vintage ways of life in the New Hampshire neighborhood, but in the winter, it’s all about the skate. Admission: $12

Colorado is known for its skiing, but the skating here is pretty thrilling as well. Situated right in the center of the village, skaters will feel the beating heart of Beaver Creek Village, a hub for all winter activities. The rink is a bustling area for family-friendly fun — oh, and cookies. The Beaver Creek Resort Company’s tradition of serving cookies every day at 3 p.m. is back this year, and the resort estimates 500,000 chocolate chip cookies are handed out annually. Pair that with a hot cocoa and you’ve got fuel to skate for hours and hours. Admission: $5


One of America’s most idyllic traditions, ice skating at Yosemite National Park has been happening since 1928. Located at the base of the Half Dome rock face, skaters can spin and twirl in front of the iconic landmark. You won’t be visiting the park just to skate, however. Get ready to spend a lot of time outdoors with skiing, snowshoeing, tubing, and snowboarding. Then rest your bones by the cozy rink-side fire pits. Admission: $14

No offense to the Rockefeller Ice Rink in New York City, but this skater’s paradise is 67% bigger. A frozen layer of ice covers Pittsburgh's downtown Plaza between Third Avenue and Fourth Avenue from November to February, where you’ll feel like you’re drifting through an ice castle as the surrounding buildings reflect the large, lit Christmas tree in its center (the tree has all the bells and whistles, and claims to be the most technologically-advanced tree worldwide). Bring a friend, too — the rink boasts 700 pairs of skate rentals, and there are plenty of pairs even if you’re sensible size 13.
 Admission: $11 - $12


Slipping and falling on your tush is much less humiliating when everyone else is preoccupied with a gorgeous view. At Siskiyou Ice Rink, which sits near the base of Mt. Shasta, you’ll find it hard to focus on your form when the snow-covered Cascade Range of Northern California are glistening in the distance. So go ahead, make your mistakes, because everyone else will be tripping over that stunning view. Admission costs $10

Have you ever dreamed of skating in the Olympics? The James B. Sheffield Olympic Skating Rink in Lake Placid, New York, is as close as you can get without actually competing. Somewhat unusual for an Olympic site, the outdoor oval speed skating rink (which was used in both the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics) is located on the front lawn of a high school in the middle of the small Adirondack village. The rink is open to the public for both speed skating and regular ice skating sessions, when weather permits. But if the weather’s really isn’t cooperating, there’s also indoor skating at both the 1932 arena and the 1980 arena — the site of the famous “Miracle on Ice” hockey game. Admission: $20


You can combine ice skating and holiday shopping at Houston’s Galleria, one of the largest malls in the country that just so happens to pocket a rink right inside — it’s perfect for shoppers who need a quick break between stores. Built in 1970 beneath the shopping center’s glass atrium, it was the first-ever skating rink built within a mall. You can skate year-round at the Galleria, but a 55-foot Christmas tree goes up in November to give it peak holiday vibes. Better yet? You can also take lessons and even skate with Santa. Admission: $23

The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan: Las Vegas, NV
Photograph: Patrick Gray / Courtesy of The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan: Las Vegas, NV

Believe it or not, you can skate on real ice outside in Sin City. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas transforms its Boulevard Pool into a 4,200-square-foot skating rink above the Strip. And of course, you know a Vegas rink will go big — there are lights, movie nights with holiday favorites, and DJs galore. You can also chill by a fire pit with a fancy cocktail while you roast s’mores in between laps, or you can get caught in a (scheduled) snow shower to really up your vacation selfie game. Admission: $30


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