Ice, Ice Baby: Chill Places to Ice Skate in Chicago

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Sock skating on a wooden floor might be fun, but there’s nothing like feeling the cool breeze on your face as you glide across a real ice rink. It’s time to lace up your skates for an essential winter activity (and then maybe warm your bellies with a cup of hot cocoa). Keep reading to find great places to ice skate in Chicago. Some are free, some are new — and many offer loads of other activities in the same location.

This article is sponsored by Visit Rosemont. Learn more about Skating in the Park at the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink!

photo: Parkway Bank Park

Parkway Bank Park

In the wintertime, Parkway Bank Park in Rosemont offers skating in the park, where The Chicago Wolves ice rink takes center stage with the perfect ticket price: free. Easy parking and plenty of dining options round out the seasonal fun. After untying your skates, head over to the Sugar Factory and warm up with over-the-top hot cocoas.

Between now and Jan. 2, make it a full day of wintry fun by visiting The Amaze Light Festival at Impact Field. You'll be treated to tubing, a holiday market, festive food and beverages, Santa's workshop, a train ride and holiday crafts, all amongst an immersive display of more than one million holiday lights. 

Nov. 26-Feb. 27; Parkway Bank Park, 5501 Park Pl., Rosemont; More details.  

Millennium Park

Spectacular views will be your backdrop when you take a spin at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park. Reservations are required for 90-minute skate sessions. Once again this year, the rink will offer free ice skating lessons Sat. & Sun., 8 a.m.-9 a.m. 

Nov. 19-Mar. 6; Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph, Loop; More details

Maggie Daley Park

The Maggie Daley Park ice skating ribbon is one of the best spots in the city to skate a figure eight. The railing that lines the loop is the perfect pick-me-up for wobbly skaters (young & old). This year, they're partnering with Immersive Van Gogh to project Van Gogh-inspired visuals on the ice. 

A skate assist sled is available for use by skaters with physical disabilities and their companion skater. 

Nov. 19-Mar. 13; Skate rental is $16+, Free to skate with your own skates; 337 E. Randolph St., Loop; More details

photo: Christkindlmarket

The Rink at Gallagher Way

The Rink at Gallagher Way is an 8,000-square-foot outdoor rink and the focal point of the Winterland programming. It's open for skating, curling and, new this year, bumper car riding. Visit prior to Dec. 31 and shop Christkindlmarket, Chicago's take on a traditional German Christmas market. Shop, eat, enjoy free entertainment, shop some more and even say "guten tag" to Santa Claus. 

To learn more about Christkindlmarket's two locations, read our story On the Top of Your Holiday Must-Dos: Christkindlmarket.

Nov. 19-Feb. 22; Gallagher Way, 3650 N. Clark St., Wrigleyville; More details

photo: Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo

Brookfield Zoo's Holiday Magic is Chicagoland's largest and longest-running lights festival featuring over a million twinkling LED lights. Take the family to circle the ice skating rink on the East Mall. 

Nov. 13-Dec. 31, select days; Brookfield Zoo, 3300 Golf Rd., Brookfield; More details

Navy Pier

Check out Chicago's newest holiday adventure, Navy Pier's Light Up the Lake. This indoor, temperature-controlled experience features a sprawling light garden of large-scale sculptures comprising more than 600,000 twinkling lights, a massive Alpine ice rink, authentic beer garden, kiddie train rides, Santa's Merry Main Street and gift market, and other family friendly and date-night activities.

Nov. 26-Jan. 2; Navy Pier, 500 E. Grand, Streeterville; More details

photo: iStock

Watts Center at Watts Park

Double the fun! Watts Center boasts not one but two outdoor ice rinks. Tucked away in north suburban Glencoe, this gem offers figure skating lessons, ice hockey and recreational skating. When the conditions allow, you can also play on the sled hill. Check their calendar for themed skate nights, like Glow Skate, Skate with the Grinch, Tik Tok Night and more. 

Nov. 27-Feb. 28; 305 Randolph St., Glencoe; More details.

Midway Plaisance

Feel the history in the air at Midway Plaisance ice skating rink, the original site of the world-famous Chicago's 1893 World's Fair. Skating is free and skates are available to rent for $7. You can request sled-assisted skating, which allows people of all abilities to skate together, by calling 312-442-2194. Skate trainers are also available at the rink, first-come, first-served, for children new to skating. 

While you're in Hyde Park, visit the Museum of Science & Industry's Christmas Around the World and Holidays of Light and be enchanted by the trees and displays decorated to represent the rich multicultural heritage of Chicago. 

Nov. 26-Feb. 21; Midway Plaisance, 1130 Midway Plaisance North, Hyde Park; More details.

Peninsula Chicago

Located above Michigan Avenue, the Peninsula Sky Rink is the only hotel skating rink in the city, now in its 9th year. Surrounded by skyscrapers and the glow of twinkling lights, the rink is tucked into a winter wonderland with festive music and dazzling snowflake lighting. Warm your bellies on a selection of hotel beverages and snacks at the Chalet. 

Skates are available to rent with proceeds donated to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children's Hospital of Chicago and Hephzibah Children's Association. 

Opens Nov. 20; Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior St., Near North Side; More details

For up-to-date information on ice rinks operated by the Chicago Park District, check out their dedicated Skate in the Parks page. 

— Maria Chambers & Amy Bizzarri

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