Where to Go Ice Skating in Chicago This Winter

From outdoor park rinks to iconic spots decked out for the holidays.

Few things inspire more winter bliss than bundling up and gliding blissfully over a circular sheet of glassy ice—or, alternatively, holding on for dear life to the side rails. Regardless of your balancing skills, Chicago has no shortage of skating rinks waiting for you to get out there and crush it… no matter how timidly. And if strapping on some blades sounds intimidating, you can always be the designated sideline mascot, warm beverage in hand.

From a cascade of lights inside an alpine rink to a winding ice trail set beneath the dazzling downtown skyscrapers, here are our picks for taking advantage of everyone’s favorite cold weather pastime. Just make sure to stay conscientious of your fellow skaters and maintain a safe social distance while you’re getting your shred on.

In addition to gliding around the iconic park’s meandering ice ribbon while admiring the city skyline above, visitors can also enjoy Gogh Skating this year, when Immersive Van Gogh Chicago will project Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and Starry Night beneath their blades. Reserve your 90 minute session ahead of time to guarantee your time on the ice.
Cost: Tickets and skate rental prices vary (more information here)
Hours: Open daily; hours vary (check the calendar here)

If you’re looking for a centrally located place to skate complete with stellar views and tasty snacks, look no further. McCormick Tribune Skating Rink sits in the heart of Millenium Park, while nearby Momentum Coffee will be serving up warm drinks and eats to keep you sated. Snag a reservation for a 90 minute session before you head out, and remember that the rink tends to fill up fast.
Cost: Admission is free (reservations required); skate rentals start at $13 each
Hours: Open daily; hours vary (check the calendar here)

Light Up the Lake at Navy Pier is always popping this time of year, but the heated indoor alpine skating rink decked out with a twinkly curtain of lights is worth the trip alone. In addition to rink access, your ticket includes a ride on the legendary Ferris wheel, a visit with Santa (if he’s around), admission to the holiday beer garden, and a trip to the gift market. Another great perk? Navy Pier boasts some of the most Instagram-worthy waterfront panoramas in the city.
Cost: Tickets and skate rental prices vary (more information here)
Hours: Open daily; hours vary (check the calendar here)

Parkway Bank Park at Rosemont
Photo courtesy of Chicago Wolves Ice Rink at Parkway Bank Park

Along with an NHL-sized public ice rink in the park’s great lawn, Rosemont’s Parkway Bank Park also offers upscale dining, live entertainment, bowling, a movie theater, indoor skydiving, and a comedy club. And if that isn’t enough, the nearby Fashion Outlet of Chicago is filled to the brim for a little post-skate retail therapy. Come for the ice and stay for the winter wonderland experience—masked and distanced, of course.
Cost: Admission is free; skate rentals run $8 each
Hours: Open daily; hours vary (check the calendar here)

South Side staple Midway Plaisance Park is a Park District-run rink outfitted with a warming center plus ski rentals for adults and kids. A full roster of additional activities include skating lessons, stick and puck games, rat hockey, pond hockey, broomball and more—just make sure to register online before hitting the ice.
Cost: Admission is free; skate rentals run $7 each
Hours: Open daily; hours vary (check the calendar here)

Sky Rink

Peninsula Chicago

Not only does the swanky Peninsula Chicago sports Chicago’s only hotel ice rink, it just so happens to overlook all the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue. The hotel’s Chalet is stocked with warm beverages and food, and if a private experience with just your family and friends sounds like a plan, you can even request to rent out the entire rink.
Cost: Admission is free; skate rentals run $20 each ($10 for kids 12 and under)
Hours: Days and hours vary (check the calendar here)

Warren Park

West Ridge

A neighborhood favorite, Warren Park houses a well-kept outdoor rink stacked with activities via the Park District, from stick and puck games to ice skating lessons. Pro-tip: The park is conveniently located near Little India, so a post-skate samosa or two is never far away.
Cost: Admission is free; skate rentals run $7 each
Hours: Days and hours vary (check the calendar here)

Don’t let the big guys intimidate you at this massive indoor facility. McFetridge Ice Rink is a year-round sports center that attracts figure skaters, synchronized skaters, and hockey players from all corners of the city. Public skate hours are limited and require registration, and if you’re interested in getting a little more involved, be sure to look over their online schedule for group activities, lessons, leagues, and more.
Cost: Tickets run $5 per adult (discounts available); skate rentals run $3 each
Hours: Open daily; hours vary (check the calendar here)

One of the Blackhawks’ practice sites, this community ice rink hosts a wide variety of organized activities and lessons in addition to public skating hours. An added bonus? Order food at Fifth Third Arena Concessions and drinks at Fifth Third Arena Bar for a ready-made date night. Hockey fans should also check the calendar to see when they can catch the pros practicing their moves.
Cost: Tickets run $10 per person; skate rentals run $5 each
Hours: Days and hours vary (check the calendar here)

Elanor Bock is a contributor for Thrillist.