With COVID casting a shadow of yet another winter, families are still looking for fun and safe activities to enjoy with or with friends. Outdoor ice rinks are a festive way to celebrate the season, and they can be found in virtually any climate. Reservations are often required (especially this year), but tickets and skate rentals can usually be purchased in advance, giving more time to get out on the ice.
These outdoor skating rinks increase the winter atmosphere and offer skating fun for all ages plus the kind of extra material that lifts skating from pure training to a really fun day out. Think decadent hot chocolate served on the rink, action in the bumper and even ice skating on the beach.
Whether you are looking for something close to home or want to add a ride around the ice rink to a planned vacation, here is our best choice for outdoor skating this winter.
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Napa Valley’s Holiday Ice Rink at Vista Collina
Open until January 2
A skating session at The Meritage and Vista Collina resorts’ Holiday Ice Rink in the Napa Valley might convince you that wine is not the drink Napa should be best known for. Delicious decadent hot chocolate from the lawn bar is the perfect way to relax after skating to your heart’s content.
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While the hot chocolate alone is enough to inspire you to lace up your skates, the ice rink also offers fun events every night of the week. Want to name the fun? Check out the ice rink’s available winter experiences, including a VIP igloo and s’mores at a campfire site by the ice rink.
Chicago McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
Open until March 6
Chicago’s McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park celebrates its 20th season and doubles the fun with the reflection of the ice rink in the famous Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”) sculpture. Offering one of the best deals in town, ice skating is free if you bring your own skates (although a reservation is still required). Or you can rent skates for a small fee.
Every weekend, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events (DCASE) holds free skating lessons (reservations required) for beginners and intermediate skating and hockey skills. Skaters can warm up after ice skating with hot drinks and snacks from Momentum Coffee, located right next to the outdoor ice rink.
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Ice skating at the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego
Open until January 2
The Hotel del Coronado’s ice rink by the sea allows you to experience the best of the beach and winter. Head out for a festive day on the ice with a sandy beach in the background complete with swaying palm trees. Upgrade your experience by booking a private ice rink with a roaring fire pit and full food and beverage service. Your $ 35 ticket benefits Make-A-Wish San Diego.
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Providence Rink in Providence, Rhode Island
Open all year round
There really is something for everyone at Providence Rink. In addition to ice skating, you can strap on and take on the ice in bumper cars, which you can reserve for partial ice rink use during selected public skating periods or full rink use during non-public skating time. Providence Rink is the first outdoor skating rink to host these cars, which move in all directions and have a 360-degree turning radius.
Beginners can get help from instructors with the Learn-to-Skate program. And for both small and large children, there are skate aids in the form of penguins or snowmen. The ice rink also offers a season pass for individuals and families who want to make ice skating the kind of fun that lasts all winter.
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Cosmopolitan Las Vegas Ice Rink at Boulevard Pool
Open until January 2
If a guaranteed gentle snowfall is what you need to create a magical skating experience, then the ice rink at the Boulevard Pool in Las Vegas is the ice rink for you. Cosmopolitan transforms its pool into a veritable winter landscape – picture bonfires around the rink and comfortable Adirondack chairs that are perfect for taking a break and enjoying the season.
Evenings turn up for fun with theme nights, movies on an outdoor screen and Throwback Thursdays with music from the 70s, 80s and 90s. Bonus: reservations give you access to the ice rink all day.
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Ice on landing in the garden at Chattanooga Choo Choo
Open through January 30th
Treasure on what was the platform for the historic terminal station in the heart of downtown Chattanooga at Ice on the Landing in the Garden at the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. This ice rink, which is nestled among vintage train cars and engines, offers plenty for both skaters and those who just want to relax on the ice rink.
Once you have put on your skates, take some time to enjoy the Beaux-Arts terminal, which is now the lobby of the Chattanooga Choo Choo Hotel. The ice rink is also home to a Cast Iron Skillet Curling League, which is described as a good mood in the southern states of Bavarian curling.