Ice Skating Rinks: Make Time for Family Fun

  • Children tubing down the ice track at the Gaylord National Resort's ICE! event.

    Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center

    Washington, DC  This is over-the-top Christmas revelry: Twinkling lights galore, lavish decorations, and more live entertainment and special holiday events than you can cram into one day. The centerpiece at the Gaylord National is the 15,000-square-foot, Grinch-themed ice sculpture attraction, a walk-through display that will charm kids and adults alike. The indoor ice skating rink is Grinch green, to match. Seriously.

  • View of the Rideau Canal Skateway.

    Rideau Canal Skateway

    Ottawa, ON Red and green flags indicate whether skating on the Rideau Canal Skateway is open or closed; the season averages about 50 open days. The world's largest naturally frozen ice skating rink is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Skating starts at Wellington/Rideau Street near the Fairmont Chateau Laurier and follows the canal 7.8 km (not quite 5 miles), beyond Dows Lake.

  • Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier with a Ferris wheel and teddy bear display.

    Winter Wonderfest at Navy Pier

    Chicago, IL One of the most festive places to skate in Chicago during the winter months is at Navy Pier during Winter Wonderfest. The indoor rink is a highlight for many families, but even if you don't skate, plenty of other wintry rides and attractions are on hand, from skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobile simulators to inflatables and a climbing wall, not to mention lots of fun shows. The Premium Wristband includes everything (skate rentals, too!).

  • View of the ice rink at the Frog Pond at Boston Common.

    Frog Pond at Boston Common

    Boston, MA  The picturesque Frog Pond at Boston Common is a photo favorite during warmer months, but it's just as attractive in the dead of winter, especially once it opens for ice skating. This corner of the oldest public park in the US is an idyllic place to spend a couple of hours skating, sipping hot chocolate, and making fond memories with friends and family.

  • A view of the rooftop ice skating rink at Whole Foods in Austin.

    Whole Foods Supermarket

    Austin, TX may not seem like the ideal place to ice skate, but the Whole Foods supermarket on Lamar sets up an ice rink every year – on the roof! True, it's not as chilly as a frozen pond in Minnesota, but sub-zero temperatures aren't really a necessity to enjoy a few turns on the ice! Plus, after you're done, you can knock out the grocery shopping part of your shopping list too!

  • Families gather to skate in Milwaukee's Pettit National Ice Center.

    The Pettit National Ice Center

    Milwaukee, WI  Opened in 1992, the Pettit has dubbed itself "The Best Place to Skate," a moniker that's nothing if not apt. The massive facility includes 97,000 square feet of ice: a 400-meter oval for speed skating and two huge rinks for hockey, figure skating, or just tooling around for an hour or two. Plus, since it's a US Olympic training site, you may be lucky enough to catch a glimpse of a well-known athlete or two.

  • A single ice skater enjoying the rink at The Minneapolis Depot.

    The Depot

    Minneapolis, MN

    The Depot has been dubbed one of the top ten places to ice skate in the US, with good reason. The massive structure is a former train shed, and it boasts more than enough room for skaters of all abilities. After a few hours on the ice, adjacent hotels provide a warming welcome should you be too pooped to make it back home!

    Hours vary (see website for details)

    Adult $8, Child (17 and under) $6, Senior (62+) $6, Skate rental $7

    The Minneapolis Depot
    225 3rd Ave South
    Minneapolis, MN 55401

  • Families skate at the Centennial Olympic Park ice rink.

    Centennial Olympic Park

    Atlanta, GA  Ice skate in a t-shirt! Long pants are recommended, but in temperate Atlanta, short sleeves are de rigueur ice skating apparel. The city is understandably proud of Centennial Olympic Park, and no winter visit would be complete without a few spins around the outdoor, covered ice rink. For a real holiday treat, finish up with a stroll through the park's "Holiday in Lights" display.

  • People ice skating at Hyde Park's Winter Wonderland.

    Hyde Park Winter Wonderland

    London, UK The largest outdoor ice rink in London gets pretty busy during peak hours at Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park. Luckily, lots of other things ably keep folks occupied and entertained. A day's worth of fun activities, rides, shows, shopping, and eating is packed into the park's borders, so even if the ice rink is a bit crowded for your tastes, you can still have a blast with other wintry activities.

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