Even the cold weather can’t stop Chicago-area residents from wanting to escape the house. But once outside, where to go? Luckily, the region is filled with fun outdoor ice skating rinks that are monitoring COVID-19 recommendations and keeping guests safe while sliding the ice. These are our favorites in the city and suburbs.
In the City
When: Through mid-March (weather permitting)
Where: Various locations in the city
Skate rentals: $7
Skate away at seven outdoor rinks that offer frozen fun throughout the city. Most rinks provide special programming (skating lessons, hockey clinics, sled-assisted skating) for an additional fee. Most rinks will have occupancy limits on a first-come, first-served basis. Here are the following community rinks:
- Midway Plaisance Ice Rink: 1130 Midway Plaisance North, Chicago
- McKinley Ice Rink: 2210 W. Pershing Road, Chicago
- Mt. Greenwood Ice Rink: 3721 W. 111th St, Chicago
- Riis Ice Rink: 6100 W. Fullerton Ave., Chicago
- Warren Ice Rink: 6601 N. Western Ave., Chicago
- Wentworth Ice Rink: 5625 S. Mobile Ave., Chicago
When: Through Feb. 28 (weather permitting)
Where: 337 E. Randolph St., Chicago
Admission: $5 daily, $20 holidays, timed reservations required
Skate rentals: $16-$20
At a quarter-mile long, this unique venue looks like a lazy river of ice. Twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink, the ribbon — which also features changes in elevation — can hold up to 700 skaters at once. This season, capacity is restricted and the previously free rink is charging for entry.
In the Suburbs
When: Dec. 11-March (weather permitting)
Skate rentals: $4
Located in Evergreen Park in the Southwest Suburbs, the rink is home to open skate for figure skaters and hockey. Participation will be capped at 25 skaters on the ice at one time this year, so there could be wait times for later arrivals.
When: Dec. 5-Jan. 3
Skate rentals: $7-$7.50
Enjoy outdoor ice skating as part of the New Lennox annual “Christmas in the Commons” celebration. The rink is synthetic, allowing for skating in all weather. Capacities will be monitored.
When: Daily through Jan. 5, then Sundays through Feb. 28
Where: 5501 Park Place, Rosemont
Skate rentals: $8
The courtyard of this entertainment district is transformed into an NHL-sized rink adorned with hundreds of twinkling lights. Timed reservations with slots of 45 minutes can be made online. Face masks are required by staff and encouraged for skaters.
When: Nov. 27-Feb. 28
Where: 305 Randolph Ave., Glencoe
Admission: $8 adults, $6 children
Skate rentals: $4
Watts Center boasts not one but two large outdoor lighted skating rinks with an adjacent sledding hill the kiddos will love. Timed reservation slots are required with a season pass. Families can join the waitlist for a season pass or take one of the learn to skate classes for kids as young as toddlers.
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This story originally published Nov. 22, 2019. It has been updated with the most recent information.