Eight Great Places to Skate

Outdoor Ice Rinks in Chicagoland

By Debra Flanagan, Publisher November 13, 2023

This Guide is sponsored by Parkway Bank Park
The Chicago Wolves Ice Rink returns to Rosemont’s Parkway Bank Park entertainment district November 18 – January 28! Admission to the Chicago Wolves Ice Rink is free and guests are invited to bring their own skates. Skate rentals are also available on-site for $8 a pair.

As the temperatures start to drop in Chicagoland, we have to make the best of it. It's time to lace up those skates and get ready to glide along the ice at one of the many outdoor rinks. It's such a great activity for the kids to do with their friends too. 

If you have a beginner, many rinks have skate trainers or skate aids available to borrow or rent, however we have some additional tips of our own:

1. Bob's double-bladed skates - These attach to your shoes with straps and make it so much easier for little ones. When they graduate out of these, consider purchasing some adjustable skates. With the price of rentals these days, it won't take long for it be worth it, and with skates that can adjust three or four sizes, you can use them for years.

2. Helmets -They are going to fall. Don't risk a head injury. That ice is hard!

3. Snow pants -  Not only will they keep them dry when they fall, but they also add a little cushion.

4. A long scarf - Take a scarf and loop it across your child's chest and under their arms. By holding both ends, you can help direct them and keep them on their feet. Your back with thank you!

5. Stay away from the walls - First off, that's usually where you'll find other beginners and likely knock each other down. Secondly, they become too dependent on the wall and they really aren't learning how to skate. Lastly, the wall is just one more thing for them to hit when they fall.

Where to Go

The Chicago Wolves Ice Rink at Parkway Bank Park, Rosemont
The rink opens on November 18th followed by the annual “Light Up The Park” tree lighting event. Ice skating among 80,000 holiday lights is free all season, as is parking, and you have a slew of restaurants around the park to choose from. 

Ice Skating Ribbon, Maggie Daley Park
Opening day is November 17th for the skating ribbon at Maggie Daley Park. Instead of the conventional circular ice rink, here you can follow a winding ribbon as it rises and falls, with its one-of-a-kind view of the Chicago skyline. Tickets are released only two weeks in advance of each weekly session through March 10th, 2024.

Jack Frost Winterfest, Goose Island
Jack Frost's Winterfest is chock full of instagrammable photo ops. In addition to the full size ice rink, there's a two story tubing hill, ice bumper cars, and axe throwing. While the kids are on the ice, grab a seasonal cocktail at the outdoor bar and warm yourself around one of the firepits. Jack Frost has a second location in Fulton Market.

Light Up the Lake, Navy Pier
Light Up the Lake claims to be the largest indoor/outdoor holiday experience in Chicago. Along with light displays, public fire pits, holiday workshops and more, you'll find a new outdoor ice rink at this lakefront destination from November 24th to December 31st.

McCormick Tribune Plaza and Ice Rink, Millennium Park
The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millennium Park is basically the Chicago version of New York's Rockefeller Center. Skating here is iconic. It is free with your own skates, but rentals are available. In addition to open skate times, they offer free skate lessons on weekend mornings throughout the winter.

Sparkle Light Festival at Impact Field, Rosemont
From November 17th to December 31st, you can skate among millions of holiday lights, as well as tube down an alpine slide, stroll through the five different illuminated villages, and more at the Sparkle Light Festival.

Warren Park Ice Rink, West Ridge
The Warren Park Ice Rink is huge and skating is free. Skates available for rent run from a child’s size 8 through a men’s size 12 with no half sizes. Skate trainers are available on a first-come, first-served basis at no charge. In addition to free skate trainer rentals, Warren Park Ice Rink offers free specialty sled rentals, for both children and adults, designed with a foot guard, ABS bucket seat, footrest, and pusher handle, allowing people of all abilities to skate together. The Warren Park Ice Rink will be open for skating as well as various hockey programs from November 24th to February 19th, 2024 (weather permitting.) Pre-registration is required for all programs, including open skate sessions. Reservations will be released on a rolling basis at noon on Mondays, for the sessions that run two weeks later.

Winterland at Gallagher Way, Lakeview
How many people can say they skated on Wrigley Field? The Gallagher Ice Rink is split into a skating area and an ice bumper car arena.
While the ice rink is situated in the outfield, there's a train ride around the infield. Many other games, rides, and attractions fill the home of the Cubs for the season. Purchase tickets in advance for the best value. Winterland will be open November 21st through January 7th, 2024.

Wonder City, Lincoln Park
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to ice skate under the stars with a breathtaking view of the Chicago skyline?  Wonder no more!  Skyline Pitch, on NEW CITY's rooftop, has transformed the space into a winter Wonder City complete with ice skating, curling lanes, hockey slap shot station and holiday decorations. November 30th to January 7th, 2024. Pictures with Santa too!