In the 1890s, competitive speed skating took off in Humboldt Park—at one point competitions attracted 50,000 spectators. By the 1920s, skating was part of daily life in Chicago with local schools and the Park District holding formal competitions. At that time, nearly 600 rinks popped up across ponds, lagoons, and rivers. There were also three major skate manufacturers that operated in Chicago.
Our winter sport history is unrivaled—there were Chicagoans competing in speed skating in every Olympic Games from 1924 to 1998. What better way to embrace the cold than to get on the ice? It’s clearly made some champions.
While there aren’t as many impromptu rinks, there is a community-run ice skating spot in Wicker Park. The Park District also maintains seven rinks in parks on all sides of the city. You can skate on top of a luxury hotel and coast on Maggie Daley’s ribbon.
Most of these outdoor rinks open mid- to late-November and will close in February. There are a few indoor, year-round rinks like the McFetridge Sports Center and Morgan Park Sports Center which also offer figure skating classes and hockey leagues.Read More