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A group of people blurred by a long shutter speed skate on an ice rink with tall buildings in the background.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink.
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The best ice skating rinks in Chicago

From luxury rinks on high-rises to neighborhood ice in city parks

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McCormick Tribune Ice Rink.
| Shutterstock

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.

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1. Warren Park

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6601 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60645
(773) 761-8663
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This is one of seven ice rinks that the Park District opens seasonally. The rink is right in the middle of Warren Park which has a fieldhouse to warm up in, skate rentals, restrooms, and a nearby sledding hill. Open from Thanksgiving until February.

2. Gallagher Way

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3635 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60613
(773) 388-8260
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The plaza near Wrigley Field transforms into a family-friendly winter festival with a mini Christmas market, holiday movie nights, and wreath making workshops. The ice rink has weekly figure skating performances every Tuesday and skating classes in January. There are rentals available and plenty of places to warm up too. Open from November to February.

3. Lincoln Park Zoo Rink

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2001 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614
(312) 742-2000
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At Farm in the Zoo, kids can head to the main barn to see newly hatched chickens, baby goats, and small horses. From November to February, keepers have set up an ice skating rink underneath glowing string lights. Skate rentals, lockers, and hot chocolate are available on site.

4. Wicker ICE

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Wicker Park
Chicago, IL

In Wicker Park, a community funded and managed ice rink popped up for the first time in 2015. It’s back for another year with free ice-skating lessons and pick-up hockey games. The refrigerated rink is typically open from December to March, but needs a few days of freezing temperatures to open. Want to help out the neighborhood rink? They’re accepting volunteers.

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This is how Chicago does 5 degrees!

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5. Peninsula Hotel

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108 E Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 337-2888
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Atop the Peninsula Hotel, is one of the fancier places to glide on the ice: Sky Rink. Head up to the lobby and outside to the rink with a view of towering skyscrapers. There’s cute ski chalet decor and, when you’ve had your fun, warm up inside the luxe hotel.

6. Navy Pier

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600 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 595-7437
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Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest has it all—ice peak climbing walls, giant inflatable slides, spinning tea cup rides, train rides, and tilt-a-whirl, and a “faux” snow tubing hill. There’s also an indoor ice skating rink in the middle of the holiday carnival. There are skate rentals available and the rink is open from November until mid-January.

7. Maggie Daley Park ice skating ribbon

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337 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601

In winter this piece of the park transforms from rock climbing and rollerblading to ice skating. The ribbon twirls around the geometric climbing walls and evergreen trees. Lace up your skates, rentals are available, and glide down a path that’s twice as long as a lap around the traditional rink. At the entrance there are picnic tables, lockers, and hot cocoa.

8. McCormick-Tribune Ice Skating Rink

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Grant Park
Chicago, IL

This is likely the most well-known skating rink, other than the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon. This Millennium Park rink is right along Michigan Avenue and just below the Bean. At this rink, you’ll be close to much of the city’s great architecture like the city’s very first library, the Chicago Cultural Center, Jean Gang’s wavy Aqua Tower, and the restored 1890’s Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.

9. McKinley Park

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2210 W Pershing Rd
Chicago, IL 60609
(312) 747-6527
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Here’s another ice skating rink in one of Chicago’s best parks. In winter, a large outdoor rink pops up from November to February. Skates are available for rent and facilitators also organize winter sports leagues. There is a beautiful lagoon with a wooden boardwalk pathway that attracts geese and other wildlife, too.

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The ice is nice today.

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10. Midway Plaisance Park

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1130 Midway Plaisance
Chicago, IL 60637
(312) 745-2470
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The historic Midway Plaisance opens an ice skating rink centered between some of the most building Gothic buildings at the University of Chicago. Park-goers can visit the winter gardens on the north and south ends, rent skates, warm up inside a fieldhouse, and sign up for lessons. Kids and adults often start hockey pick-up games, too.

1. Warren Park

6601 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60645

This is one of seven ice rinks that the Park District opens seasonally. The rink is right in the middle of Warren Park which has a fieldhouse to warm up in, skate rentals, restrooms, and a nearby sledding hill. Open from Thanksgiving until February.

6601 N Western Ave
Chicago, IL 60645

2. Gallagher Way

3635 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60613

The plaza near Wrigley Field transforms into a family-friendly winter festival with a mini Christmas market, holiday movie nights, and wreath making workshops. The ice rink has weekly figure skating performances every Tuesday and skating classes in January. There are rentals available and plenty of places to warm up too. Open from November to February.

3635 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60613

3. Lincoln Park Zoo Rink

2001 N Clark St, Chicago, IL 60614

At Farm in the Zoo, kids can head to the main barn to see newly hatched chickens, baby goats, and small horses. From November to February, keepers have set up an ice skating rink underneath glowing string lights. Skate rentals, lockers, and hot chocolate are available on site.

2001 N Clark St
Chicago, IL 60614

4. Wicker ICE

Wicker Park, Chicago, IL

In Wicker Park, a community funded and managed ice rink popped up for the first time in 2015. It’s back for another year with free ice-skating lessons and pick-up hockey games. The refrigerated rink is typically open from December to March, but needs a few days of freezing temperatures to open. Want to help out the neighborhood rink? They’re accepting volunteers.

Wicker Park
Chicago, IL

5. Peninsula Hotel

108 E Superior St, Chicago, IL 60611

Atop the Peninsula Hotel, is one of the fancier places to glide on the ice: Sky Rink. Head up to the lobby and outside to the rink with a view of towering skyscrapers. There’s cute ski chalet decor and, when you’ve had your fun, warm up inside the luxe hotel.

108 E Superior St
Chicago, IL 60611

6. Navy Pier

600 E Grand Ave, Chicago, IL 60611

Navy Pier’s Winter Wonderfest has it all—ice peak climbing walls, giant inflatable slides, spinning tea cup rides, train rides, and tilt-a-whirl, and a “faux” snow tubing hill. There’s also an indoor ice skating rink in the middle of the holiday carnival. There are skate rentals available and the rink is open from November until mid-January.

600 E Grand Ave
Chicago, IL 60611

7. Maggie Daley Park ice skating ribbon

337 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601

In winter this piece of the park transforms from rock climbing and rollerblading to ice skating. The ribbon twirls around the geometric climbing walls and evergreen trees. Lace up your skates, rentals are available, and glide down a path that’s twice as long as a lap around the traditional rink. At the entrance there are picnic tables, lockers, and hot cocoa.

337 E Randolph St
Chicago, IL 60601

8. McCormick-Tribune Ice Skating Rink

Grant Park, Chicago, IL

This is likely the most well-known skating rink, other than the Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon. This Millennium Park rink is right along Michigan Avenue and just below the Bean. At this rink, you’ll be close to much of the city’s great architecture like the city’s very first library, the Chicago Cultural Center, Jean Gang’s wavy Aqua Tower, and the restored 1890’s Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.

Grant Park
Chicago, IL

9. McKinley Park

2210 W Pershing Rd, Chicago, IL 60609

Here’s another ice skating rink in one of Chicago’s best parks. In winter, a large outdoor rink pops up from November to February. Skates are available for rent and facilitators also organize winter sports leagues. There is a beautiful lagoon with a wooden boardwalk pathway that attracts geese and other wildlife, too.

2210 W Pershing Rd
Chicago, IL 60609

10. Midway Plaisance Park

1130 Midway Plaisance, Chicago, IL 60637

The historic Midway Plaisance opens an ice skating rink centered between some of the most building Gothic buildings at the University of Chicago. Park-goers can visit the winter gardens on the north and south ends, rent skates, warm up inside a fieldhouse, and sign up for lessons. Kids and adults often start hockey pick-up games, too.

1130 Midway Plaisance
Chicago, IL 60637