Best Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks for Chicago Kids and Families
One perk of the long, cold winters in Chicago is the chance to glide across the ice at the many beautiful outdoor skating rinks throughout the city and suburbs—many of them FREE. Not all ice skating rinks need polar-vortex temperatures to stay open; some refrigerated rinks are available for skating as long as the temperature is less than 40 degrees. Many rinks offer hockey, broomball, figure skating, or speed skating programs. And not all rinks are your standard oval, either: Maggie Daley Park’s Skating Ribbon lets figure skaters enjoy a different kind of figure 8.
For all the details on where to strap on those ice skates this weekend, read on.
Most rinks on this list offer a website or app for skaters to check conditions before they head out to the rink. Families should also check to make sure skate rental is available if needed and obey all rink safety rules.
While we are trying to promote safer activities that occur outdoors or with social distancing guidelines in place, please keep your family and others safe by always wearing a mask and maintaining appropriate distance. If you arrive at a venue that appears too crowded, try using the “nearby” search feature on our event calendar to find something else to do.
Kids can skate or play hockey at one of Watts Center’s two ice skating rinks. Photo courtesy of Glencoe Park District
Ice Skating Rinks Open for the 2020-2021 Season
Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park— Chicago Loop
Maggie Daley Park
337 E. Randolph Street
Open November 20 2020 through early March 2021
The Skating Ribbon offers a change from a traditional oval rink with a rolling landscape and figure-eight shaped path. Along the ribbon, skaters can find a skate rental booth and a hot chocolate vendor. Admission to the rink is $5, but skates are $16 to rent from Monday through Thursday and $20 on weekends and holidays. For the 2020-2021 season, skaters must make reservations online for a 90-minute time slot, to ensure social distancing requirements can be met.
Watts Center — Glencoe
305 Randolph Avenue
Open November 27, 2020 through early March 2021
Skaters can skate or play hockey at one of Watts Center’s two ice skating rinks. The main rink is a regulation hockey surface with times scheduled for open hockey, adults-only hockey, or recreational skating. The smaller studio rink offers times for broomball, open skating, and hockey by specific age group. This year, admission is limited to 50 skaters on the main rink and 25 skaters on the studio rink. Visitors must hold a season pass or obtain a guest pass from a season pass holder for the 2020-2021 season.
Wolf's Crossing Community Park-- Naperville
Wolf's Crossing Community Park
3252 Wolf's Crossing Road
Open December 15, 2020- February 15, 2021
This new park on west suburban Naperville's southwest side replaces the former skating rinks at Commissioner's Park. The rink takes the spaces occupied by sand volleyball courts in the summer in a park that also includes a sled hill, a 1.4-mile trail, and a nature playground for those who want activities other than skating. Portable restrooms are available at the park until its permanent facilities are fully functional in late 2020. Skaters should follow Naperville Park District's COVID-19 guidelines.
Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink is a $1 skating option. Photo courtesy of Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink
Bobby Hull Community Ice Rink — Cicero
Cicero Community Park 3400 S. 53rd Avenue
Opens November 29, 2020
Cicero residents can skate for $1 and rent skates for $1, while non-residents pay just $5 for open skate and $3 skate rental at this community rink. Check the rink’s Facebook page for designated hockey times and COVID-19 guidelines. Skating lessons are also offered weekly throughout December.
Centennial Park Ice Rinks — Naperville
500 W. Jackson Street
Open December 15, 2020 through February 15, 2021, weather permitting
Three lighted ice skating rinks invite skaters to Naperville’s Centennial Park. The boarded rinks allow hockey and broomball while the third rink is for free skating. Rinks are free and open until 10pm each night. Skaters should follow Naperville Park District's COVID-19 guidelines.
Central Athletic Complex Ice Rink — Wheaton
Central Athletic Complex
500 S. Naperville Road
Open late November 2020 through March 2021, weather permitting
This free skating rink offers staff-supervised hours weekdays starting at 4:30pm and weekends starting at 11am. The facility has portable restroom trailers on site and is located on the grounds of the Central Athletic Complex, which includes the gyms of the former Hubble Middle School, so kids can warm up their cold fingers and toes. The rink does not offer skate rentals. Groups will be limited to fit within the DuPage County COVID-19 guidelines.
Winter Wonderland Ice Skating Rink — Orland Park
15600 West Avenue
Open November 28, 2020- February 28, 2021
This family-friendly south suburban ice rink offers free skating for all. Skate rental is just $3 and helmets are free. The warming house offers a chance for skaters to take a break from the cold. While skate rental is only available during warming house hours, those with their own skates may begin skating at sunrise. The rink does not allow hockey and figure skating jumps are only allowed when 30 skaters or fewer are on the ice.
Ice Skating Rinks Pending Opening in 2020-2021 (TBA)
Chicago Wolves Ice Rink at Parkway Bank Park — Rosemont
Parkway Bank Park
5501 Park Place
Opening date not yet announced
Families can skate in the middle of Rosemont’s Parkway Bank Park Entertainment district on most days in December, January and February. Admission to the rink is free, with skates available to rent for $8. On Sundays in December, kids can skate with characters such as Anna and Kristoff or Santa and Mrs. Claus from 9am-11am. Plenty of entertainment and dining options are available for little skaters if they want to go inside to get warm.
Lake Ellyn — Glen Ellyn
Lake Ellyn Park and Boathouse
185 Spring Avenue
An announcement will be made regarding the opening of Glen Ellyn Park District's ice skating facilities in late November
The Glen Ellyn Park District has added lights to Lake Ellyn so skaters can enjoy the ice until 9pm each night. Skating is only permitted when the ice reaches a thickness of eight inches, but visitors can check the park district's website before heading out to the ice. Because the Lake isn’t always frozen enough to skate, west suburban skaters can check out Newton Park in Glen Ellyn as a back-up. A warming house is open from mid-December through late February so that skaters can take a bathroom break or warm up from the cold.
Warren Ice Rink — Rogers Park
6601 N. Western Avenue
Opening dates have not yet been announced for Chicago Park District ice skating rinks
For simple skating in a friendly environment, this far north side park is ideal for Chicago families. Warren Ice Rink has a warming house and skate rental along with designated times for kids to take lessons and play hockey. Small children can also rent skate trainers and walker to help them learn to skate. Admission is free and skate rental is $7.
Midway Plaisance Ice Rink — Hyde Park
Midway Plaisance Park
1130 Midway Plaisance
Opening dates have not yet been announced for Chicago Park District ice skating rinks
Located on the grounds of the 1893 World’s Fair Columbian Exposition, this Hyde Park Rink offers fantastic views of the city. Skaters can get on the ice for free and rent skates for $7. Skate trainers and walkers are available for those learning to skate and sled and sled-assisted skating devices are available for disabled individuals.
Outdoor Skating Rinks Closed for the 2020-2021 Season
Chicago Wolves Ice Skating Rink at Brookfield Zoo — Brookfield
8400 31st Street
The Chicago Wolves Ice Skating Rink, made of a synthetic material called Glice, will not be entertaining visitors at Brookfield Zoo this year.
Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field — Wrigleyville
3635 N. Clark Street
Clark the Cub isn't greeting little Cubs fans for skating at Gallagher way next to Wrigley Field this winter.
Wicker Ice — Wicker Park
1425 N. Damen Avenue
This community-funded and community-maintained non-refrigerated outdoor rink is skipping the 2020 season.
The Peninsula Sky Rink — River North
The Peninsula Hotel
108 E. Superior Street
Opens November 23, 2019
The Peninsula Hotel is not erecting its 2,100 square foot Sky Rink this season.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink — Chicago Loop
Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets
Families have to wait for next year to skate amongst Chicago landmarks at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park.
Places featured in this article:
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
Skating Ribbon at Maggie Daley Park
Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field
Warren Ice Rink
The Peninsula Sky Rink
Midway Plaisance Ice Rink
Winter Wonderland Ice Skating Rink
Lake Ellyn Boathouse
Cicero Community Park
Central Athletic Complex- Ice Rink