This article was previously published on MommyNearest.com.
As the temps begin to dip you might feel like it’s time to hibernate, but sometimes you need to bundle up and head out to to embrace the winter wonderland. Brighten up your winter with rosy cheeks and smiles at these outdoor ice skating rinks in Chicago and the suburbs:
Chicago is beautiful in the winter and Millennium Park is the perfect place for enjoying the skyline and all the city sights. The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is right in the center of it all, nestled among the skyscrapers and just under “The Bean”. Friday, November 14 is the first day of the season and the rink and remains open until March 8 if weather permits. Admission is free, and skate rental is $12. Skates are available in sizes toddler 8 through adult 13.
Warm up with snacks and hot chocolate at the Park Grill Cafe.
Orland Park is the destination for Christmas shopping if you’re in the south suburbs, with stores of every type and endless dining options. Take a break from shopping with a stop at the Winter Wonderland Ice Rink in Centennial Park. The season runs November 22 through March 2, from sunrise to 9:00 pm as weather permits. Skate rentals are $2 and helmets can be rented for free, and a warming shelter is available.
Rosemont becomes Frozemont on November 28. The MB Financial Park’s Frozemont ice skating rink opens with great fanfare, including free skating for the public, ice carving, photo opportunities with Santa, and free horse-drawn carriage rides. In the evening, there will be a performance by the United States Figure Skating Synchronized Skating Team, and a tree lighting ceremony hosted by Rosemonts mayor and Santa. The rink will remain open everyday until January 4, and then will be open on Sundays from January 25 through March 1. Skating is free, and rentals are available for $8.
Frozemont will also have a brand new “Polar Peak” beginning December 12. The Polar Peak is a 4-story tubing adventure at a cost of $20 per hour.
Midway Plaisance Park Ice Rink
If you love the city, but not the crowds Millennium Park crowds, Midway Plaisance is the ice skating spot for you. You’ll find street parking, an indoor warming house, and food is available for purchase, and it’s all within view of the University of Chicago campus. Admission is $3 for adults and free for students and children; skate rental is $6. The rink is open November 28 through March 1, and a full schedule is available online. Midway Plaisance offers skating lessons, pick-up hockey games, and there are special events throughout the season, including chances to skate with your favorite cartoon characters, and free Chicago Blackhawks hockey clinics (registration required).
Lincoln Park Zoo is a favorite spot for lots of Chicago families and it’s even more special in the winter. The Farm-in-the-Zoo has an outdoor skating rink, a barn you can warm up in, and refreshments available for sale. Admission to the rink is $5, and skate rental is $5. If you’re a frequent skater, purchase an $85 pass that can be used for 20 admissions and/or rentals. The rink opens on November 28; a full schedule is available on their website.