The 50 Best Ice Skating Rinks in America
20 minutes south of Birmingham is Oak Mountain, which is home to the massive Pelham Civic Center in Shelby County. There you'll find not one, but two NHL-size ice rinks. You can host birthday parties or other special events there, enjoy open skating, and take hockey and figure skating lessons.
In November 2017, the Anchorage Daily News reported on a viral documentary film about a new phenomenon taking over the state of Alaska: backcountry skating. There's no arena. Instead, the rink is provided by the wild state's remote and rugged backcountry ice caves, glacial lagoons, icebergs, and frozen lakes. Interested in taking your love of skating beyond the confines of some maintained city rink? Join the Nordic-Skate group on Facebook and go find an adventure on ice.
You might not imagine that the desert city of Phoenix is home to one of the grandest ice arenas in the Southwest, but it's true. The AZ Ice Arcadia offers figure skating and hockey lessons as well as public skating, which is open Monday through Sunday to anyone of any skill level who loves the ice. Lace up your rentals for $3.50 with admission discounts for children, students, seniors, and military.
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park is one of America's greatest national treasures -- and skaters have been flocking to its pristine ice since 1928. The Half Dome Village Ice Rink is set in the heart of the park, with trees, open skies, the Half Dome rock formation itself, and the rest of Yosemite's natural beauty as the backdrop. If the ice gets too chilly, you can take a time out and snuggle up by a fire pit. Admission is $10 -- $9 for kids -- and skates are $4.
Among the most majestic winter playgrounds on Earth, Keystone Lake is a paradise for skiers, snowboarders, snowtubers, hikers and, yes, ice skaters. There are two rinks set within the slopes and the surrounding wilderness: Dercum Square Ice Rink in River Run Village and the massive 5-acre Keystone Lake itself.
The Danbury Arena boasts a heap of impressive partnerships that allow it to offer everything from hockey clinics and skating camps to adult leagues and youth tournaments. There's also a full calendar of public skating in case you're just looking to have a good time on freshly Zambonied ice.
Home to organizations like the Delaware Ducks, the Diamond State Curling Club, and the Pond Penguins, the Pond Ice Arena takes a break from clubs, tournaments, and lessons to open the doors to the general public. Public skating costs $7 plus $3 for skate rentals. Teens and tweens are invited to glide along to music and lights at Cosmic Skate for $10.
When someone mentions Daytona, you probably think of party beaches and auto racing -- but you should also think of ice skating. Unlike so many seasonal rinks, the Daytona Ice Arena is open year-round. Enroll in a hockey camp, learn curling or ice fit, take private lessons, or just have fun skating. Skate rentals are $3 and general admission is $7.50 with discounts for kids and the military. It's still Daytona, which means there is, of course, a bar.
Atlantic Station is home to 35 stores and 17 places to eat -- and the largest outdoor ice skating rink in the Southeast. Skate the Station costs $15 with discounts for seniors, kids, and the military, and season passes are available for $45. College Night and Spirit Night are reserved especially for student skaters.
If ice skating doesn't come to mind when you think of a tropical Pacific island chain made of volcanic rock, then you've never been to the Ice Palace. The unofficial home of ice sports in Hawaii since 1982, the Ice Palace hosts birthday parties and hockey games, as well as public skating, which costs $11.50, including skate rentals.
There are plenty of spots to lace up the skates in Idaho, but Idaho Ice World offers visitors not just skating and hockey, but an introduction to synchronized ice skating, figure skating, and the one-of-a-kind "stroller skating" for kids and parents. Public skating is $7 for adults with discounts for kids and seniors. Skate rentals are $3.
For a limited time each winter, the Peoria Civic Center transforms into Winterfest, where skating costs $10 per person -- $8 if you own your own skates -- with discounts available for kids. Sponsors include radio stations, local stores and worldwide brands, which make it possible to skate "under the stars" on an ice rink 100 feet long. Still not convinced? Winterfest is also home to a giant, 100-foot ice slide.
Thanks to a partnership with Indiana Ice Arenas and Indy Fuel Hockey, residents and tourists alike can glide on pristine ice at the Indiana State Fairgrounds. Located at the Pop Weaver Youth Pavilion, the rink is open to the general public. You can also plan a birthday party there, learn to figure skate or play hockey. Skate rentals are $3 and admission is $9.
Right in the middle of the Iowa Great Lakes region, you'll find Boji Bay Ice Arena. Lessons, hockey, and figure skating are all part of the action. Adult open skating is just $5 -- and that includes skate rental. Open puck sessions are available for both men and women -- just make sure to bring a helmet.
The Kansas City Ice Center hosts ice events of all kinds, including hockey tournaments, camps, clinics, and ice skating lessons. Are your skating skills so impressive that lessons aren't necessary? Then jump right into a public skate for $8 plus $4 for skate rentals -- that applies to both ice and roller skates.
The Northern Kentucky Skating Club and the Northern Kentucky Youth Hockey Association both call the Northern Kentucky Ice Center home. The only indoor ice rink in the region that's open year-round, the NKIC boasts both a small studio rink and a full NHL-size rink.
Skating is open to the public Monday through Friday at Planet Ice. The brand-new arena is home not only to a family-friendly ice rink, but also to party rooms, concessions, and entertainment for ice-weary kids and grownups alike. Admission is $10, and skate rentals are $2.
The Waterhouse Center is home to a rink that measures a full 100 x 120 feet. Thinking of heading down to the outdoor, covered rink? If so, smile -- your skating exploits are taking place live on a webcam. The in-house Zamboni, which is sponsored by a local tavern, makes frequent rounds to keep the ice professionally maintained.
Ice World is an enormous facility where you can learn to skate, play hockey, figure skate, or skate freestyle -- you can even learn how to land an axel. Lessons are available for kids and you can also join a team, if you think you've got the chops. Not up for all that? Regular public skating costs $10.
Famous among locals, Frog Pond exists through a partnership with both the city itself and the Skating Club of Boston. The price of admission to the iconic outdoor rink is based on the height of the skater. For skaters 58 inches or taller, admission is $6. For those under 58 inches, admission is free.
A worldwide winter destination set among the Great Lakes, Michigan might just have more quality skating options than any other place on Earth -- but if you can only pick one, it's got to be Skate the Rink at Campus Martius. Every year, skaters from across the country and world flock to the rink to skate beneath the skyline of the Motor City -- and you can, too, for $8 plus $4 for skates. Discounts are available for kids and seniors.
Minnesota is called "the Land of 10,000 Lakes" -- and in the winter, most of them are frozen. That makes it a little tough to nail down the majestic state's most impressive ice skating venue. But Wells Fargo WinterSkate takes the prize for a few reasons. First, it's refrigerated, which means you don't have to rely on warning signs or wait for ice to thicken naturally. Second, it's free. Skate rental is $4, but if you can produce a Wells Fargo bank card, that's free, too.
If you travel between Pensacola and Baton Rouge, you'll find just one public ice rink, and it's inside the Mississippi Coast Coliseum and Convention Center. Therefore, visitors and skating enthusiasts from all over the region flock there for 90-minute public sessions, which cost $12 including rentals.
Steinberg Skating Rink in the Forest Park section of St. Louis is not just the biggest ice arena in Missouri, but the entire Midwest. Public skating is open all day, every day. The facility never closes for private sessions, and you can skate as long as you like. Admission is $7, and skate rentals are $6.
Glacier National Park
If you're a winter person, few places on Earth are as pristine and majestic as Glacier National Park -- and if you're into ice skating, you're in luck. The park welcomes skaters to its boundless supply of natural frozen lakes, ponds, streams and glacial lagoons. If you're looking for something less adventurous, the park is also close to arenas like Glacier Ice Rink in Missoula and Stumptown Ice Den in Whitefish.
The Rink on Farnam at Midtown Crossing is located in the heart of Omaha. Not only does the affordable $5 admission include skate rentals, but all proceeds benefit the Salvation Army. Beautiful, new, and modern, the rink is an all-weather attraction that allows skaters to glide on the marvel of "synthetic ice" no matter the weather.
About 10 minutes off the Strip, you'll find the SoBe Ice Arena, which is, in a word, huge. The facility is a full 31,000 square feet, and its massive rink is surrounded by arcades, party rooms, and concessions. The facility welcomes everyone, young and old, novice and expert, and it offers some of the least expensive fun in Sin City. Admission is $7 plus $3 rental -- the rental fee is waived on Sunday.
King Pine at Purity Spring Resort is best known for its 17 trails, five lifts, and dozens of inches of snow per season, all of which lures armies of skiers from around the region every year. What the regulars know, however, is that the resort's Tohko Dome offers some great ice skating, conveniently located just across from the resort’s base lodge. Admission is $6.
The CooLLoop at the Outpost Ice Arenas is unlike anything in the ice skating universe. By using hydraulic boards, the CooLLoop can be transformed into nearly 1/5 of a mile of ice. A general run on the Outpost Ice Arenas will run you $7. Want to tackle the CooLLoop? That adventure is just $3 more.
New York City
There are few experiences like skating outdoors under the gaze of thousands of passing spectators in Midtown Manhattan -- a short walk from Times Square and the Broadway Theater District -- and in the shadow of the most famous Christmas tree in the world. Not one of the Big Apple’s cheapest activities, skating at the Rink at Rockefeller Center is $32 during the peak season (Dec. 15 - Jan.1), $25 off-peak, plus $12 for skate rentals.
The Extreme Ice Center offers everything from yoga and a performance center to a tavern and a pro shop -- but the real draw is the ice. Public skates take place regularly, and novices can join a learn-to-skate program. Figure skating instruction is also available, as are programs for hockey players, Special Olympians, and anyone else who loves the ice. Public skate admission is $8, skate rentals are $4, and discounts are available for kids.
It's tough to single out the one best ice rink in the NHL-star factory that is the state of North Dakota -- but the Maysa Arena in the Minot Park District might just be it. The rates are affordable -- just $4 each for admission and skates, but the rink spares no expense. The third-largest ice arena in the state, Maysa is a massive, pro-level facility that's currently planning an 1,800-seat upgrade.
Arctic Edge truly has something for everyone. Synchronized skating is available, as are competitive skating sessions, camps, and classes. But for the average novice just looking for some fun on the ice, you can skate your heart out on some of the best ice in the state for $9 and $3 for rentals. Discounts are available for kids, during Tuesday Family Skate and during Saturday Military Skate.
The Rink Exchange is an arena with ice quality that has attracted several youth and amateur hockey organizations, figure skating clubs, and even the University of Oregon's men's hockey team, all of which call the rink home. You can call it home, too -- during public skating sessions, at least. The cost is $8, with discounts for kids, seniors and military, and skate rentals are $3.
Skytop Lodge is located in the region of Northeastern Pennsylvania known as the Poconos -- a natural mountain paradise that transforms into a frozen wonderland in the winter. The majestic Skytop Lodge has something for every season -- including ice skating. When weather permits, the lake becomes a massive skating pavilion. The scenery alone makes the $10 price of admission worth the trip.
The Providence Rink is located inside the Alex and Ani Center, a massive complex with entertainment of all shapes and sizes. Not the least of which is ice skating -- or ice bumper cars, if that's more your speed. Entry is $7 for adults, with several discounts available.
Looking to skate like the pros? Head to the Carolina Ice Palace, which boasts two NHL-size rinks. Delighting skaters since 1997, the facility has hosted numerous high-profile hockey tournaments, including the South Atlantic Regionals Figure Skating Championships and the USA Hockey “Pee Wee” National Championship. Pros from both the Blues and the Sabres have skated there. You can do the same for $7 -- $6 if you bring your own blades.
The recent Stanley Cup champion Nashville Predators skate at the Ford Ice Center -- and you can, too, for $7.50 for adults plus $3 for skates. The professional-caliber arena offers public skating, and the more adventurous or more highly skilled can learn figure skating or join a hockey team -- even a traveling team.
Salt Lake City
The Valda E. Tarbet Ice Rink at the Gallivan Center includes a massive, recently renovated ice rink and surrounding pavilion that offers plenty to do when it's time to hang up the skates, including food, drinks, fire pits and people watching. The $9 admission fee includes skate rental, and discounts are available for seniors, kids, and large groups.
One of the world's greatest winter wonderlands, Vermont certainly has no shortage of magnificent options for ice skaters -- and the Ice House at Okemo Mountain Resort just might be the best of them all. It's covered but cold -- you won't forget you're in Vermont. The rink is regulation sized and the ice is resurfaced regularly for professional conditions, while the antique ice tools that adorn the walls bring Vermont's rugged history to life. Unlimited skating is just $7, as are skate rentals.
Not only is daily skating open to the public, but visitors to the Fairfax Ice Arena can learn freestyle skating, hockey, or just take regular skating lessons. The winter skating season runs through March, and the $8 entry fee, which is $9 on weekends, is reduced for groups, kids, and other special visitors.
The Highland Ice Arena has been family owned since 1962. For more than half a century, skaters have been flocking to Highland, which is open 365 days a year. The ice there is good enough for the Highland Skating Club, the Washington Ice Emeralds Synchronized Skating Team, and the Washington Wild Female Hockey Association.
The Memorial Ice Arena lures skaters from across the state with pristine ice and a schedule packed with figure skating and hockey lessons, as well as public skating, an arcade, party rooms and specialty programs like Totsicles and Learn 2 Skate. Admission is $8 -- $13 for a full day -- and skate rentals are $2.
Ice skating is all about scenery, and the ice rink at the Edgewater hotel is scenic if nothing else. Situated on the roof of the AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel, the elevated ice rink overlooks Lake Mendota. The historic Capitol dome provides the backdrop on the opposite side. Skate rentals are $3, and admission is $7 for adults with discounts available for students, children, and seniors.
If you're looking for the perfect place to skate in Wyoming, head to the M&M's center in Sheridan, which is home to Sheridan Ice. Youth hockey is available for both the young and the very young, and adults can get in on the action, too, whether they want to play hockey or learn figure skating. Prices vary, but one thing is certain -- the Zamboni is covered in M&Ms.