A Guide To Top Ice Rinks In Chicago

Given Chicago's cold winters, it's no wonder ice skating is a popular winter activity here. There are several ice rinks set up in the seasonal months near downtown for Chicago residents and travelers. All rinks listed provide skate rental.

--edited by Audarshia Townsend

  • 01 of 07
    ••• Photo courtesy of Millennium Park

    More than 100,000 people lace up their skates each season and hit the ice in this picturesque environment. Located in a lovely setting below Chicago's Cloud Gate sculpture--a.k.a. "The Bean"--the Millennium Park ice skating rink is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike. It's especially beautiful after dark, with the tall buildings to the west, and Cloud Gate reflecting the city lights to the east.

    When To Go: Skating season generally begins shortly before Thanksgiving and runs through March.

    Cost: Admission to the skating rink is free and open to the public. Skate rental is available for $12.

    Location: Millennium Park, along Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets

    Nearby Hotels: Chicago Athletic Association HotelFairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, Hilton ChicagoHyatt Regency Chicago, Loews Chicago Hotel, Palmer House Hilton, Renaissance Blackstone Chicago

  • 02 of 07
    ••• MB Financial Park at Rosemont

    Staying near O'Hare Airport with no intentions of going to the city? The closest major skating rink is the pop-up Frozemont at MB Financial Park. In addition to skating, guests may participate in winter tubing and hockey games. It's very family oriented and there's live entertainment during the holiday season.

    When To Go: December through February

    Cost: Admission to the skating rink is free and open to the public. Skate rental is available.

    Location: MB Financial Park, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont, Ill.

    Nearby Hotels: Hilton Chicago O'Hare Airport, Holiday Inn Chicago O'HareHyatt Regency O'Hare, Loews Chicago O'Hare Hotel,

  • 03 of 07

    Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon

    ••• Photo Courtesy of City of Chicago

    The former Daley Bicentennial Plaza site has been transformed into lakefront recreation center Maggie Daley Park. The indoor/outdoor project includes an ice skating ribbon, playground and fieldhouse. The park is named in honor of former Chicago First Lady Maggie Daley, wife of Richard M. Daley, the Windy City's longest-running mayor.

    When To Go: Skating season generally begins shortly before Christmas and runs through March.

    Cost: Admission is free. Skate rental is $12. 

    Location: Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon, 337 E. Randolph St.

    Nearby Hotels: Chicago Athletic Association HotelFairmont Chicago, Millennium Park, Hilton ChicagoHyatt Regency Chicago, Loews Chicago Hotel, Palmer House Hilton, Renaissance Blackstone Chicago

  • 04 of 07

    Navy Pier

    Ice Skating at Navy Pier
    ••• Ice Skating at Navy Pier. © Prescott Carlson

    An annual event taking place from the beginning of December until the first weekend after New Year's Day, Navy Pier's Winter Wonderfest not only features an indoor ice skating rink, but also hundreds of Christmas trees, thousands of lights, and other attractions such as an indoor Ferris wheel, the Reindeer Express Train Ride, the Pepsi Create-a-Cookie Cottage, and more.

    When To Go: Beginning of December through first weekend of January

    Cost: Admission to the skating rink is free and open to the public. Skate rental is available for $12.

    Location: Navy Pier, 600 E. Grand Ave.

    Nearby Hotels: Hyatt Regency Chicago, Intercontinental Hotel, Loews Chicago Hotel, W Chicago-Lakeshore

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Parson's Chicken & Fish

    ••• Photo courtesy of Parson's Chicken & Fish

    A local favorite for home-style fried chicken, Parson's caters to a trendy crowd frequently Logan Square bars and restaurants. The 1,500-square-foot rink is a bit no-frills, offering a homey, neighborhood vibe complete with fire pit, piping-hot cocktails and an enclosed, heated patio where you can watch the outdoors action. 

    When To Go: December through February

    Cost: Admission to the skating rink is free and open to the public; $5 donation for skate rental

    Location: 2952 W. Armitage Ave.

    Nearby Hotels: Longman & Eagle

  • 06 of 07

    Chicago's only hotel skating rink is situated on the mezzanine of this luxurious hotel property. Peninsula goes out with a winter wonderland theme, plus guests are treated to views of the iconic John Hancock building and Magnificent Mile.

    When To Go: Late November through beginning of March

    Cost: Admission to the skating rink is free and open to Peninsula hotel, restaurant and spa guests. Skate rental is available for a donation of $10 for adults, $5 for children.

    Location: The Peninsula Chicago, 108 E. Superior St.

    Nearby Hotels: Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile, Drake Hotel Chicago, Four Seasons Chicago,The Gwen, a Luxury Collection HotelHyatt Regency Chicago, Intercontinental Hotel, Park Hyatt, Ritz-Carlton Chicago

  • 07 of 07

    The Rink at Wrigley

    ••• Photo Courtesy of Wrigley Field

    Historic Wrigley Field sets up an ice skating rink from December through February for those that want to strap on some skates in the shadow of the Friendly Confines.

    When To Go: Beginning of December through February

    Cost: Free and open to the public

    Location: Wrigley Field, Clark Street and Waveland Avenue

    Nearby Hotels: Majestic HotelThe Willows, Wrigley Hostel