5 Awesome Places to Ice Skate in the U.S.
Do your holiday traditions include some time on the ice? To inspire you to enjoy the cold weather this winter, we've compiled a list of 5 great outdoor ice-skating rinks where you can practice triple axles, share first dates, or enjoy quality time with your kids. These places offer something for everyone; so whether you're just a beginner or a regular Michelle Kwan, skating is a great way to celebrate one of nature's coolest creations: the ice.
Did your favorite rink make our list?
Between 48th and 51st street, the city and state in which The Rink resides is one of the world's most renowned tourist attractions. Located in Upper Manhattan, Rockefeller Center lies in the heart of the city that never sleeps. The Rink opened on October 16th and will be open through April 2013. Group tickets, season passes, reservations, and lessons are one of the many things you can do to ensure your skating experience is a success! And even if you fall on your bottom until your tailbone is sore, you can opt to check out Radio City Music Hall, Times Square, or any of the other amazing New York attractions that are all in a several block radius around Rockefeller Center.
2.) Ice Palace in Spokane, Washington
Riverfront Park is home to a wide range of historical and cultural landmarks. The surrounding land, including Spokane falls, was once home to Native Americans and settlers in the 1800s. The outdoor skating rink located in the park provides affordable admission, rentals, and discounts applicable throughout the week that emphasize themed activities such as College Night. After you're done perfecting your moves on the ice, hike to Spokane Falls or explore in the park.
3.) Sun Valley, Idaho
If you can't decide between strapping a snowboard or ice skates to your feet, luckily for you, Sun Valley is a place where you can do both. Not simultaneously, of course. Surrounded by snow-capped mountains, their outdoor skating rink will make you feel as if you are in a winter wonderland. With your breath fogging the air and pine-treed skylines along the horizon, Sun Valley makes stepping into a holiday movie simple and exciting--especially since it's the meeting grounds for many celebrities and professional ice skaters who visit this destination every year. Look closely, and you will probably spot one.
4.) Keystone Resort, Colorado
Ice skating on an actual frozen lake can sometimes seem a bit scary. Especially if you've seen a film or T.V. show where someone takes a wrong step and plunges into the ice cold water below. But at Keystone Resort, one of the most luxurious places to vacation during the winter season, that won't happen to you. The lake--and thereby skating rink--sits in the center of a condominium complex complete with Christmas trees and lights that illuminate the rink. You can also hit the slopes or go wine tasting here. With views of the beautiful White River National Forest as a backdrop, you can't go wrong!
Millennium Park attracts hundreds of thousands of skaters every year--and the best part about it? Okay. Maybe the three best things about it? The rink is free and open to the public; they only charge $10 for skate rentals; and last, but not least, the park gives you a magnificent view of Chicago's skyline. Surrounding the rink are trees alit with Christmas lights as well as other famous destinations such as Skydeck Chicago's The Ledge, Cultural Center, and Navy Pier.
--images by istock//aluxum, alicescully, & patty_c
--Christine Nguyen is an editorial intern for Sierra magazine. She loves The Beatles, dogs, eating desserts, and traveling from Northern to Southern California to visit friends and family. She is currently an after school 2nd grade teacher in Fremont, California.