WindyCityEvents went ice skating. And we’ve returned with rink reviews and ratings

Millennium Park rink opens on Friday November 16th 2012 (weather permitting)!!

When you think of fun wintertime activities in the city, what’s one of the first things that you think of? Probably not dodging slush puddles and fighting horrible traffic.  Nope.  I bet it’s ice skating!  After visiting the iconic McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, I had a new-found love for ice skating, but the crowds and lines really got on my nerves.  So after heading to Sport’s Authority for my very own pair of skates, so that I could avoid rental lines, I headed out to find alternative places to perfect my camel spins and butterfly jumps. Okay, that’s a lie.  I really needed to perfect standing, moving forward and stopping on skates, but I digress.  So, without further delay, I present to you our top skating rinks in Chicago…



#4. The Rink At Wrigley

1060 W. Addison St.
(312) 617-7017
rinkatwrigley.com

Great location. Horrible pricing.

When this rink opened last year, I was very excited.  It was a great new location with lots of potential.  But then I received further details… On the weekend you need to pay $10 just to step foot into the rink.  Don’t have your own skates? Add another $10, after you wait in line to get your rental pair.  I’m sorry, but $20 to go ice skating is outrageous. On a date? Make that $40! You could go to the movies and get a popcorn and drink for that.  It is a lovely rink though, and when you’re done skating you have a ton of bars to head to.  But the price of admission is what earned this rink it’s number 4 spot on our list.

HOURS:
Monday – Thursday: 2pm – 9pm
Friday: 2pm-11pm
Saturday: 10am-11pm
Sunday: 10am-8pm
Please call or visit their website for holiday hours

PRICES:
Monday-Thursday: Admission $5 adults ($3 children); Skate rental: $5 adults ($3 children)
Friday-Sunday: Admission $10 adults ($5 children); Skate rental: $10 adults ($5 children)

Parking is FREE and available at Clark Street and Waveland Avenue.

#3. Daley Bicentennial Plaza

337 E. Randolph St.
(312) 742-0064
chicagoparkdistrict.com

The "hidden gem", just steps from Millennium Park

I was really excited when I found out about this well kept secret.  Just steps away from the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, this rink is not well known yet has the same stunning skyline view as its neighbor.  There was a decent crowd when I got there, not nearly the amount of people that were just down the street, but still a bit congested.  The ice wasn’t as well groomed either but it was maintained.  There was a minimal line for rentals and you could be out on the ice in no time.  If you live close to downtown, this is where you probably want to go to get a quick skate in.

HOURS:
Monday – Wednesday, 1 – 9 pm
Thursday, 1 – 6:30 pm
Friday, 1 – 9 pm
Saturday – Sunday, 3:30-8:30 pm
Please call or visit their website for holiday hours

PRICES:
$7 skate rental; admission free.

No food concessions are available.


#2. McCormick Tribune Ice Rink

Millennium Park- On Michigan Ave. between Washington St. and Madison St.
(312) 744-6630
millenniumpark.org

The icon for Chicago ice skating

The first thing you need to know about this rink probably won’t come as a surprise.  It is crowded. And if you don’t have your own skates, you will wait in line. Probably for a while.  That being said, it’s very nice here.  The view of the highrises along Michigan Avenue combined with the holiday music coming from the speakers really gets you into the festive spirit.  Rental prices are a bit high at $10, but the rink is large and well maintained. If you’re only going to go ice skating once or twice this season, you should come here.  It is definitely an experience.  My biggest gripes are how crowded it is and the rental line. I love everything else about it.

HOURS:
Mondays—Thursdays, 12PM-8PM
Fridays, 12PM-10PM
Saturdays (through Dec.18), 10AM-10PM
Saturdays (beginning Jan. 8), 10AM-9PM
Sundays, 10AM-9PMPlease call or visit their website for holiday hours

PRICES:
$10 skate rental; admission free.

#1. Midway Plaisance Park

1130 Midway Plaisance North (East 59th Street at Woodlawn)
(312) 745-2470
chicagoparkdistrict.com

The #1 place to skate in Chicago

This rink is a bit far and some of you may not have a car, so you’ll have to rely on public transportation to get here.  That being said, it is by far my favorite place to ice skate in the city.  To overcome the first hurdle of location, may I recommend you befriend someone with a car? You’ll thank me. What makes this my favorite? There’s ample parking. The ice is well groomed and maintained.  It’s a large rink. It’s not crowded. Rentals (which are only $4) and concessions are available.  If you go alone, or with friends, you will have a good time and you’ll probably see me there!

HOURS:
Monday – Thursday, 12 – 7 p.m.
Friday, 12 – 4:30 p.m., 5 – 7 p.m.
Saturday, 1-9 p.m.
Sunday, 12 – 7 p.m.
Please call or visit their website for holiday hours

PRICES:
$4 skate rental; admission free.

So there you have it. Be sure to let us know if you have a different favorite. I do plan on trying more rinks and will be sure to update you if the winner changes.  In the meantime, you can see a large list of park district rinks here: http://www.cpdit01.com/resources/communications.ice-rinks/

http://www.millenniumpark.org/parkevents/event.aspx?id=1203Mondays—Thursdays, 12PM-8PM
Fridays, 12PM-10PM
Saturdays (through Dec.18), 10AM-10PM
Saturdays (beginning Jan. 8), 10AM-9PM
Sundays, 10AM-9PM

Tuesday, December 14th, 2010 Event