One of the best parts about winter in Chicago is the array of charming ice rinks that pop up all across the city. These seasonal rinks are a beloved winter tradition, whether it’s free ice skating in the shadow of “The Bean” to a gliding around on a hidden rooftop rink. So grab your skates and check out the most unique winter ice skating rinks in Chicago.

McCormick Tribune ice rink

Ice skating near The Bean

The skating rink in Millennium Park is must-do for any winter visit to Chicago. Stop for a spin on the ice in the heart of downtown, while you take in breathtaking views of the downtown city skyline and the magical sight of all those holiday lights reflected on the surface of Cloud Gate (aka “The Bean”).

Admission is free and skate rentals are available. But here’s a tip: Each year more than 100,000 skaters visit the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, so plan to go during off-times to avoid the big crowds and long lines for skate rentals.

Open Nov. 15, 2019 – March 2020 (weather permitting)
Free admission, skate rental $13 weekdays; $15 weekends and holidays 

Explore Millennium Park

Maggie Daley Skating Ribbon

Maggie Daley Park, neighboring Millennium Park, offers a picturesque skating ribbon that curves through the whimsical play spaces and snow-dusted pine trees. Its path is twice the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink — which also means you should check the Zamboni schedule to avoid the lengthy ice resurfacing times! Another tip: bring your own skates to skip the rental line.

Open mid-November 2019 – March 2020 (weather permitting)
Free admission, skate rental $13 weekdays; $15 weekends and holidays

Best Large City in the U.S.

Sky Rink at Peninsula Chicago

The luxury hotel’s Sky Rink comes with jaw-dropping views of the surrounding cityscape. This charming rink is perched high above the hustle and bustle of Michigan Avenue on the hotel’s fourth-floor terrace. Bonus: The outdoor chalet has a tasty menu of winter warmups, from mulled cider to fresh beignets. The price of admission includes skates and benefits children’s charities.

Open Nov. 23, 2019 – first week of March (call ahead for hours and availability)
Admission: $10 for children, $20 for adults 

Ice rink at Navy Pier Winter WonderFest

Navy Pier Winter Wonderfest

Winter WonderFest is a massive, festive indoor playground filled with hundreds of trees, twinkling lights, and tons of holiday-themed fun. And the indoor ice rink means skating thrills without any of the chill. Upgrade from General Admission to an Activity Ticket for access to over 25 rides and activities, plus the ice rink with skate rentals.

Open Dec. 6, 2019 – Jan. 12, 2020
Tickets $13  – $28 

Ice rink at Lincoln Park Zoo

Located in the Farm-in-the-Zoo area of the free Lincoln Park Zoo, this charming skating rink is nestled next to the big red barn below strands of string lights. Glide by ponies, goats, and the scenic South Pond. Time your visit to also see ZooLights, a spectacular display of more than two million holiday lights that transform the zoo into a winter wonderland.

Open November – February
$5 admission, skate rentals available