15 Best Ice Skating Rinks in the U.S.

David Markland

Ice skating is the quintessential winter pastime. When temperatures drop below zero, Americans lace up their skates and take to the rink. Visitors can glide across the Rockefeller Center’s renowned rink, or take in views of the Pacific Ocean at San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado. Whether the backdrop is palm trees or skyscrapers, rinks across the country offer unique experiences to fit every traveler. Here are our picks for the best ice skating venues in the United States.

Courtesy Sun Valley Resort

Sun Valley Ice Rink, Idaho

WHERE: Sun Valley, Idaho

For picturesque views of the mountains and year-round entertainment, visit the Sun Valley Ice Rink. The outdoor rink is one of the few to stay open year-round, and it offers skating lessons and ice shows. Visitors can also rub elbows with Olympic and world-class skaters, as the rink is a popular training spot for athletes.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Sun Valley Guide

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Rockefeller Center, New York City

WHERE: New York, New York

Skating in Rockefeller Center is a time-honored New York tradition. The rink is small and only accommodates 150 guests at a time, but skating underneath the center’s sparkling Christmas tree is well worth the wait. Crowds of visitors watch from the sidelines as skaters jump, twirl, and spin around the rink. 

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's New York City Guide

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink, Washington DC

WHERE: Washington, D.C.

Guests can view spectacular works of art at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink. The rink is conveniently located on Washington’s National Mall and features sculptures by renowned contemporary artists. The nearby Pavilion Café offers panoramic views of the garden and rink as well as a variety of food and beverages.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Washington, D.C. Guide

Jack Affleck / Vail Resorts

Leon Black Family Ice Rink, Beaver Creak, Colorado

WHERE: Beaver Creek, Colorado

Located in the heart of a mountain village, Leon Black Family Ice Rink features a stunning backdrop and friendly ambiance. The rink is open year-round and offers weekly themed skating events like Disco Skate Night and Family Night. Visitors can warm up at one of the surrounding fire pits, or relax on plush, rink-side couches.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Beaver Creak Guide

cdrin/Shutterstock

Trump Rink, New York City

WHERE: New York, New York

Wollman Rink has appeared in movies like Serendipity and Love Story, and it is a popular destination for tourists and locals. Visitors can enjoy views of the New York skyline and sign up for private lessons through the rink’s skating school.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's New York City Guide

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McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, Chicago

WHERE: Chicago, Illinois

Each year, more than 100,000 skaters visit McCormick Tribune Ice Rink. Located in Millennium Park, the rink is steps away from Chicago’s Magnificent Mile and is the perfect place for people watching. The rink’s state-of-the-art chiller system prevents ice from melting in unseasonably warm weather, ensuring winter-long skating.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Chicago Guide

Ice at the Galleria, Houston

WHERE: Houston, Texas

Texas and ice-skating aren’t generally associated with one another, but Ice at the Galleria defies expectation. The popular indoor rink is located at the center of Houston’s Galleria mall, and offers public skating sessions and classes. The rink also features weekend night skating parties with DJs.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Houston Guide

Provided by The Depot Rink,  located at The Depot Renaissance Minneapolis Hotel

The Depot Rink, Minneapolis

WHERE: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Downtown Minneapolis is home to The Depot Rink, one of the country’s oldest skating destinations. The rink was established in 1899 and features floor-to-ceiling glass walls with views of the city skyline. Unlike most rinks, Depot is heated meaning guests will find much-needed solace from the chilly Minneapolis winter.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Minneapolis Guide

Boston Common Frog Pond

WHERE: Boston, Massachusetts

Every winter, Boston Common Frog Pond transforms into a large outdoor skating rink. Visitors can rent skates and enjoy a public skating session, or participate in one of the rink’s private or group lessons. To warm up after a few spins around the ice, stop by the Pond Cottage for hot cocoa.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Boston Guide

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Bryant Park, New York City

WHERE: New York, New York

Rockefeller Center is known as Manhattan’s premier skating venue, but Bryant Park offers a good alternative. The center of the park is home to a giant skating rink with free admission, and visitors can enjoy unlimited skating sessions. For a break from skating, visit the park’s rink-side restaurant, Celsius, or one of the nearby holiday markets.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's New York City Guide

Pershing Square Rink, Los Angeles

WHERE: Los Angeles, California

Towering skyscrapers and palm trees set the background for Pershing Square Rink in Los Angeles. As the city’s oldest outdoor rink, Pershing Square is a favorite among tourists and locals. Featured events include a Winter Holiday Festival, concerts, broomball games, and skating exhibitions.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Los Angeles Guide

Blue Cross River Rink, Philadelphia

WHERE: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Blue Cross River Rink is a Philadelphia wintertime tradition. The Olympic-sized rink overlooks the Delaware River and Ben Franklin Bridge and also features a heated pavilion with a snack bar and game room. Visitors will enjoy the rink’s special events, including live DJs on weekend nights.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Philadelphia Guide

Courtesy of DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite

Curry Village Ice Rink, Yosemite

WHERE: Yosemite National Park, California

One of America’s most beloved national parks is also home to a popular skating destination. Curry Village Ice Rink offers breathtaking views of the mountains and the area’s picturesque surroundings. Guests can warm up with hot cocoa and s’mores at the rink’s fire pit or participate in daily skating sessions.  

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Yosemite Guide

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The Venetian, Las Vegas

WHERE: Las Vegas, Nevada

Ice skating in Las Vegas might seem counterintuitive, but The Venetian offers a winter wonderland-themed rink that draws crowds. The synthetic ice-skating rink is located next to its outdoor gondolas and features sparking lights and a giant, glowing disco ball. The rink also offers 30-minute skating lessons to beginners.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's Las Vegas Guide

Courtesy of Hotel del Coronado

Hotel del Coronado, San Diego

WHERE: San Diego, California

For a skating experience unlike any other, visit San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado. Every year around Christmas, the hotel transforms one of its lawns into a giant, outdoor ice rink. The rink overlooks the Pacific Ocean, and visitors can enjoy daily skating sessions under the palm trees.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor's San Diego Guide

ICE at Discovery Green

The ICE at Discovery Green

WHERE: Houston, Texas

The ICE at Discovery Green is Houston’s annual winter hotspot, playing host to numerous winter activities including the Southwest’s largest outdoor skating rink; there’s even a special area for skaters under 4 called the ICE Box. The Snack-N-Skate Shop sells treats like hot cocoa and roasted peanuts, and if you need to warm up, you can buy socks and mittens.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Houston Guide

Winter in the Park

Winter in the Park

WHERE: Winter Park, Florida

Just north of Orlando, the aptly named Winter Park is home to the annual Winter in the Park celebration that takes over Central Park West Meadow. In addition to an outdoor ice skating rink, there’s holiday music, games, and carolers. All day general admission is only $12 and that includes skate rentals!

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Winter Park Guide

ICE at Santa Monica

ICE at Santa Monica

WHERE: Santa Monica, California

Usually known for its sand and surf, downtown Santa Monica becomes a winter wonderland with its annual ICE at Santa Monica, an 8,000-square-foot outdoor ice-skating rink. You can actually skate while watching the waves roll in. And, there’s a designated area for the little ones.

PLAN YOUR TRIP: Visit Fodor’s Santa Monica Guide