Chicago transforms into a blissful wonderland this year! And what better way to enjoy the winter season than lacing up your skates and going for a twirl or a spin on some of Chicago’s funnest and most attractive ice rinks?

Combined with hot cocoa, spiced wine, and tasty treats – this is a must for anyone who would like to enjoy the holiday season and get into the spirit of the festivities. Perfect for young and old alike, ice skating is a much-loved holiday activity that’s not to be passed up!

Packed with all the information you need to plan your next ice skating adventure, take a look at all the possibilities that Chicago has to offer.

1. Winterland at Gallagher Way at Wrigley Field

If you thought that Chicago’s iconic Wrigley Field was just for baseball games, you’re in for a surprise. Apart from musical concerts and various events throughout the year, Wrigley Field transforms into a magical place in winter. Although the 2022 ball season may have come to an end, that only signals the start of fun holiday activities for the whole family. In fact, this year Winterland at Gallagher Way returns but with more surprises in store for all visitors.

Apart from the 12,000-square-foot Gallagher Ice Rink, you and your loved ones can enjoy on-field games, carnival rides, an ice slide, a miniature train, ice bumper cars, and a whole lot more. To end off the fun, you can always head over to Santa’s workshop to take photos with the man himself.

But there is also a wreath-making workshop, holiday movies, and of course, the much-loved Christkindl market where you can shop for trinkets, enjoy live entertainment, and tasty treats. Winterland comes to Chicago on November 18, 2022 and will remain open until January 8, 2023.

2. McCormick Tribune Ice Skating Rink

Located in front of the Bean in Millenium Park, this is another of Chicago’s winter treats. It attracts over 100,000 visitors each year and is a must-visit! This rink is the closest to the Cloudgate sculpture and is arguably one of Chicago’s most popular rinks. Admission is free, excluding skate rental. And while there, enjoy gliding beside Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison Streets.

At this rink, you’ll be close to much of the city’s great architecture! This includes the city’s very first library, the Chicago Cultural Center, Jean Gang’s wavy Aqua Tower, and the restored 1890s Chicago Athletic Association Hotel.

3. Maggie Daley Park

Not an ice rink in the traditional sense, the Maggie Daley Park has a skating path that is twice as long (a quarter mile) as the length of a lap around a traditional skating rink. Often described as a “lazy river of ice”, it also features changes in elevation and can hold up to 700 skaters at the same time. In addition, complimenting the Ribbon is Th Rink Café, where you can enjoy hot chocolate or other place for hot beverages and skate rentals.

In 2022, Maggie Daley Park will also bring visitors an immersive Van Gogh experience where Van Gogh-inspired visuals will be beamed onto the ice. But that’s not all! Visitors get the chance to not only enjoy an incredible outdoor experience, they also get to do this under the magnificent Chicago skyline.

4. The Peninsula Sky Rink

An ice rink that not only offers amazing views from the fourth floor of the Peninsula Hotel, but one with a difference, too. In fact, if you want to have an amazing time and do good, it’s worth knowing that all proceeds from skate rentals will go to the Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Hephzibah Children’s Association.

Located high above Chicago’s Michigan Avenue, the Sky Rink is a spectacular setting  setting for this premier hotel’s skating rink. Surrounded by mammoth skyscrapers and dazzling twinkling lights, the rink is tucked into a winter wonderland featuring holiday music, and snowflake lighting. Also enjoy a great selection of hot beverages at the Chalet.

5. Chicago Park District Community Rinks

If you’re an outdoors lover, then visiting some pop-up community rinks in your neighborhood will do just as well! In fact, a total of seven outdoor rinks throughout the city will be available for fun, enjoyment, and entertainment this winter. From McKinley Ice Rink (Pershing Road) to Midway Plaisance Ice Rink (Midway Plaisance North) in Chicago, you can also enjoy Greenwood Ice Rink, Warren Ice Rink, and Wentworth Ice Rink, and plenty more in Chicago’s suburbs. Most of these locations offer special programs ranging from skating lessons, hockey clinics, and sled-assisted skating.

6. Brookfield Zoo

Apart from all the holiday activities that Brookfield Zoo offers this winter, there’s also the much-loved ice rink located on the East Mall. What makes this ice rink so unique is the fact that the surface of the rink is made of “Glice”.

This is an eco-friendly synthetic material, which does not require water or electricity to maintain. It’s only the third zoo across the entire United States to provide this offering.

7. Ice Skating in the Commons

Located at 1 Veterans Parkway, New Lenox, admission to the New Lennox annual “Christmas in the Commons” annual celebration is free, excluding skate rentals.

Here, families will be able to delight in a holiday market, a lights display, and one of the largest illuminated Santas in the US.

8. Parkway Bank Park

Looking for an NHL-sized ice rink that’s adorned with hundreds of twinkling lights to make for a magical experience? Look no further than Parkway Bank Park in Rosemont.

The public park is surrounded by a whole host of other attractions including upscale dining, live entertainment, a movie theater, indoor skydiving, and a comedy club. There’s something for the fashionistas among you, too in the form of the Fashion Outlet of Chicago.

9. Navy Pier Winter Wonderland

Known for some of the most incredibly beautiful waterfront panoramas in the city, Light up the Lake at Navy Pier returns with a bang this year. The Winter Wonderfest offers something for everyone!

From ice peak climbing walls, giant inflatable slides, spinning tea cup rides, train rides, tilt-a-whirl, and a “faux” snow tubing hill. But the heated indoor ice skating rink tops all of these! Why? Because it’s decked out with a twinkly curtain of lights that make your trip there entirely worth it.

10. Mt. Greenwood Park

And last but not least on our list is Mt. Greenwood Park ice rink, located in the Beverly neighborhood (close to the Beverly Arts Center). Suitable for beginner skaters to other more experienced ones, this is a massive ice rink that also hosts hockey games and ice skating lessons.

If skating isn’t your strongest ability, don’t worry! Specialty sleds are available to help everyone have a good time on the ice! But apart from this, there are also skating programs for people of all ages, confidence, and experience levels.

Isn’t it time to hop on the ice?

With so many options, we understand that choosing can be hard! Chicago truly transforms into a magical winter wonderland for people of all ages to enjoy. Whether you prefer the weather protection of an indoor skating rink or you like the adventures and all the fun that comes with an outdoor ice skating rink is entirely up to you.

At Bus Connection, we’re here to take care of the rest! We all know that crowds can quickly build up in Chicago’s favorite ice rinks and that you need to plan ahead to find parking. In addition, you’ll also want to fully enjoy and immerse yourself in the experience and top it off with a craft beer or a glass of wine. Don’t let this worry you! Simply reach out to us and we’ll get you from A to B safely, on your own schedule, and to and from your chosen ice rink location.

Having winter fun has never been this easy or convenient!