After New Years we move into the most depressing time of year: a guaranteed four more months of winter. (And since it's Chicago, it could be longer.) Time to start thinking up those fool-proof cold weather pick-me-ups to stave off seasonal affective disorder. I'm eagerly anticipating the second annual John Hancock Building Skating in the Sky.
From January 1 through April 8, you can triple axel jump your way across the 900-square-foot ice skating rink on the 94th floor of the Hancock Building. The rink allows up to 20 skaters at a time for 25-minute sessions.
Now, I'm no ice expert, but an ice skating rink 1,000 feet in the air just doesn't seem like a good idea. But believe it or not, you're not actually skating on ice. The rink is made of a synthetic substance called XTRAICE. It's two centimeters thick and covered with a water-based silicone to provide the glide for real skates. The best part is that it's not cold! No need to bundle up.
And don't worry about taking a spill and falling 94 stories onto Michigan Avenue. The rink is surrounded by three-foot-high padding with ample space between the "ice" and the windows.
While you're up there, check out the Lavazza Expression Cafe, an affordable culinary alternative to the famous Signature Room and 95th Lounge. Grab some snacks for the kids or a delicious adult beverage for yourself.
Want to teach the little ones how to ice skate? The Chicago Blackhawks Youth Hockey coaches will give free lessons every Monday at 4:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
The rink is opened everyday from 9:00 a.m. - 11:00 p.m., January 1 through April 8. The last admission is sold at 10:00 p.m. Skate sessions are $5 each, and that is in addition to the $15 Observatory admission. ($10 for kids ages three to 11.) Skate rentals are $1.
Click here to read about more ice skating facilities around Chicago.