Those who live in and near Chicago can ice skate for free at the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park. The rink is located at 201 E. Randolph St. (map). Even better, you can get free ice skating lessons, too. This is a great opportunity if you are just starting to learn.
Public Skate (free!) at McCormick Tribune Ice Rink:
- Monday - Thursday: Noon - 8 p.m.
- Friday: Noon - 10 p.m.
- Saturday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
- Sunday: 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.
Skating Lessons (also free!) are offered one hour before the rink opens on Friday, Saturday and Sunday:
- Friday: 11 a.m. (rink opens at noon)
- Saturday: 9 a.m. (rink opens at 10 a.m.)
- Sunday: 9 a.m. (rink opens at 10 a.m.)
A few caveats, though:
Ice skate rentals are expensive: The rink at Millennium Park rents skates from toddler size to adult size 13, but at $12. Obviously, you should get your own skates as soon as possible if you want to learn, so I wouldn't recommend renting from Millennium Park more than once, if at all.
They take FOREVER to resurface the ice: I've seen a Zamboni resurface a standard-sized rink in less than 10 minutes. But they sure do milk it and take their time at Millennium Park. Usually, it takes them 30 minutes to resurface a smaller-than-standard ice rink. Why? They want you to get bored and buy food at the restaurant next to the rink. In typical Chicago fashion, they do not even post the resurfacing schedule to their website, instead telling you to call 312.742.5224.
Other things to know:
The rink has locker rentals for $1, which is nice if you want to stash your shoes somewhere. The lockers are small -- about 12" x 12" x 12".
You can get your skates sharpened for $9, which is $2 more than most places charge.
The rink closes for the season after March 8, 2015.
For more information, visit the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink website.
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