The 15 Most Magical Ice Skating Destinations in the U.S.

Glide through a winter wonderland at these enchanting ice skating havens across America.

Couple ice skating outdoors
Updated May 28, 2024
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Few winter traditions are more beloved by families than ice skating — once you've figured out how to glide across the ice without falling every few feet, that is.

The United States has a host of ice skating rinks, and each has something special, from pristine athletic facilities to iconic views of famous destinations.

Whether you're a seasoned skater or lacing up your skates for the first time, step up your travel game and check out at least one of these popular ice skating destinations this season.

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Boston Common Frog Pond (Boston, Massachusetts)

Tetiana Kasatkina/Adobe happy kids ice skating

Kicking off our list is the Boston Common Frog Pond, an ice rink in the heart of the famous Boston Common, replete with views of the city skyline. This historic destination transforms into a fun skating destination for tourists and locals alike during the winter months.

If you're new to the sport, there are skating lessons to help you get started. If you're a seasoned local, you can join the Skating Club of Boston.

Curry Village Ice Rink (Yosemite, California) friends ice skating on an ice rink

For a singular ice skating experience, head to Curry Village Ice Rink in California's Yosemite National Park. With the famous Half Dome rock face as your view, this destination allows you to skate in the shadow of a true natural wonder. It's an activity folks have enjoyed since 1928.

Once you finish, you can warm up old-school style adjacent to a cozy fire pit, topping off the experience.

The Guidant John Rose OVAL (Roseville, Minnesota)

Victor/Adobe mother and daughter ice skating

The Guidant John Rose OVAL takes ice skating to a whole new level. This massive outdoor rink — the largest in North America at 110,000 square feet — is surrounded by a scenic park for idyllic views.

Not surprisingly, this rink attracts athletes who are fans of speed skating and ice hockey and celebrities like Dan Jansen and Bonnie Blair. Fortunately, families are welcome for more laid-back skating, too.

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Hotel del Coronado (San Diego, California)

alexngm/Adobe little girl learning to ice skate

Escape the winter chill and head to sunny San Diego for a coastal ice skating experience at Hotel del Coronado. 

With palm trees swaying in the breeze, you can enjoy the novelty of ice skating with an ocean view. That more than makes up for a rink on the smallish side.

This destination is especially popular during the holidays, so plan ahead to make sure you secure a spot.

The ICE at Discovery Green (Houston, Texas)

Syda Productions/Adobe happy friends on skating rink

Houston may not be known for its icy landscapes, but The ICE at Discovery Green brings winter wonder to this sprawling Texan metropolis. Like everything else in the state, this rink is big — it's the largest in the Southwest region of the country.

The rink is also accessible to people in non-motorized wheelchairs. If you have little ones under age 4, there's a fun area reserved just for them — a bonus for parents.

ICE at Santa Monica (Santa Monica, California)

LIGHTFIELD STUDIOS/Adobe family holding hands while skating

Like the Hotel del Coronado in San Diego, ICE at Santa Monica combines California beach energy with the charm of every family's favorite winter sport. This outdoor ice rink, just four blocks from the Pacific, offers a skating experience for novices and seasoned pros alike.

At 8,000 square feet, the rink is surprisingly large, especially considering it's in SoCal. Go at sunset to watch the day fade, and the lights come alive.

The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan (Las Vegas, Nevada)

abdrahimmahfar/Adobe skating people

Las Vegas may be in the desert, but The Ice Rink at the Cosmopolitan brings frosty fun to the Strip. Surrounded by city lights, this 4,200-square-foot rooftop rink offers skaters a glamorous atmosphere with all of the bells and whistles.

It's Vegas, so there are DJs, fire pits, cocktails, and the occasional snow shower to enjoy. Don't miss the New Year's Eve fireworks display at this top-ranked venue.

James B. Sheffield Olympic Skating Rink (Lake Placid, New York)

ibreakstock/Adobe couple kissing while ice skating

Lake Placid is synonymous with winter sports, thanks to hosting the 1980 Winter Olympics. The James B. Sheffield Olympic Skating Rink is a part of this history, providing skaters the chance to follow in the footsteps of legendary athletes.

Try your hand at speed skating at this outdoor rink, or just glide along at recreational speeds. While you're in town, stop by the indoor rink where the famous Miracle on Ice happened.

Leon Black Family Ice Rink (Beaver Creek, Colorado)

ibreakstock/Adobe romantic couple kissing while ice skating

Nestled in a quaint mountain village, the Leon Black Family Ice Rink in Beaver Creek is the ideal destination for families looking for a classic winter experience. 

As you leisurely skate, you're surrounded by cute homes, twinkling lights, and cozy couches when you need a break.

Beaver Creek is also famous for serving fresh chocolate chip cookies and cocoa in the afternoons.

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McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (Chicago, Illinois)

Frankie3/Wirestock Creators/Adobe mccormick tribune plaza & ice rink

In the heart of downtown, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park is the place to skate in Chicago. Glide on the ice while taking in views of iconic Chicago architecture and the reflective Cloud Gate sculpture, fondly known as "The Bean."

Go for a recreational skate with the family, or take advantage of free lessons for beginner, intermediate, or hockey skaters. Concessions are available, too.

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink (Washington, D.C.)

Robert MEYNER/Adobe man in an indoor ice-skating rink

Want to ice skate in a world-famous sculpture garden full of contemporary art? You can do just that at the National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink.

Framed by the historic architecture of the National Mall, this outdoor rink provides a singular backdrop for skaters of all ages. Just imagine the many incredible trailblazers who have walked the ground you get to skate across.

The Providence Rink (Providence, Rhode Island)

New Africa/Adone mother and daughter skating

For a classic New England skating experience, head to The Providence Rink. Located in the heart of downtown, this outdoor rink has a festive atmosphere with views of the city skyline. Skaters of all abilities are welcome.

For those looking for a less quaint activity, you can rent ice bumper cars on a designated section of the rink. That's some full-contact (yet safe) fun you can’t experience anywhere else.

Rockefeller Center (New York City, New York)

Torval Mork/Adobe crowds skating at Rockefeller Centre

No list of iconic ice skating destinations is complete without mentioning Rockefeller Center in Manhattan. The famous rink beneath the iconic Christmas tree embodies the essence of holiday magic and has been featured in countless movies and television shows.

The rink may be a bit smaller than you expect, but it's worth navigating the crowd to have this bucket list experience.

Sun Valley Ice Rink (Sun Valley, Idaho)

Syda Productions/Adobe hot tea at outdoor skating rink

The Sun Valley Ice Rink has indoor and outdoor ice skating options in scenic Idaho. Outdoors, enjoy being surrounded year-round by the dramatic, snow-capped mountains of the Sawtooth Range. You can also take in ice shows as fun evening entertainment.

Fans of Olympians and famous winter athletes can also run into their icons in Sun Valley, as many train there for competitions.

The UPMC Rink at PPG Place (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania)

hedgehog94/Adobe girl ice skating with her mother

The UPMC Rink at PPG Place in Pittsburgh is smack in the middle of the city’s plaza, giving Rockefeller Center a run for its money. The organizers place a glittering Christmas tree in the center of the rink, creating magical reflections in the mirrored downtown buildings.

Word on the street is that the tree is one of the most technologically-savvy, promising a true spectacle.

Bottom line

pololia/Adobe family playing at the skating rink

Whether you prefer the classic charm of a New England rink or the novelty of skating with an ocean view in California, each destination on this list adds its signature charm to the joy of ice skating.

Don’t forget to check out the other winter activities in many of these areas — like skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding — which can be just as fun and exciting as ice skating. And don’t forget to bring your best travel credit card.

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Cat Lafuente

Cat Lafuente is a Florida-based writer and editor with extensive experience in digital and print content spaces. Her own personal finance journey — particularly consolidating debt and paying it off, in turn boosting her credit score and becoming a homeowner — inspired her to join the FinanceBuzz team; she hopes she can help others do the same.