Last updated on August 16th, 2019
Ice Skating in Minnesota is a national pastime. In my opinion, there is only one place to go, Centennial Lakes in Edina. Sure, you could go to the local ice rink in your hometown, but that’s only a frozen pond or man-made rink. Their warming house rarely extends more to a series of benches in a cold feeling room. Centennial Lakes skating rink is so much more. It’s an adventure in the middle of a city. Centennial Lakes is a romantic date spot and a magical oasis all in one. It is the only place I will skate anymore.
The Centennial Lakes Ice Skating Experience
Using the man-made Centennial Lakes ponds, this rink consists of 3 ponds, connected by a canal system. Surrounding the rink is their park, apartments and office buildings. Head out there on a winter’s night, and it becomes magical light up by a glowing cityscape. It’s the next best thing to seeing Christmas Lights around the city. The skating facility is designated just for ice-skating. No hockey can be played there so there is no one to intimidate those just learning to skate. This makes it perfect for younger kids during the day or a romantic date when night comes.
Exploring the Pond
Closest to the warming house is where you will find the most amount of traffic. It’s filled with younger kids practicing their skills on the ice. If you are looking to gain a little speed, I recommend taking the channel towards the South Park pond. Once there, you’ll have plenty of free space to explore. Or go the length of the rink and get a good workout.
In some sections of the pond, the ice was as clear as glass. Looking down you could see all the way to the bottom including bubbles that formed in the ice. It is amazing yet terrifying all at the same time. I don’t always want to be reminded of what’s below me. This ice is formed when the weather gets cold quick and a year with limited snow.
The Warming House
After spending time skating, head into the warming house and sit down next to the fire with a hot chocolate or other warm beverage. The warming house also has skate rentals, a big bathroom facility, and a snack bar.
Other Things to Know
Skates are $6 a pair and they have children’s sizes 8 and up, and adults sizes available. They also rent out Ice Sleds for $8 per hour.
Free parking can be found anywhere around the lakes, but the best place I found to park is at Plaza Shops and Restaurants, on the lower level near Chucky Cheese. You’ll get the closest access to the warming house. They provide easy access to the pond from there.
Depending on the weather, they are open Mid December–Mid February, M-Th 4-9:30 and F-Sat 10-9:30. Sundays and School Vacations 12-9:30.
Tips for your visit
Bring your own Skates. Yes you can rent them, but depending on the day, you may find yourself waiting in a long line to get them. I ended up getting my kids both a pair of adjustable skates on Amazon because it was nearly impossible to find them in the stores.
- Visit during the middle of the week and you’ll have the ice to yourself.
- Go at night. Yes, you can also go during the day, but what’s the fun of that? Being there at night, is an experience you’ll never forget.
- Consider renting an ice sled or trainer for younger kids. It will give them more confidence.
Other Things to Do Around Centennial Lakes in Edina
Other Attractions to Visit
If you’re looking for more great destinations in the Southwest metro, check out Staring Lake Sledding Hill in Eden Prairie. They have one of the best hills. There are also some other great sledding hills nearby you. Otherwise, head into the city and check out the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden. It’s open year-round a magical this time of year.
Where to Eat Nearby
The ice rink serves snacks, treats and hot cholates. But if you want something more, you don’t have to look far. My favorite nearby restaurant has to be Fuddruckers. Mostly because it’s the only one left in the Cities. But Edina has tons of other options. Nearby is Chucky Cheese, Q.Cumbers and Pinstripes bowling. All with food options.
If you only have an Hour
To me, Ice Skating is a staple of my childhood. I wouldn’t miss an opportunity to go out. Have you gotten a chance visit Centennial Lakes? What is your favorite part?
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