Last updated on September 12th, 2019
Winter time is the perfect time to lace up those ice-skates and find a pond. In Minnesota, we have so many different options for skating and in the Twin Cities, even more. Thanks to a mix of indoor and outdoor locations, there no reason to ever stop. Here is some of the best Ice Skiing in Minneapolis.
Ice Skating is a National Past Time
Ice Skating first started in Scandinavia as early at 1000 BCE. It’s no surprise that the immigrants brought their love of gliding on ice with them to MN. For many people, right when the ice first forms, they are out there getting ready to hit the lake. Today, we also create our own rinks in backyard, in city property and enjoy the pastime just as much.
The Different Types Skating Rinks
There are a few different types of Skating Rinks. First is the Lake. The most traditional form of ice-skating. You can find them everywhere. But when the ice is thick enough, designated areas are sectioned off for recreational Ice Skating. The hard-core traditional skaters prefer the lake or pond to another form.
When a lake isn’t available, like in the middle of St. Paul, we have man made rinks. They can be any size and shape, but most take the traditional oval rink shape. You can usually find a warming house nearby.
There is also indoor staking. Like the manmade ice rinks outside, these come with the added benefit of warmer tempters. They still have to be cold enough to maintain the frozen ice, but without the added elements of wind, it tends to be warmer.
The Top Indoor Ice Skating
The easiest way to go ice-skating year round is by finding a rec-center. They usually have indoor rinks, that will shelter you from the elements. Most locations will rent out skates and have a provide snacks bar. These rinks, usually cost a small admission fee regardless if you are renting skates or not. They are used by the cities and can be rented out for teams and training, but they have open skate times too.
The Top Outdoor Ice Skating
There are some amazing outdoor ice skating experiences in the Twin Cities. I’m not talking about the city’s hokey filled ponds. I’m talking about the magical experiences, under the city lights. They are perfect for bring your date and making a romantic hot spot. Most prohibit the use of hokey equipment making it perfect for kids to test out their ice skating skills.
Skate the Star at Mall of America in Bloomington
New in 208, this skating is a free ice rink. The rink has been refrigerated to stay consistently around 8 degrees at all times. They offer skate rentals for those that need it. Ice Skating is right out front of the Mall of America’s north side where guest ice skate around the Mall of America’s ionic Star Statue.
Lebanon Hills in Eagan
Are you ready for old-fashioned ice-skating in Egan right on the lake? During the seasons, the lake will be available for skaters. But on New Year’s Eve, is when the real fun happens. They bring in the New Year by candlelight skating party. Followed up with s’mores roasting on an open fire and a warm hot-coco. The event is $5 per person. www.co.dakota.mn.us/parks/parksTrails/LebanonHills.
Centennial Lakes Park in Edina
One of the coolest places to skate in the Twin Cities is at Centennial Lakes Park. If possible, head out at night. The man-made pond has visitors skating on over 10 acres of groomed ice. But what makes this place so unique is that it’s nestled in-between the buildings. A night, when lit up, it becomes magical. Their large warming house and snacks area put it over the edge. Ice Skate Rentals are available, otherwise, it’s free to enjoy. For more information, check out my review of Ice Skating at Centennial Lakes in Edina.
Minneapolis Winter Skate in Loring Park
Minneapolis knows how to have a good time. Starting late November through March, Loring Park becomes a haven for Ice Skaters. It becomes most popular during the Holidazzle. But what makes this so unique, it that the Minneapolis Skyline is in full view. Thanks in part to Wells Fargo, they sponsor the free skating rink and complimentary skates during warming-house hours on a first-come, first-served basis. For more information and weather updates, check out Skate Downtown.
Central Park Ice Skating Loop in Maple Grove
Maple Grove has created winding 810 foot looping path in Central Park. Lit by LED lights, this rink is designed for skaters of every age and skating level. But sorry, hot hokey sticks or pucks. Around the path, is a railing providing plenty of opportunities to sit down along the way. Or take a break by the outdoor fireplaces or in the warming house. Inside you’ll find concessions, more fireplaces, and restrooms. Skating is free and rentals are available. For more information on hours, check out Central Park of Maple Grove.
Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis
Lake of the Isles is a little bit of a no-frills staking experience. But the neighboring mansions and lights of downtown take the experience up a notch or two. There is plenty of room for hockey players and ice skaters to carve out their own section of ice. Inside the warming house, there are loaner skates available.
Skate the Oval in Roseville
The Guidant John Rose MN OVAL is one of the largest outdoor refrigerated skating rinks in North America. They have hosted events like the World Cup of Speedskating and the National Brandy Championships. For Minnesotan’s, this makes the OVAL a one-stop skating destination for every type of skating you can think of. It includes Bandy, Speedskating, Figure Skating, Hokey and programs to learn to skate. The Oval cost $6 to skate, and they rent out skates as well. Check out their website for a schedule of events.
Wells Fargo WinterSkate in St Paul
Skate with a backdrop of a lit-up Rice Park and the Landmark Center. Even better, go during the Winter Carnival! Skating is free for all, and $4 skate rental. If you are a WellsFargo Bank customer, just show your bank car and score a free skate rental. Free skating lessons offered throughout the season. Confirm the dates online.
Things To Bring With You Ice Skating
- Warm Clothing
- This will depend on the weather, but if you want to spend any time out there, bring with mittens, hats, snow pants, warm coat, and additional layers. If you are new to layering in winter, check out how to properly layer in Winter Hiking Tips. You can always take layers off once you get going.
- Ice Skates
- Most ice skating rinks rent them. But you may end up in long lines waiting to get a pair or worse they may be out of your size. With kids, they make ice skates now that are adjustable for their fast-growing feat. Last season, we picked up a pair of Lake Placid Adjustable Skates.
- Bring a little bit of cash with you for the Snack Bar. Usually, about $5 per person will ensure everyone gets a snack and/or hot drink.
- Skating with Kids
- Skating Aid
- These are made out of PVC pipe for cheap. They will give you a break from trying to hold your kids upright while they are just getting started. For some plans on how to make them, check out at Backyard Hokey. Many rinks rent these, but they can be a hot ticket item on a busy day at the rink.
- Personal Choice. You can never go wrong when it comes to protecting your kids when they are first learning to ice skate. From personal experience, you don’t want to be the only parent there, with a child that isn’t wearing a helmet.
- Skating Aid
Where is your favorite place?
It’s hard to find people that live in Minnesota and don’t skate. With so many different places, the only excuse you should have is that you are too busy doing other fun things during the season to have time. Otherwise, get out there and start enjoying some Winter Ice Skating in Minneapolis and the nearby communities.