Every year, the center of the entertainment district of MB Financial Park in Rosemont transforms into “Frozemont,” an NHL-sized ice rink with free skating for those itching to hit the ice. The rink will open to the public on Friday, Nov. 25 following the “Light Up the Park” event, and will be open select days and holidays under the lights throughout the rest of the winter season. Skates will be available for rental, and there are plenty of bars and restaurants nearby to pop in for a quick toasty drink or bathroom break. The park is located east of the Tri-State Tollway and north of Balmoral Avenue. For more information, visit Rosemont.com or call the hotline at 847-430-4338 for weather updates and availability for skating.
There’s no need to travel to the city to enjoy the perks of outdoor skating, because Geneva has several rinks open to the public for skating, located at Wheeler Park. Two are dedicated hockey rinks while one is available for the public. A warming shelter is available at Wheeler Park from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Both locations are lit, and skating can be enjoyed until10 p.m. daily starting in December, weather permitting. Wheeler Park’s ice complex is located at North Street and Route 31 in Geneva. For more information, visit genevaparks.org or call 630-232-4542.
Centennial Park will once again turn into a Winter Wonderland when the ice rink opens on November 19, depending on the weather. No need to bring your own skates – the rink offers skate rentals for $2 a pair, and also has helmets available for free for any young children or adults interested in a little extra protection. There is also a warming house open daily available for visits, which are limited to 30 minutes. Hockey is not permitted on the ice, and figure skating and spins are welcome if there are less than 30 skaters on the ice. The rink is located in Centennial Park at 15600 West Avenue and Fun Drive in Orland Park. For more information and complete hours of operation, visit orland-park.il.us or call 708-403-6290.
Don’t forget to check out City Skate this winter, a free outdoor rink located at the Civic Center Plaza between Hemmens and City Hall in Elgin starting in November. Skate rentals are available daily for $4 during warming shelter hours, which vary due to private rentals, and no hockey is permitted on the premises. Youth ice skating lessons and private lessons are available starting in November, and a spot can be secured by visiting the cityofelgin.org. The entire rink can also be rented out on Saturdays and Sundays for a fee. For weather updates, call 847-931-6140.
The Gurnee Park District operates four different ice skating rinks - one outdoor hockey rink and three figure skating rinks – throughout town from mid-December through mid-February. Betty Russell Community Park, 5300 Pinewood Road, offers both a figure skating and hockey rink, with warming shelters and bathrooms, while Hunt Club Park, 920 N. Hunt Club Rd., and Viking Park, 4374 Old Grand Ave., both offer ice skating rinks and restrooms. Skating hours are 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on school holidays. Call 847-623-7788 for information on ice rink conditions.
Naperville is offering an array of outdoor skating options this year, with six different locations featuring outdoor rinks starting in December. Centennial Park, 500 W. Jackson Ave., Commissioners Park, 3704 111th St., and the Nike Sports Complex, 288 W. Diehl, are lit and will be open until 10 p.m. daily. Meadow Glens, 1303 Muirhead Ave., Gartner Park, 524 W. Gartner Rd., and Rotary Hill, 440 Aurora Ave., all close at dusk. Hockey and broomball is permitted at the two boarded rinks at Centennial Park, but is not permitted at any other locations. Call 630-883-4242 for ice status updates, or visit napervilleparks.org for information on any of the outdoor rinks.
Forget your traditional ice skating rink, because Maggie Daley Park offers an ice skating ribbon that weaves through the park. The ribbon, which is twice as long as a regular ice skating rink, is open daily under the lights from November to March, and has skate rentals available onsite for $12 per pair. Locker rentals, hot chocolate and bathrooms are also available for skaters. The park is located at 337 E. Randolph Street in Chicago, and has the city skyline as a beautiful backdrop while you lace up your skates. Don’t miss out on the special events this year, including an ugly sweater skate on Saturday, Dec. 10, and skate with Santa on Saturday, Dec. 17. Visit maggiedaleypark.com or call 312-552-3000 for a full list of events or any further information.
Just around the corner from the Maggie Daley skating ribbon is the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, which is returning to its iconic spot under Cloud Gate (otherwise known as “the bean”) for the 16th year. The rink, which sees 100,000 skaters annually, is open daily and free for the public, and has skate rentals available for $12. There will be free skating lessons on Fridays at 11 a.m. and Sundays at 9 a.m., and other free lessons and ice dance demos will be presented from December 24 through January 8. The rink is located at 201 E. Randolph Street in Chicago, with bathrooms and concessions available onsite at the Park Grill Tavern. Visit cityofchicago. org for further information and hours of operation.
Rochelle’s Community Ice Rink is located at the East End of 7th Ave and is open dawn to dusk – weather permitting. There is no supervision provided so all skating is at your own risk. This is a partnership between the City of Rochelle & Flagg Rochelle Park District, with lighting provided by Rochelle Municipal Utilities. For more information visit enjoyrochelle.com