Ten Cities with Great Holiday Ice Skating Rinks

Hotel Del Coronado ice skating rink

Something about the image of skaters conjures up that holiday feeling.As winter begins, skating outdoors is accessible even in the most unlikely places.Cities all over the world feature wonderful rinks to help get families in the holiday spirit.

Last year on our spring family vacation, I noticed the rink in Philadelphia’s center and it got me thinking about all the great outdoor rinks that offer this fun winter activity. As a mother to two hockey players, I have a love-hate relationship with rinks, however, there are some exceptional options in favorite family travel destinations.

San Diego: Despite plentiful sun and sand, the beautiful Hotel Del Coronado brings ice skating to the edge of the Pacific Ocean.Their oceanfront ice rink offers an easy, active way to enjoy this historic hotel during the holidays.Be sure to get a glimpse of their well-adorned Christmas tree.

Los Angeles:Downtown on Ice at the Pershing Square rink offers skating in the heart of LA.With many events like concerts, clinics, and the not-to-be-missed “Mommy and Me Stroller Skate Sessions” to choose from, this is a fun family venue.

San Francisco:The Holiday Ice Rink at Embarcadero Center Lets you combine mall-style shopping with skating. Union Square also hosts a holiday rink—this area is packed with people, but kids will appreciate the elaborate window displays at Macy’s, although warning, there are always cute, adoptable puppies and kittens on display and you may end up going home with a new member of the family.

Boston: The city embraces skating to the fullest with the Frog Pond right in Boston Common.Also, the Charles Hotel in Cambridge opens their ice rink over the holidays.The best part is the hot chocolate and cookies. Plus, their excellent kid programs combine a cooking class and skating session so parents get a break too.

Chicago: McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Parkis part of the large Millennium Park complex and is simple to access while downtown.

Christmas Tree at Rockefeller Center

New York City: 
There’s no shortage of Manhattan rinks and The Pond at Bryant Park also hosts a carousel for little ones. But if we’re talking NYC, let’s not forget Rockefeller Center—an iconic New York City holiday activity with kids.

Philadelphia:The River Rink at Penn’s Landing offers skating in a wonderful waterfront location.It’s a great spot to watch fireworks while ringing in the New Year!

Washington DC: Sculpture Garden Ice-Skating Rinkis located in the National Gallery of Art’s outdoor sculpture garden. You can take in the great work of Miró, LeWitt, and Kelly while getting a little exercise.

London:If you’re lucky enough to be heading to London for the holidays, you’ll be thrilled to find that you can complete the royal experience by skating at the Tower of London (my favorite sight!), Hampton Court Palace or Hyde Park. If you are visiting the Natural History Museum, you can also take a spin on the ice there.Just the pictures make me want to go!

Paris: Last year, Emilie from Babyccino Kids did a guest post for us on Winter in Paris about the ice rink that is erected each year at the spectacular Hotel de Ville.  Sadly, this season the sledge she so fondly describes is not available, but the merry-go-round is there and skating for kids is free.

Relevant Links:

Help Build a Village in India – Passports For Purpose 2010

Holidays at Walt Disney World

Holiday Travel Tips

A Traveler’s Wish List

One Comment

  1. What a great list! Living in Vermont, I take for granted our access to countless outdoor ice rinks all winter long.

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