On Ice

Open-air ice skating rinks and winter playgrounds offer up the best of the season.

Photo by Adam Alexander Photography.

Ice skaters enjoy the Maggie Daly Park Skating Ribbon in downtown Chicago, Illinois.


Ice, snow; wrap up and glide into the holiday season with open air ice skating rinks, lights festivals, skiing and snow sculpting.

Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon

Forego the typical rink roundabout for Maggie Daley Park’s Skating Ribbon, overlooking Lake Shore Drive in downtown Chicago. With the city skyline as its backdrop, this stretch of ice weaves its way through a beautifully manicured landscape. Stop to take in the scenery (as well as a piping cup of hot chocolate) and revel in this unique urban skating adventure.

Chicago Wolves Skating Rink at Brookfield Zoo

Glide through the holidays at Brookfield Zoo's Skating Rink! Admission is $7 for all skaters and  a limited number of skates are available for a $5 rental fee. The rink is not made of ice, but of a synthetic material known as Glice® – so no water or electricity is required for operation. Brookfield Zoo is one of only three zoos in the country to install a Glice® rink!

Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition

Rockford’s Sinnissippi Park is home to Illinois’ premier snow sculpting competition, which began as a passion project for a local businessman in 1987. Today, the Illinois Snow Sculpting Competition hosts state and high school teams from across Illinois that face off for the chance to represent their crews in the national finals. More than 30,000 fans show up to cheer on their favorites every January.

Starved Rock State Park Winter Sports

For winter hiking Starved Rock State Park in Utica is a popular destination for the cold-weather outdoor enthusiast. Imagine the crunch of newly fallen snow as you trek your way through the pristine woods and the majesty of the frozen waterfalls that mark this stunning terrain, which was formed by glacial meltwater eons ago.

Chestnut Mountain Resort Nighttime Skiing

Historic Galena is home to Chestnut Mountain Resort, where 3,500 feet of fresh powder awaits all levels of skiers and snowboarders. The real magic begins once the sun goes down and the snow literally glows during the weekly Fantastic Friday,when the slopes stay open until midnight. Illuminated ski runs light up the night during the months of January and February.

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