Punxsutawney Phil may have missed his shadow earlier this month (early spring, according to a groundhog!), but that doesn’t stop the winter from dragging on, ad infinitum. By February, the warm light at the end of the tunnel feels positively dim. If you’ve already marathoned both seasons of Homeland and cabin fever is starting to set in, it’s time to face the facts: if you can’t beat the winter, you might as well enjoy it.
With that spirit, pile on the layers and channel your inner Michelle Kwan by hitting the ice at one of the Twin Cities’ ice skating rinks before the end of the season. We’ve rounded up our top three picks, both inside and out:
Lake of the Isles
Courtesy of Meet Minneapolis
The Depot: Located in the Riverfront District of Minneapolis, the former train shed houses a heated, indoor ice rink with floor-to-ceiling windows illuminating views of the downtown skyline. The rink is so beloved, in fact, that it has even been named one of the top ten best in America by USA Today. For $8 per adult ($7 more for skate rental), join the crowds that flock to the romantic setting. After you’ve finished skating, unwind with a glass of wine or hot cocoa and an on-site snack.
Lake of the Isles: Set among some of the grandest homes in the city, the complimentary ice rink on Lake of the Isles is as classic as it gets. On one end, makeshift hockey teams play pickup games, while nearby, newbie and veteran skaters alike make their way around the considerable oval. The lake is part of the Chain of Lakes Regional Park system and maintained by the city of Minneapolis. If you’re without gear, simply head over to the warming house and pick up a pair of skates to rent for free.
Powderhorn Lake: One of the city’s best-kept secrets, Powderhorn Lake lies just east of the more famous Chain of Lakes. Set within the larger Powderhorn Park, it would be easy to forget you’re in the middle of a big city—if not for the downtown skyline glittering in the background. The warming house serves up free hot chocolate and popcorn, and also provides complimentary ice skate rentals. For a small fee, there are even weekly skating lessons for newcomers to learn forward and backward skating, turns, spins and possibly even jumping.