Photo by mbruxelle/Fotolia
Doubtless you know many of these outdoor ice skating spots. We are in Minnesota, after all. Still, for anyone who doesn’t—or for anyone who hasn’t heard about the new one Mall of America just opened—here’s to you. Have a very Minnesota winter.
Skate for free in a winter wonderland at Centennial Lakes Park in Edina. Ten acres of lake is spread across three main ponds and gently twisting canals for an excursion that is both nostalgic and picturesque. The ice is groomed daily, so if you arrive early enough, you might make the first marks on the ice as you skate or go on one of the Norwegian ice sleds. To warm up, grab some hot chocolate and sit by a fireplace at the Hughes Pavilion.
This isn’t so much of a loop as it is a squiggly circle, but that’s all the more reason to love it. Skating is free and open every day (minus holidays) from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., so no matter your schedule, you can get out on the ice.
The most important fact you need to know about this refrigerated rink is that it is 110,000 square feet of ice, making a huge, well, oval that encompasses several inner rinks for hockey lovers. For those who want the winter recreation without the cold, you also have the option of the indoor rink. (Make sure to catch the Oval at the beginning of its season next year—it offers speedskating introduction and novice programs.)
This Chain of Lakes spot is in the perfect location to provide a couple hours of ice skating followed by a quick hop over to the Uptown and Lyn-Lake area. To help everyone have a good time, there is a public skating section of the lake and a hockey section.
Skate at what is now the most picturesque spot in downtown St. Paul right outside the Landmark Center. Courtesy of Wells Fargo, skating is free, and if you have a Wells Fargo card, so are rentals. Stop by on a Saturday for some free skating lessons. If you’re on the other side of the river, you can visit Loring Park for WinterSkate’s Minneapolis twin. There, skating is also free, and rentals are free on a first-come, first-served basis at the warming house.
Chances are, you have already heard of the Twin Cities’ newest large outdoor rink, located at Mall of America around its iconic star. The refrigerated rink spans 12,000 feet and is free to skate on. If you don’t have skates, no worries—rentals are $5, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Boys and Girls Club of America. Mall of America draws in millions of people from around the world, so what better way to welcome them in than with one of Minnesota’s favorite winter pastimes?
This may not be the biggest of lakes in Minneapolis, but that is what makes it even more quaint when the wintertime hits. Skate around with a backdrop of the skyline and visit the little island in the middle of the lake.
Besides its indoor rinks, the St. Louis Park Community Center also transforms its open-space Rec Outdoor Center into a chilled rink in the winter. Open skating and open pond hockey is available throughout the season, but for a surprisingly low price, you can rent the whole ROC and its ice rink with some free skate rentals thrown in.