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updated: 1/3/2014 10:17 AM

Now's the perfect time to skate a local outdoor rink

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  • Skaters can take to the ice at Elgin's Civic Center Plaza.

      Skaters can take to the ice at Elgin's Civic Center Plaza.
    Courtesy of City of Elgin

  • Skaters can take to the ice at Elgin's Civic Center Plaza.

      Skaters can take to the ice at Elgin's Civic Center Plaza.
    Courtesy of City of Elgin

  • The view of Chicago's skyline is a big plus at Millennium Park's rink.

      The view of Chicago's skyline is a big plus at Millennium Park's rink.
    Courtesy of City of Chicago/GRC

  • Eric Williamson helps his son Oslo, 4, around the ice rink in Naperville's Nike Park.

       Eric Williamson helps his son Oslo, 4, around the ice rink in Naperville's Nike Park.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

  • MB Financial Park's outdoor rink in Rosemont allows families to pair skating with dinner, a movie or an afternoon of bowling.

      MB Financial Park's outdoor rink in Rosemont allows families to pair skating with dinner, a movie or an afternoon of bowling.
    Courtesy of Ed Marshall

  • Rosemont's entertainment options at MB Financial Park include outdoor skating through Feb. 2.

      Rosemont's entertainment options at MB Financial Park include outdoor skating through Feb. 2.
    Courtesy of MB Financial Park

  • Eric Williamson helps his son Oslo, 4, around the ice rink in Naperville's Nike Park.

       Eric Williamson helps his son Oslo, 4, around the ice rink in Naperville's Nike Park.
    Bev Horne | Staff Photographer

 
By Samantha Nelson
Daily Herald Correspondent

The holidays may be over, but there's still plenty of winter ahead, and you don't have to spend it all inside. Bundle up and take advantage of something you can only do when the weather's chilly: ice skating outdoors. While Chicago's big Daley Bicentennial Plaza and Wrigley Field ice rinks are closed, there are still plenty of local places to show off your moves, get some exercise and make the most of the season.

Many suburbs have an assortment of rinks, so check with local park districts for a full listing. Here is just a sampling of rinks in the area:

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Elgin

City Skate at Civic Center Plaza, 150 Dexter Court, Elgin, (847) 931-6140, cityofelgin.org

The rink at Civic Center Plaza has a refrigerated skating system, which keeps it open later in the season than a naturally frozen rink. If your kid needs a little extra practice, group and private lessons are available that will teach them balance and stops. Hockey playing is not allowed, including skating with a hockey stick.

Skating is free; skate rental is available for $4 with shoes and an ID. Hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily until March 2. The rink may close for inclement weather, maintenance or group rentals, so call for updates. The warming shed operates from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 9 p.m. Friday, noon to 9 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

Naperville

Naperville opened a new ice rink at Meadow Glens this year, offering a total of five outdoor skating areas:

• Centennial Park, 500 W. Jackson Ave.

• Commissioners Park, 3704 111th St.

• Gartner Park, 524 N. Gartner Road

• Nike Sports Complex, 288 W. Diehl Road

• Meadow Glens Park, 1303 Muirhead Ave.

Centennial Park, Commissioners Park and Nike Sports Complex all have lights to allow them to stay open later. Hockey sticks are only allowed at Centennial Park. Because the ice is natural, the rinks open and close during the season based on the weather, so call (630) 883-4242 or visit napervilleparks.org to check their status.

Skating is free; no skate rental available.

Meadow Glens and Gartner Park close at dusk, while the other rinks are open until 10 p.m. Skating season runs through Feb. 15 (weather permitting).

Roselle

Turner Pond at Turner Park, 81 E. Devon Ave., has designated areas for both ice skating and hockey that are open, weather permitting, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Skating is only permitted when a green flag is flying.

This year the artificial ice rink moved from Town Center Plaza to near the sled hill behind Clauss Recreation Center, 430 Mensching Road. Skate rental isn't available, and the plastic rink works best with freshly sharpened blades, so make sure to check yours. The rink is open from dawn to dusk, weather permitting. Call (630) 894-4200 for updates.

Rosemont

The Park at Rosemont, 5501 Park Place, Rosemont, rosemont.com

The entertainment center adds an artificial rink to its attractions for the season, so you can stop by to do a few laps before or after grabbing dinner, watching a movie or bowling.

Skating is free; skate rental is available for $8.

Hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday through Feb. 2.

Vernon Hills

The Vernon Hills Park District offers ice skating at four locations:

• Evergreen Lake and Willow Lake at Deerpath Park, 299 Onwentsia Road

• Grosse Pointe Pond at Grosse Pointe Park, 900 Grosse Pointe Blvd.

• The basketball court near the sled hill at Century Park, 1001 Lakeview Parkway

The rink at Century Park is lit until 9 p.m. daily. Skate rentals and concessions are available at the Century Park North Pavilion from 1 to 9 p.m. on weekends. Skating is only permitted when a green flag is flying. Call (847) 996-6616 for weather updates.

Chicago

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park, 201 E. Randolph St., Chicago, (312) 742-1168, millenniumpark.org

The rink draws 100,000 skaters each year. Free adult and youth beginners' ice skating lessons are offered at noon and 12:30 p.m. Friday and 9 and 9:30 a.m. Saturday and Sunday. Classes are first come, first served. Hot chocolate and snacks are sold at the Park Grill Café.

Skating is free; skate rental is available for $10.

Hours are noon to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, noon to 10 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday and Sunday through March 9. The rink is open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Martin Luther King Jr. Day (10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20) and Lincoln's Birthday (10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 12).

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