Lace up your skates at these outdoor ice skating rinks in the suburbs
While cold temperatures may cause some to remain indoors for the winter months, the chilly weather brings the opportunity for fun at the suburbs' outdoor ice-skating rinks.
There's dozens of frozen ponds and man-made rinks throughout the area, and some places where you can rent skates for a small fee.
Here's a look at some of the best places to skate outdoors in the suburbs:
Rosemont's MB Financial Park offers free ice skating on an NHL-sized rink, located in the middle of the sprawling 200,000-square-foot entertainment district campus.
Open skating will be closed Jan. 5-17, after which flexiglass, penalty boxes, benches and bleachers will be installed for hockey tournaments featuring local youth, high school, college and semipro teams.
The rink will reopen for ice skating on Martin Luther King Jr. holiday weekend, Jan. 18 and 19. Then from Jan. 25 to March 1, skating will be open Sundays only, from 2 to 8 p.m.
Skate rentals are available for $8.
For the first time, this year's Rosemont winter festivities include a four-story tubing hill featuring five lanes and a 260-foot run.
The park is located east of the Tri-State Tollway and north of Balmoral Avenue. For more information, visit rosemont.com or call (847) 349-5008.
The Naperville Park District has ice skating at five parks, scheduled to continue through Feb. 15, depending on weather and conditions.
Rinks at Centennial Park, 500 W. Jackson Ave., Nike Sports Complex, 288 W. Diehl Road, and Commissioners Park, 3704 111th St., are lighted and open daily until 10 p.m.
The rinks at Gartner Park, 524 Gartner Road, and Meadow Glens Park, 1303 Muirhead Ave., are not lighted and close at dusk.
Two rinks at Centennial Park allow hockey and broomball play, but a third rink is only for skating. Parks officials say no hockey pucks or sticks are allowed on the free skating areas.
For more information, visit napervilleparks.org or call (630) 883-4242 to check the status of skating.
A large outdoor ice skating rink between Elgin city hall and the Hemmens Cultural Center remains open from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. through March 1.
City Skate at Civic Center Plaza, 150 Dexter Court, features a refrigerated rink that allows for a longer skating season than a naturally frozen rink, officials say.
When the warming shelter is open, skate rental is available for $4. You must also leave your shoes and identification behind while skating.
The rink is closed to the public on Saturday mornings during ice skating lessons, which are offered for preschoolers and youth, as well as private lessons.
The rink also can be rented out for events from 7 to 9 p.m. Saturdays and from 6 to 8 p.m. Sundays. For more information, call (847) 531-7009.
For updated ice conditions, call (847) 931-6140.
The Gurnee Park District has an outdoor hockey rink and three recreational skating rinks that usually are maintained through mid-February, weather permitting.
Betty Russell Community Park, 5300 Pinewood Road, has the hockey rink and one recreational rink, in addition to a warming shelter and restrooms. The other two rinks are at Esper Petersen Park, located at Old Grand Avenue and Kilbourne Road, and Christine Thompson Community Park, at Woodlawn and Belle Plaine avenues.
Skating hours are from 4 to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday. For ice rink conditions, call (847) 599-3774.
Outdoor ice skating takes place at four locations in Geneva -- so long as it's 20 degrees or colder for at least 48 hours, allowing park district staff to make the ice rinks.
Wheeler Park, located at Route 31 and North Street, hosts three rinks -- one for general skating and two for hockey.
Lights are on every day until 10 p.m. A warming shelter and concessions are available from 4 to 7 p.m. on weekdays and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends. For the first time, park district officials are planning outdoor ice skating in the Mill Creek Pool parking lot at 39W125 Mill Creek Drive, weather permitting.
For more information, contact (630) 232-4542.