In the Land of 10,000 Lakes, our water spends much of the year frozen. So ice skating is kind of a thing in Minnesota (we produce more professional hockey players than any other state!). Skating rinks, indoor and outdoor, are everywhere. But some are just a little better than the rest.
A multi-rink indoor facility, the Duluth Heritage Sports Center is the city’s crown jewel of skating facilities. Once voted the best hockey facility in the state, the Center is open from September until June for skating. It offers open skating, open hockey hours, as well as programs and camps for youth of all ages.
Lake George Ice Rink and Warming House is St. Cloud’s premier outdoor skating venue. The rink opens seasonally, when the weather allows, and stays open until the ice gets mushy. The warming house also has a collection of donated skates that you can borrow if you don’t have your own equipment.
As one of the state’s largest skating facilities, Bloomington Ice Garden lives up to its acronym—BIG. The Garden boasts three rinks—one of them Olympic-sized—and a seating capacity for more than 2,500. Open skating is available September through March, as is reasonably-priced equipment rental if you don’t have or don’t want to bring your own.
The biggest indoor facility in Southeast Minnesota, the Rochester Recreation Center has two rinks—one dedicated to hockey and the other to figure skating—that are regularly open to the public throughout the season. The city also boasts a number of outdoor rinks during winter months.
Part of the National Sports Complex in Blaine, the Schwan Super Rink boasts four Olympic-sized ice sheets, which makes it the world’s largest ice arena. Not only does the rink offer open skating and hockey, it also offers open speed skating for those who need the ice time to practice. Skaters can refuel at the Hat Trick Café, which is on the upper level and overlooks the four rinks.
While many consider Detroit Lakes a summer tourist region, the same water that draws boaters in summer attracts skaters in winter. People’s Park is the area’s best outdoor skating facility. With three rinks—two with boards for hockey and one dedicated to open skating—the Park has enough ice for everybody. The adjacent warming house has bathrooms and a kitchenette to keep skaters happy and comfortable.
One of the most picturesque skating venues in the Twin Cities, the seasonal rink at Lake of the Isles Park offers gorgeous views of the Minneapolis Skyline, as well as the beautiful homes along the parkway. A heated warming house and lights for night skating keep attract skaters all winter long.
A public, indoor facility, All Seasons Arena offers plenty of open ice time to both skaters and hockey players. Admission is $3 and skate rental, if you need them, is only $2. The Arena is a great place for the whole family to stay warm and active this winter.