Let's face it -- in Minnesota, half of us are practically born on the ice. Whether it's learning how to skate by pushing a chair along a frozen lake or having a slippery end to a snowy tubing ride, the ice -- and the skating opportunities -- here are endless.
Yes, we are the land of 10,000 lakes, so it only makes sense that we'd be the land of thousands of skating spots. Whether outdoor scenery is your thing or you're more geared for indoor warmth, here in Minnesota, we've got you covered.
Check out a few of our top spots -- whether you're kicking it like Kristi Yamaguchi or taking a slap shot a la Wayne Gretsky.
225 3rd Ave. S.
Minneapolis, MN 55401
In terms of the breathtaking views of downtown and the romantic setting of this indoor ice arena, you can't get much better than The Depot for a night of triple axels and sit spins. Our Minneapolis ice rink has even been named the top ten best in America by USA Today and MSNBC. The views from the inside are as great as the outside with gorgeous glass walls and the metal beams of the historic train shed of decades past. Check the website for hours and rates.
Bloomington Ice Garden
3600 W. 98th St.
Bloomington, MN 55431
The Bloomington Ice Garden, also lovingly referred to as BIG, offers skaters of all levels three different rinks, including an Olympic-sized rink. The rinks are open for public skating but they also offer adult open hockey, developmental ice hockey skill training, pond hockey and a skate school. Open skating varies, check the website for more information and rates.
Plymouth Ice Center
3650 Plymouth Blvd.
Plymouth, MN 55446-3201
The Plymouth Ice Center, a part of the Life Time Fitness center, features three sheets of ice in two sizes, one Olympic-sized and two professional-sized. Figure skaters will enjoy the addition of a mirrored room with ballet bars for perfecting those graceful moves. Open skating varies, so check the website. Rates typically range from $3 (for students and seniors) to $5 for adult open hockey.
Wells Fargo WinterSkate
Landmark Plaza, W. 5th and Market Sts.
St. Paul, MN
The city of St. Paul and Wells Fargo come together to present a skating experience like none other. The views of downtown St. Paul and urban setting of the historic buildings surround this free, outdoor skating rink. The winter rink season ends Feb. 6, 2011. Check the website for special events and open skate times.
Schwan Super Rink
1700 105th Ave NE
Blaine, MN 55449
Big enough to be called super -- the National Sports Center Schwan Super Rink is the largest ice arena of its kind, not only in Minnesota, not only in America but in the world. The facility has eight sheets of ice all under one roof. Check out the Hat Trick for the best of concessions and visit the website for open skate times.
Guidant John Rose Minnesota Oval
2661 Civic Center Drive
Roseville, MN 55113
Whether you enjoy the outdoor atmosphere or the indoor warmth for your skating needs, the Roseville Skating Center has you covered. The OVAL invites skaters of all kinds to enjoy the winter wonderland as you skate atop a snowy hill surrounded by perfect pines. The ice arena invites all skating enthusiasts and offers open hockey, public skating and even lessons galore. Check the website for times and rates.
Lake of the Isles
2500 Lake Isles Pkwy.
At the Lake of the Isles Park, Minnesotans can enjoy ice skating, hockey activities and even a New Years party complete with hot chocolate and roasted marshmallows. The park is part of the Chain of Lakes Regional Park system and is always full of skaters enjoying the "engineered lake." The outdoor rink is open until Feb. 15.
7501 Ikola Way
Edina, MN 55439
Braemar has been a popular destination for hockey and figure skating enthusiasts for years. Three indoor regulation-sized ice sheets offer the perfect opportunity for open skating, hockey programs and figure skating lessons. Open skating fees are $4, regardless of age. Skates can be rented for $2 per pair.
University of Minnesota's Mariucci Arena
1901 4th St. SE.
Be a part of a history and enjoy open skating where the University of Minnesota hockey team plays. Open skating hours vary but rates are $3 for the general public, $2 for ages 12 and under 13 and $1.50 for students with U of M IDs. Skate rentals are just $2.
Parade Ice Garden
600 Kenwood Pkwy.
The Parade Ice Garden was built in 1973 with the idea of being a centrally located site where people of all ages could enjoy indoor skating for years to come. With three different rinks and a large concession stand, families and skaters of all ages have enjoyed The Parade for since its inception. Public skating is $3 for adults, plus $2 skate rentals and $2.75 for juniors (under 18 years old or in high school) or seniors (62 years and up).
Powderhorn Lake / Powderhorn Park
Bloomington Ave. S and E 35th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Known as one of the secret gems of Minneapolis, this skating destination offers great views of downtown and a perfect little island for skating. The rink features a portable warming house that helps keep skaters warm in between triple sow cows. It's a great reminder of skating on a great neighborhood pond, only this one's got a skyline for background. Skating ends Feb. 15.
Sara Boyd is a web producer and columnist at WCCO.COM.
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