Take to the ice at two new rinks or chill out at some old favorites.
The Rink at Wrigley
The Cubs season is a long way off, but the Ricketts family has already made good. The new Cubs owners helped open this $300,000 North Side ice-skating destination. In the shadow of the Friendly Confines, the rink is located in a parking lot southwest of the ballpark. On Mondays and Tuesdays, you’ll pirouette over half-price admission and skate-rental fees. 3600 N Clark St (rinkatwrigley.com). Sun 10am–8pm; Mon–Thu 2–9pm; Fri 2–11pm; Sat 10am–11pm; admission $10, kids $6, skate rental $10.
Chicago Botanic Garden
Can’t beat these views: The North Lake, rows of trees lining the Esplanade, a 40-foot Christmas tree (lit up at night) and swans tiptoeing across the adjacent frozen pond. While the garden is always packed on weekends, we’re guessing this newly opened rink won’t be: It’s BYO skates. Open weather permitting. 1000 Lake Cook Rd, Glencoe (847-835-5440, chicagobotanic.org). Through Sun 3, 10am–7pm; Jan 9–Jan 31 open only on weekends 10am–4pm; $4, no skate rental.
Ice Rink at Navy Pier’s Winter WonderFest
The true “wonder” is how Navy Pier manages to stuff so many amusements into its halls, from a skating rink to a few dozen rides. A $19 pass includes skate rental and admission to rides. Best-kept secret: Tote your blades and get in for free. 600 E Grand Ave (312-595-7437, navypier.com). Thu 31, 10am–8pm; Fri 1, Sat 2, 10am–10pm; Sun 3, 10am–5pm; skate rental $19, admission free.
McFetridge Sports Center
Ditch the cold and the crowds at California Park’s NHL-sized indoor arena, where skaters make laps around a no-frills rink that’s been around since 1975. Bonus: On Wednesday and Friday nights, you can skate without a mess of tots at your feet. 3843 N California Ave (773-478-2609, chicagoparkdistrict.com). Free skate Sat, Sun 4:30–6pm; Wed, Fri 3:30–5pm. Adult skate Wed, Fri 9:15–10:45pm. Admission $5, skate rental $3.
Daley Bicentennial Plaza
If you crave a downtown skate without the Millennium Park mayhem, take the five-minute jaunt west on Randolph Street to this more secluded spot. You’ll have equally majestic skyline views and—although the rink is 30 feet shorter than Millennium Park’s—probably twice as much room to lutz. 337 E Randolph St (312-742-7648, chicagoparkdistrict.com). Mon–Wed 1–9pm, Thu 1–6:30pm, Fri 1–9pm; free, skate rental $6.