Ice skating options around campus, city


Sean Su/ Daily Senior Staffer

Students enjoy the ice rink outside Norris University Center. With multiple rinks to choose from, the Evanston and Chicago skating scene offers a diversity of frozen options.

Jacqui Guillen, Reporter

Want to make a day of it? Go to Chicago – Maggie Daley Ice Skating Ribbon located in Maggie Daley Park.

Price: $12 skate rental, free admission

Wait time: If you’re lucky you can skate right away, but if you get there when the Zamboni is on the ice, it could be up to an hour.

Although there are opportunities to ice skate here on campus and in Evanston, it’s fun to have some outings to Chicago once in a while. If you have time, grab a couple of friends and check out the Maggie Daley Ice Skating Ribbon downtown, which was just constructed this winter. There are a series of turns because it is shaped somewhat like a ribbon, but it allows you take a break from the traditional ice rinks that are shaped in the same oval or circle shape. The rink also features hills; they’re not too steep — you barely realize you’re going up one. However, be aware that it does get crowded. Because it lacks the traditional ice rink shape, the path is narrow, and you can easily bump into people.

If the Maggie Daley Ice Skating Ribbon is too crowded, go to the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink located in Millennium Park.

Price: $12 skate rental, free admission

Wait time: Not too long — sometimes you can skate right away or it could be longer if the Zamboni is on the ice.

If narrow paths and small hills aren’t your thing, the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is less than a five minute walk from the Maggie Daley Ice Skating Ribbon. The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is a traditional ice rink, shaped similarly to the one outside of Norris University Center. It’s the same price as Maggie Daley, but skaters don’t have a narrow path and there are no hills. There’s some space in the middle for people to do tricks, and they play music while you’re skating.

Whether you’re leaving Maggie Daley Park or Millennium Park, stay warm with a cup of hot chocolate. Although there are multiple Starbucks downtown you can go to when it gets too cold, try one of the other coffee houses. There’s a Peet’s Coffee & Tea between Washington Street and Madison Street on North Michigan Avenue, and they make a good cup of hot chocolate with a swirl of chocolate syrup on top!

Want convenience and a good price? Go to the Norris University Center Ice Rink. 

Price: free admission, $3 skate rental for students, $5 skate rental for faculty/staff, $7 skate rental for guests of Northwestern community

Wait time: You can skate right away, usually.

Unless you own a pair of ice skates, Norris has the best deal for ice skating. It’s like the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, except a bit smaller. It may be a little difficult to skate there for beginners because there aren’t any railings or walls to support skaters. You can meet up with friends easier, though, and then head to Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts for some hot chocolate.

Don’t like ice skating outdoors? Check out the rink at the Robert Crown Community Center in Evanston, located at 1701 Main St.

Price: $8 admission, $3 skate rental

Wait time: None. Just make sure you go at the designated public skate times. (Check website for details.)

It can be intimidating to skate outside where anyone can see you. Maybe you don’t want people on campus to see you fall at the ice rink at Norris. For a more relaxed setting, check out the ice rink at the Robert Crown Community Center. They have open public skate from 11:30 a.m. until 1 p.m. in their main ice rink. On weekdays, there aren’t many people skating, and even if you fall once (or twice) nobody cares. Another plus is the controlled temperature. It’s not too cold, and you don’t have to worry about the weather ruining your day. Afterward, check out The Brothers K Coffeehouse near Main Street and Chicago Avenue, which is about 15 minutes from the ice rink. Warm up with a cup of their thick hot chocolate. They even do hot chocolate art.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @jacqui_guillen