Winter in Chicago offers fresh air, beautiful snow, and breathtaking views of the skyline along Lake Michigan. Spending time on a pair of ice skates is a great way to get exercise and make the most of this time of year. Check out these Chicago ice rinks, perfect for playing hockey with a team or the family.
Midway Plaisance Ice Rink
The rink at Midway Plaisance Park offers many skating programs. Free learn-to-skate classes run every Saturday from 11:45 to 12:30 p.m. Participants learn how to stop, start, skate backward, and maintain their balance. Skaters should wear helmets, protective kneepads, and gloves. Stick and Puck sessions offer a chance to practice hockey skills such as skating, shooting, and stickhandling. Stick and Puck hours are on Friday from 10 to 10:45 a.m. You must have kneepads, gloves, and a recreational helmet to participate.
Pond hockey takes place every Friday from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m. During pond hockey, you can play a no-contact game with up to five players per team. Protective equipment is required. A fee of $8 per person (or $10 for a child with an accompanying adult) covers both Stick and Puck and pond hockey. If you are interested in league play, Midway offers a Rat Hockey league, as well.
Open skating hours are Monday through Thursday from noon to 7 p.m., Friday from noon to 9 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m. Admission to the rink is free, and skate rentals cost $7. You can visit the rink on Midway Plaisance North.
McFetridge Sports Center
McFetridge Sports Center has two large ice rinks. Adult recreational hockey leagues meet at the Main Rink. Stick and Puck sessions meet in the Studio Rink Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10 to 11 a.m. and Sunday from 6 to 7 a.m. McFetridge also offers figure skating classes, synchronized skating, and open skate time. Skate rentals cost $3. Skate sharpening is available in the pro shop. McFetridge is on North California Avenue.
The McKinley Park ice rink is on Pershing Road, near the intersection of South Archer Avenue and South Western Boulevard. A former horse racing track, McKinley Rink is popular with residents of the Brighton Park and Back of the Yards neighborhoods.
Stick and Puck classes take place every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 10:45 a.m. Pond hockey occurs afterward and lasts until 11:30 a.m. Learn to Skate classes are on Saturday from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Open skate hours are Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m., Friday from 1:30 to 9 p.m., Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 6 p.m.
Weekends are busy at Wentworth Ice Rink with Stick and Puck from 10 to 10:45 a.m., pond hockey from 10:45 to 11:30 a.m., and Learn to Skate classes from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. You can enjoy open skate time Sunday from noon to 6 p.m., Wednesday and Thursday from 3 to 7 p.m., Friday from 1:30 to 9 p.m., and Saturday from 1 to 9 p.m. You can rent skates for $7. The Wentworth Park ice rink is on South Mobile Avenue.
Fifth Third Arena
Fifth Third Arena, aka the Chicago Blackhawks Community Ice Rink, is home to many hockey teams. One of its two rinks is the practice space for the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks. The Chicago Stallions and Jets (both Tier Two AA hockey clubs) also call Fifth Third home. The hockey teams from the prestigious St. Ignatius College Preparatory School and Latin High School practice and play here, as well.
Fifth Third Arena has two NHL-sized ice rinks and is open to hockey enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels. For children, Fifth Third has a tiered system of hockey instruction that runs from the Tiny Hawks (ages 2-4) up to the Blackhawk Rookies (team play for middle/high school students). The arena-based Chicago Mission is a Tier One AAA club that prepares skilled young players to perform at a high level.
Fifth Third has options for adults who love hockey, as well. Rat hockey pickup games are on a first-come, first-served basis for ages 18 and up. Pickup games are $12 per skater, but goalies play for free. If you need coaching to improve your skills, check out the adult instructional sessions. During instructional sessions, a hockey coach is always on the ice to help you practice and scrimmage. Stick and Puck sessions offer time to develop hockey skills or for families to play hockey together.
Public skating is also available and costs $10 per person. Skate rentals are $5. Bleachers are available for nonskaters, and the arena has concessions and a pro shop.
Johnny’s Icehouse Chicago
Johnny’s Icehouse is dedicated to hockey, sportsmanship, hard work, and fun. Johnny’s is known for its state-of-the-art facility and impeccable ice conditions. The Icehouse is home to 136 adult hockey teams, ranging from beginners to elite players. Hockey teams based out of Johnny’s include the Chicago Jets Youth Hockey Club, De La Salle High School, DePaul University men’s hockey, and the De La Salle Meteors.
Adult hockey programs and clinics are available for all skill levels and ages. Options include the Adult League, Rat Hockey League, Instructional League, and Elite League (retired professional and collegiate-level hockey players). Johnny’s offers four youth hockey programs, from the Icicle Club (ages 2-3) through the Jets ADM (ages 5-8).
Johnny’s has two convenient locations. Icehouse East is at 1350 West Madison Street, and Icehouse West is at 2550 West Madison Street. In addition to the main rink, Johnny’s West has an annex training rink for Learn to Skate and Skates-and-Sticks classes. Both locations provide large locker rooms with showers.
If your crew is hungry after a game, check out either location’s Stanley Club Bar and Grill. Stanley’s offers delicious food and overlooks the ice. Pro shops at both locations offer skate sharpening and hockey supplies such as stick wax, tape, and mouthguards.
Don’t miss out on all the fun this winter. The Chicago ice rinks are ready and waiting for you. Stop in and see us at Gunzo’s Hockey Headquarters. We will make sure you have the gear you need to enjoy every minute on the ice.