You’re likely familiar with going to a gym to play pickup basketball. Rat hockey offers players a similar way to participate in a pickup game of hockey in an unstructured, open-skate environment. The name itself comes from players, “rink rats,” who hang around at the ice rink all the time. If you want to get in some quality time on the ice this winter, you don’t have to look far beyond the following ice rinks offering rat hockey opportunities in the Chicagoland area.

Addison Ice Arena

addison ice arena chicago

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Addison Ice Arena is home to an NHL rink and Olympic rink. It’s one of the premier family ice sports complexes in the Greater Chicagoland region. With both adult and child open-skate rat hockey time blocks available, all family members can lace up their skates and take to the ice for a little fun. 

Addison Ice Arena requests that all rat hockey participants adhere to the following rules:

  • All players must wear full equipment at all times while on the ice.
  • Participants must respect other players and rink property itself. 
  • Players must check in at the front desk and have ID present to show proof of age if requested. 
  • Organized practices or coaching are not allowed during designated rat hockey times.
  • Children 12 and younger must be accompanied by an adult when checking in. 
  • Only 25 players with four goalies may participate per session.

A full rat hockey schedule is available on the Addison Ice Arena’s website

In light of COVID-19 public health guidelines, all adults and children who enter the arena must complete and sign a health waiver.

Cost: $13 per participant

Address: 475 S. Grace St., Addison

Contact: 630-543-9200

Arctic Ice Arena

Located in Orland Park, the Arctic Ice Arena offers a pleasant facility for adults and children to take to the ice in an attractive environment. 

If you’d like to participate in open skate, rat hockey, or stick & puck opportunities and you need some work on your skills, the arena’s Adult Learn to Play hockey program can help you. The classes focus on developing several fundamental skills, including backward and forward skating, crossover turns, starting and stopping, passing, shooting, and stickhandling. Classes are held Friday evenings from 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. and are open to adults ages 18 and older. The cost is $20 per day.

Rat hockey is offered Monday through Friday from 12:10 to 2:10 p.m. and Tuesday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. Goalies are free, and helmets are mandatory for all players.

Cost: $8 per person

Address: 10700 160th St., Orland Park

Contact: 708-403-4231, ext. 100

Fifth Third Arena

fifth third ice arena chicago

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Lace up your skates for stick & puck rat hockey at Fifth Third Arena. Serving as the practice home of the Chicago Blackhawks professional ice hockey team and as a community ice rink, the Fifth Third Arena offers three opportunities for participants to get on the ice for some rat hockey action:

  • Rat hockey: Join a pickup game with players from the Chicagoland community and beyond. To participate, players must arrive at least 30 minutes before the scheduled rat hockey session time. Individuals can play on a first-come, first-served basis. All players must wear full equipment and be 18 years of age or older.
  • Stick & puck: Maintain and perfect your ice hockey skill set during these ice times for family members of all ages. All players must wear a helmet, stick, and gloves at all times during play.
  • Adult beginner instructional rat hockey: If you’d like to get in the game but prefer some dedicated coaching, this instructional rat hockey format is for you. Fifth Third Arena will put a knowledgeable hockey coach on the ice with you and conduct a controlled scrimmage for any adults who want to participate.

Visit the Fifth Third Arena’s website for an up-to-date rat hockey schedule. 

In light of COVID-19 public health guidelines, all adults and children who enter the arena must complete and sign a health waiver.

Cost: $12 per player; goalies free; special punch pass, $90 for 10 visits

Address: 1801 W. Jackson Blvd., Chicago

Contact: 312-455-7600

Morgan Park Sports Center

Come to Morgan Park Sports Center for stick & puck open hockey sessions. Players can work on their passing, shooting, and stickhandling in a friendly, supportive environment. 

Although the stick & puck hockey offering is open to players of all ages, participants need a Chicago Park District account to play. Preregistration is suggested as available spots fill up quickly. Players can register conveniently online; search for stick & puck in the activities calendar.

In light of COVID-19 public health guidelines, the locker rooms are closed until further notice. All players must walk into the building fully dressed to get onto the ice.

Cost: $5 per hour

Address: 11505 S. Western Ave., Chicago

Contact: 773-840-4622

Seven Bridges Ice Arena

chicago rat hockey

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Describing itself as Chicagoland’s home for family-friendly fun and entertainment, Seven Bridges Ice Arena offers two opportunities to get onto the ice and work on your hockey game.

Stick & puck sessions are open to hockey players of all ages who want to practice their skating and stickhandling skills with a puck. Players are limited to 50 pucks per session. Organized practices and scrimmages are not allowed. Players 17 and younger must wear full equipment before taking to the ice. Adults 18 and older must wear a helmet and gloves at a minimum.

Seven Bridges Ice Arena also offers engaging rat hockey sessions for adults 18 and older. Only 30 players and four goalies can play per session. Since spaces fill up on a first-come, first-served basis, plan to arrive at least one hour before the session starts. Visit the arena’s website for a current rat hockey schedule. 

In light of COVID-19 public health guidelines, all adults and children who enter the arena must complete and sign a health waiver.

Cost: $15 per participant

Address: 6690 IL-53, Woodridge

Contact: 630-271-4400

Whether you’re a rat hockey regular or just beginning to get interested in it, Chicagoland won’t disappoint you with plenty of rinks to get in the game. At Gunzo’s Hockey Headquarters, we’ve got the gear and equipment you need to take your shots with confidence. Visit us at the only full-service pro shop in Chicago at 1501 W. Madison St., or call us at 312-586-9784.