When outdoor ice hockey rinks are closed during the warmer months, you can still keep playing ice hockey. In the Chicago area, you can find several indoor ice rinks where youth can practice their hockey skills during the summer. The following indoor ice rinks are not only great options for junior hockey players to drop in and spend some fun time on the ice, but they also offer programs like learning to skate, honing hockey skills, or joining a hockey club. Many locations also provide off-ice training and other athletic and sports programs.
Fifth Third Arena
The Fifth Third Arena is a 125,000-square-foot community training center dedicated to developing youth hockey programs, rec leagues, and other events. It’s the practice facility for the Blackhawks, and many National Hockey League (NHL) teams visit the arena, although the local community uses the arena most of the time. Besides two NHL-sized ice rinks, the facility includes a full-service fitness center, skating and hockey supplies, food and beverages, locker rooms, a training room, a player’s lounge, a skill studio, and much more. There’s even the hockey equivalent of a batting cage for perfecting stick handling, shooting, and passing.
Fifth Third Arena hosts at least nine summer hockey programs, from Tiny Hawks, which is a creative and playful program for toddlers age 2 to 4, to Tier II competitive youth hockey programs for ages 8 and up. Whether your junior hockey player is ready for serious competition, needs to hone their hockey skills, or wants to learn the basics of ice skating, you’re sure to find a program that fits their skill level. The Continue To Play Program focuses on getting players ready for game concepts with three-on-three cross-ice play.
The Fifth Third Arena is located at 1801 West Jackson Blvd. in Chicago.
Oakton Ice Arena
The Oakton Ice Arena hosts an award-winning regulation-size ice area. Open year-round, the arena provides fun for every skill level, whether you’re a figure skater or a hockey player. The Oakton Ice Arena has a long history of being home to world class and Olympic coaches and skaters. Amenities at the arena include a state-of-the-art sound system, free Wi-Fi, jump harnesses, a multipurpose Olympic room, and a full kitchen. Besides providing impressive skating and hockey programs and events, the arena has public skating, party packages, and group outings. You can even rent out the entire arena.
The Arena employs more than 40 professional instructors who are certified and trained to teach a variety of levels, ages, and skills. Competitive and recreational hockey programs are available for youth and adults.
The three main youth hockey programs are based on skill level and age and take place at multiple times. The prehockey program provides entry-level instruction, such as learning to march, glide, and fall properly. The hockey program teaches fundamentals such as the hockey stop and backward skating. The advanced hockey program is a comprehensive class for improving skills such as passing, puck handling, shooting, and learning game concepts.
The Oakton Ice Arena is located at 2800 Oakton St. in Park Ridge.
North Shore Ice Arena
The North Shore Ice Arena has an NHL-sized rink and a studio rink. The arena is a proud partner of the Chicago Blackhawks and is dedicated to adult and youth hockey. Besides its quality ice rinks, the North Shore Ice Arena has a pro sports shop, food and beverages, skate sharpening, and off-ice training programs. You can even watch hockey games live online with Live Barn Technology. Many local clubs call this arena home, including the New Trier Girls Hockey Club, the Northshore Warhawks, PDL Elite Hockey, Precision Hockey, the Wilmette Hockey Association, and the Winnetka Hockey Club.
North Shore Ice Arena offers several youth clinics and camps throughout the summer. Popular clinics and camps include the Strictly Shooting Summer Camp, Summer Defense Camp, Skate to Score Clinic, and Power Skating Clinic. The biggest summer hockey event is the 3-on-3 Summer Classic, which has been an enormous success for seven years running. Teams can register their seven-skater and one-goalie team in a wide variety of divisions, from NHL elites to juniors. More than 70 teams take part in the 3-on-3 Summer Classic each year, making the four-day event something you don’t want to miss.
The North Shore Ice Arena is located at 2111 Founders Drive in Northbrook.
American Heartland Ice Arena
The American Heartland Ice Arena began in 1997 and has become a premier ice rink in the Chicago area. In addition to its professional NHL-sized ice rink and studio rink, American Heartland has amenities such as equipment rentals, a high-performance training gym, superb coaches and trainers, food and beverages, event rentals, and public skating. It also participates in Live Barn, so you can watch games live or on-demand from any device. American Heartland Ice Arena has a vast range of programs, from AA Tier II Chicago Bulldogs to high school programs to youth hockey and learn-to-skate programs.
The arena offers drop-in Stick and Puck sessions for players of all ages to practice their stick and puck skills in a noncompetitive atmosphere. Throughout the summer, the arena hosts half-day jump start clinics with fun themes that teach kids the foundations of skating and hockey. The Learn To Play Hockey programs use the ADM model for fun and relaxed learning, developing confidence and self-esteem, and promoting a lifetime love of hockey. The seven-week programs start at age 3, have multiple groups based on skill level, and include free admission to public skate sessions and Stick and Puck sessions.
The American Heartland Ice Arena is located at 7384 North Lincoln Ave. in Lincolnwood.
When you’re dedicated to hockey, warm weather can’t stop you. Gunzo’s knows how important it is to practice your hockey skills year-round, so we’d love to help you find indoor ice rinks where you can keep playing during hot months. Did we forget to include your favorite indoor ice rink? Give us a call and let us know your favorite place to play ice hockey all summer long.