If there's winter, there's ice skating
Collected by Adriana Yampey , AFAR Local Expert
A few great choices for a good time on ice.
2961 Kinderdijk, Netherlands
When waterways in the Netherlands freeze into glittering paths, overjoyed residents take to the ice. Visitors can buy or rent a pair of noren (traditional long-blade skates) to glide across town or take part in one of the country’s dozens of...
Place de l'Hôtel de Ville, 75004 Paris, France
Canals of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands
When it gets cold enough in a Dutch winter, residents of Amsterdam and Utrecht don ice skates and take to the frozen canals. The cold weather is met with anticipation and joy, residents raid their closets and canal-side shops to find their gear....
Sint-Katelijneplein, 1000 Brussel, Belgium
The most interesting part of Brussels' Christmas Market is in St Catherine's Square, where there are not only food and drink stalls, as well as those to buy gifts, but also a chance to go ice skating and ride a very big Ferris wheel. The square is...
5015 Westheimer Rd #1260, Houston, TX 77056, USA
Inside Houston's biggest shopping destination, the Galleria mall, you'll find an ice skating rink set beneath an impressive glass atrium. It's open seven days a week, year-round, and it's a great place to blow off some steam (and maybe even...
13350 Dallas Pkwy #200, Dallas, TX 75240, USA
Whether you're trying to beat the North Texas heat, or stir up some of your own, this skating rink right in the heart of the mega mall is ideal for making new memories. Window-shop, grab a bite to eat, and then hit the ice for a few spins—just...
New York, NY, USA
Manhattan can, famously, feel like endless rows of apartment blocks and office towers for most of its length. At least above 14th Street, a regular grid of streets and avenues, bisected only by Broadway, has transformed the city into a dream for...
3708 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas, NV 89109, USA
Just when Las Vegas couldn't get any weirder, visitors began strapping on ice skates and making their way around an ice rink... in the middle of the desert. The Venetian and The Palazzo have had an ice rink during the winter months for a few years...
1000 Rue de la Gauchetière O, Montréal, QC H3B 4W5, Canada
Call us crazy, but we Canadians dearly love our winter sports. So much so, we built a dedicated ice-skating rink in the heart of downtown Montreal that is accessible year-round. Yes, you read that right. Rain or shine, winter or summer, ice...
1 N Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60602, USA
If you're visiting Chicago in the winter, be sure to make your way to one of the city's many ice rinks. For outdoor skating with a view, head to the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Millenium Park. The ice skating rink is sandwiched between Cloud...
7499 France Ave S, Edina, MN 55435, USA
It's easy to escape the city for an hour or two in Centennial Lakes Park. Among numerous activities, the park features a 1,000-seat amphitheater that hosts performances throughout the summer. If movies are more your thing, you can catch a flick...
Jussi Björlings allé, 111 47 Stockholm, Sweden
Centrally located in Stockholm, the King's Garden is a lively urban garden/park/plaza that connects the harbor with one of Stockholm's main shopping districts. It contains a series of "outdoor rooms" including a formal entrance, fountain with...
Red Square, Moskva, Russia, 109012
I lived in Moscow for a year a decade ago. My favorite way to capture the spirit and magnitude of this city was to take a post-midnight walk through Red Square. It would often be near deserted at that time and was never better than when snow was...
1260 Chemin Remembrance, Montréal, QC H3H 1A2, Canada
Record snowfall and temperature lows can't stop Canadians from playing outside. Everyone is in the park on a gray winter Saturday. People are cross country skiing, snow shoeing, walking, sledding and ice skating. Stick to the plowed paths or make...
11920 Domain Dr, Austin, TX 78758, USA
Drinking beer at a supermarket might sound like an odd travel tip, but this isn't just any supermarket: It's Whole Foods, and you're in Austin, birthplace of the healthy food mecca. The massive market has a lot more than organic milk and bulk...
5775 Cogswell St, Halifax, NS B3K 4B2, Canada
Constructed a few years ago for the Canada Games, the Emera Oval is a concrete oval located in the Halifax Commons. Built as a track for speed skating the city has invested money into it and now keeps it open year round. In the winter months the...
228 8 Ave SE, Calgary, AB T2P 2M5, Canada
Ice skating is one of Canada's favorite pastimes. In Calgary, you can lace up and join the hordes of skaters spinning around the lagoon in Bowness Park, stopping every now and then to drink hot chocolate and warm your hands at the bonfires along...
800 Robson St, Vancouver, BC V6Z 3B7, Canada
Open mid-November through the end of February, the Robson Square Ice Rink gives both residents and visitors an opportunity to skate for free in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Skate and helmet rentals and a concession stand are available on site....
Toronto, ON, Canada
Spinning your sweetheart around Nathan Philip’s Square on skates is a distinctly Canadian experience, one that visitors shouldn’t miss just because they forgot to pack their Bauer blades. Skates are rented on site for a small fee, meaning that...
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