Millenium Park ice skating, now in its eighteenth season, is a great way to spend Christmas Day. The rink is surrounded by onlookers and the towering Millenium Park Christmas Tree. Holiday music is played over the public address system. It is all very festive.
This year’s Christmas Day hours were 10AM – 8PM and admission is free. Operations are contingent on the weather. The rink is located on Michigan Avenue diagonally across from the Chicago Cultural Center. Ice skating is at your own risk. But there are many rink staff members around to be of assistance.
Ice skate rental is available for a fee. But there is considerable demand. If you are interested plan to arrive early. The rink is sponsored by Hilton. So Hilton guests receive up to two pairs of complimentary ice skates per room reservation.
Several times a day the action is interrupted by ice resurfacing. But even that is fun. The huge Zamboni machine comes out of its garage and spends about twenty minutes making circuits around the rink.
Contrary to what you would expect on Christmas Day, some nearby restaurants and coffee shops are open to take advantage of the large crowds.
There is also ice skating available in Maggie Daley Park, on the other side of Columbus Drive. To get there head east over the BP Pedestrian Bridge. The Maggie Daley experience is slightly more of a challenge: a ribbon has been constructed that takes a long, winding course through the park.
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