There’s something about ice skating that just feels so right. Regardless of whether you spent your youth landing triple axels or if you struggle just to stay upright on ice skates, a trip to the local rink was always cherished. Even if you’ve never been ice skating, you’ve probably watched someone else skate and thought to yourself, “Wow, I really want to go ice skating.”
Well with that in mind, TravelBIG has decided to help everyone out by compiling the five best places to go ice skating in the world, sure to provide an incredible experience even for those who have yet to lace up their blades.
1. The Rink at Rockefeller Center, New York City, NY
The granddaddy of them all. Any list of the best ice skating rinks in the world would be incomplete without the Rink at Rockefeller. To the naysayers who claim it’s too crowded or that lines for the ice are often too long, we respectfully disagree. The Rink at Rockefeller is a classic, and much like a tailored suit, it’s never going out of style. One step onto the ice one in the center of the Big Apple and you’ll see why.
Bonus: Fellas, there are few dates more romantic or enjoyable than a trip to ice at Rockefeller.
2. Bondi Ice Rink, Bondi Beach, New South Wales, Australia.
Perhaps no location on this list is more unique than the Bondi Ice Rink. Located on Sydney’s iconic Bondi Beach, the rink is part of Bondi’s annual Winter Magic Festival. The rink is located on the pristine sands of Australia’s eastern coast and allows for visitors to ice skate in the moderate Sydney climate (temperatures average around 60 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter). The rink was unfortunately closed for the 2013 festival, but expects to open again in 2014.
3. The Rideu Canal, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Located in Ottawa, the Rideu Canal has the distinction of being known as “the world’s largest ice skating rink.” That’s because during winter, the canal freezes over and transforms into a 4.8-mile-long ice skating rink that travels throughout scenic Ottawa (for reference sake it has the same surface area of 90 Olympic hockey rinks). With it’s massive length, the canal allows for skaters to spend entire afternoons effortlessly gliding through the city.
4. Banff National Park, Banff, Alberta, Canada
Alright, so technically this isn’t an ice skating rink. Hell, it’s not even one location. But it’s our list so we can write whatever we want to, and when looking at the natural ice skating available in Banff National Park, we’re sure you’ll agree with us. Banff National Park offers skating the way the skating gods intended it; atop pristine lakes and ponds so clear that skaters often attest to seeing fish swim underneath them below the ice. With a bevy of spots to choose from, you can’t go wrong in Banff.
5. Keystone Lake, Keystone, Colorado
This spot represents a hybrid of sorts, boasting the largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor rink in North America (for those of you unaware, Zambonis are the large machines used to maintain ice rinks for hockey and figure skating events). Located in the heart of Keystone Resort’s Lakeside Village, the five-acre lake offers something for everyone, with pristine ice skating located next to world-class skiing available at Keystone. Additionally, the Lakeside Village hosts a number of watering holes for skaters looking for a warm fire and a cool drink after their foray on the ice.