Best Winter Skating Rinks Around the World Slideshow

Festive ice and promises of hot chocolate bring out the holiday spirit in all of us
Yosemite National Park

Photo Modified: Flickr/ Jeff P CC by 2.0

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Eiffel Tower, Paris

Shutterstock/ Elena Dijour

Skate at a dizzying height above the city of Paris as you circle the ice rink at the Eiffel Tower. Located 187 feet above the city, this once-in-a-lifetime ice experience features a light show that allows skaters to create images on the ice with just their skates. Take a break and visit the ice bar for some hot mulled wine and fresh waffles.

Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida, Japan

Fuji-Q Highland, Fujiyoshida, Japan

At the foot of Mount Fuji in the Fuji-Q Highland amusement park is the Crystal Lagoon Rink. This ice rink is one of three at the park, and it’s the largest outdoor rink in Japan. Surrounded by an interesting landscape of roller coasters and mountains, Crystal Lagoon is open all day long. The rink offers beginner skates that have a double blade, as well as regular skates and helmets for children. 

Millennium Park, Chicago

Millennium Park, Chicago

Shutterstock/ Thomas Barrat

The Millennium Park rink in Chicago, called the McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, gets you right in the holiday spirit with its panoramic city views and the sound of carolers at Cloud Gate. Take a short stroll down to Daley Square and to eat your fill of Bavarian and classic Chicagoan eats at the Christkindlmarket, an annual Christmas market and Chicago tradition.

Rathausplatz, Vienna

Rathausplatz, Vienna

Shutterstock/ Kiev.Victor 

The Wiener Eistraum, or Vienna Ice Dream, features two large ice rinks in front of City Hall with disco balls, pumping music, and a winding skating path that connects the entire arena. And with the surrounding holiday markets selling warm apple strudel and mulled wine, you're sure to feel the infectious Christmas spirit of Vienna.

Red Square, Moscow

Red Square, Moscow

Shutterstock/ Lipskiy

Join the 10th annual celebration of this winter tradition in Russia as city-dwellers and visitors flock to Moscow’s Red Square for a day of ice-skating on the GUM Skating Rink and holiday shopping. In true Russian fashion, get rid of that biting chill with a stop at one the surrounding bars for a shot of authentic Russian vodka.

Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa, Canada

Rideau Canal Skateway, Ottawa, Canada

Shutterstock

Ottawa's endlessly charming Rideau Canal Skateway also happens to be the largest naturally frozen ice rink in the world. Stop at the pop-up shops along the way for a traditional beavertail, a Canadian doughnut variation covered in — what else? — maple syrup. Plan your visit around Winterlude, Canada's three-week-long winter wonderland festival.

Rockefeller Center, New York City

Rockefeller Center, New York City

Pixabay

Celebrating the holiday season in New York City wouldn't be complete without a spin around the iconic Rockefeller Center ice rink. Skate to hit tunes as you take in the giant city scene around you, savor a vanilla macaron and some hot chocolate at Bouchon Bakery, and don't forget to take the requisite picture with the giant Christmas tree!

Somerset House, London

Somerset House, London

Photo Modified: Flickr/   Ben Askins  CC by SA 2.0

Enjoy the magic of London with a skate at Somerset House. Fortnum & Mason will be selling snacks and drinks this year for when you’ve finished skating. Or, you can head to the rink after dark for exclusive club nights featuring popular DJs.

Yosemite National Park, California

Yosemite National Park, California

Photo Modified: Flickr/ Jeff P CC by 2.0

Practice figure eights beneath the majestic natural views of Yosemite National Park in California. Since the 1930s, this is one winter tradition that should not be missed. Warm up next to the fire pit crackling nearby, and hit up the local park store for some hot cocoa and everything you need to make s'mores. You can also check out the park's huge food.