Slide and Glide at Outdoor Ice Skating Spots
Ponds and fields turned into ice skating areas allow a delightful opportunity for exercise among natural scenery.
A cold December comes with a bonus—outdoor ice skating areas are in prime shape for holiday break.
Patch towns from Lake Forest to Huntley offer a variety of outdoor ice skating opportunities.
Lake Forest's ice skating rink at West Park attracts people of all ages, said Edward Gudas, program supervisor for park recreation.
"We have an open ice skating area for hockey, speed skaters, figure skaters and little kids getting pulled around on little sleds. We have a warming house which is nice so kids don't have to put on their blades in the cold," Gudas said.
West Park also has classical music to add ambiance and night lights.
The Little League baseball field at Artesian Park in Lake Bluff will be ready for skating this weekend, said Jeff Spillman, recreation services manager. He said the skating area was almost ready, but last week's weather created a rain delay. The rink has separate areas for hockey and free skating.
At Jaycee Park in Cary, last week's rain created a layer of slush on the ice rink, said Ben Rey, superintendent of parks. But the ice was being resurfaced and readied for use. Jaycee Park has separate areas for hockey and figure skating, lights and a warming center.
Lake Zurich's Paulus Park offers ice skating on the frozen lake for an experience that may make skaters feel like they are in a Currier & Ives painting. Skating on the lake is also available at Main Beach Park and West Beach Park in Crystal Lake.
Nature lovers can skate among the beauty of Lake County Forest Preserves at three sites, Lakewood Winter Sports Area near Wauconda, Old School Forest Preserve near Libertyville, and on the lake at Independence Grove, near Libertyville.
The Lakewood ice skating area is especially popular, because it has lights and the area also has a sledding hill, said Mike Tully, director of operations for the Lake County Forest Preserve District.
Check out these outdoor ice skating areas:
Algonquin — Willoughby Farms Park, 2001 Wynnfield Dr, offers a hockey and free skate rink, available from dawn to dusk. Skate along the river in downtown's Cornish Park, 101 S. Harrison St. Holder Park, 1040 Timberwood Ln., has a flooded detention area for skating.
Lake Forest — West Park, 850 Summit Ave., has lights, warming house and is staffed.
Lake Bluff — Artesian Park, 410 Sheridan Rd., has lights, warming house and supervised skating.
Libertyville — The Libertyville Parks and Recreation Department has three ice skating areas: Adler Park, 1500 N. Milwaukee Ave., offering recreation ice skating, lights and a warming shelter; Bolander Park, 625 W. Winchester Rd., a full-sized hockey rink and recreational ice rink; and Nicholas-Dowden Park, 920 Crane Blvd., which offers both recreational skating and hockey.
Two forest preserves near Libertyville offer skating — Old School Forest Preserve, St. Mary's Road , south of Rte. 176, and Independence Grove Forest Preserve, Rte. 137, east of Rte. 21.
Buffalo Grove — Willow Stream Park, 600 Farrington Road, has a large, lighted skating area. There are two non-lighted smaller, skating areas at Mill Creek, 1350 Radcliffe Rd., and Twin Creeks, 401 Aptakisic Rd.
Palatine — Community Park, 262 E. Palatine Rd., offers two separate, lighted rinks for hockey and open skating.
Grayslake — The Grayslake Park District offers four ice skating areas: Molly's Pond in the Haryan Farms subdivision, Jones Island Park, Harvey St. and Allegheny Rd.; Chesapeake Landing in Chesapeake Farms and Cambridge Park in the College Trail subdivision.
Lake Zurich — Paulus Park, 200 S. Rand Rd., offers lighted skating on the lake, but no hockey is allowed. Miller Park, Miller Rd., east of Rand Rd., allows hockey and is open until dusk.
Wauconda — The Lakewood Forest Preserve Winter Sports Area, at Fairfield and Ivanhoe Rd., offers skating with lights.
Cary — Jaycee Park, Silver Lake Rd. at Cary-Algonquin Rd., has a lighted rink with heated warming center and bathrooms.
Lake in the Hills – Ice skate at Sunset Park, 5200 Miller Rd., from dawn until dusk.
Crystal Lake – There are three ice skating area in Crystal Lake: on the lakefront at both Main Beach Park, 300 Lake Shore Dr. and West Beach Park, 2330 Lake Ave., and on a pond at Veterans Acres Park, 431 Walkup Rd.
Huntley – Diecke Park, 11419 S. Hwy. 47, offers an ice skating area.