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Top 10 Ice Skating Places to Visit in Minnesota When on Vacation

Minnesota, famously known as the “Land of 10,000 Lakes,” is not only a paradise for summer water sports but also a winter wonderland for ice skating enthusiasts. With its frigid winters, the state transforms into a skating haven, offering a wide range of ice skating venues, from outdoor rinks with breathtaking natural backdrops to state-of-the-art indoor arenas. Here are the top 10 ice skating places to visit in Minnesota during your vacation, each offering a unique and memorable experience.

Top 10 Ice Skating Places to Visit in Minnesota When on Vacation

1. The Depot Rink – Minneapolis

Located in downtown Minneapolis, The Depot Rink is a historical gem that combines modern amenities with nostalgic charm. Originally a train shed, this indoor ice rink provides a unique skating experience under a beautiful glass ceiling that offers views of the city skyline.


  • Ambiance: The Depot Rink is known for its festive atmosphere, especially during the holiday season when it’s adorned with twinkling lights and decorations.
  • Facilities: The rink offers skate rentals, a warming house, and a snack bar.
  • Events: The Depot hosts a variety of events, including themed skate nights and private parties.

2. Lake of the Isles – Minneapolis

For a quintessential Minnesota outdoor skating experience, Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis is a must-visit. This natural ice rink is set on one of the city’s most picturesque lakes, surrounded by stunning mansions and lush greenery.


  • Scenery: Skating on Lake of the Isles offers an unparalleled scenic experience, with the serene beauty of the lake and surrounding landscape.
  • Rink Quality: Maintained by the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, the ice is regularly cleared and smoothed to ensure a quality skating surface.
  • Activities: In addition to free skating, the lake offers designated hockey areas and a warming house for visitors.

3. Rice Park – St. Paul

Located in the heart of downtown St. Paul, Rice Park transforms into a winter wonderland each year, complete with a charming outdoor ice rink. This rink is part of the annual Wells Fargo WinterSkate event, offering a festive and family-friendly skating experience.


  • Festivities: Rice Park is beautifully decorated with holiday lights, making it a magical place to skate during the winter season.
  • Free Admission: The rink offers free admission, with skate rentals available for a nominal fee.
  • Events: The WinterSkate hosts various events, including figure skating exhibitions, music performances, and themed skate nights.

4. Centennial Lakes Park – Edina

Centennial Lakes Park in Edina offers a unique ice skating experience on its 10-acre frozen lake. This picturesque park provides a charming setting for leisurely skating, surrounded by landscaped gardens and charming footbridges.


  • Pathways: The park features nearly a mile of skating pathways, offering a tranquil and scenic skating experience.
  • Amenities: The park provides a warming house, restrooms, and skate rentals.
  • Special Events: Centennial Lakes hosts themed events, such as Valentine’s Day Skate and New Year’s Eve celebrations.

5. John Rose Minnesota Oval – Roseville

The John Rose Minnesota Oval in Roseville is the largest outdoor refrigerated skating rink in North America. This massive oval offers a unique skating experience for both recreational skaters and serious speed skaters.


  • Size: The Oval features an impressive 110,000 square feet of ice, including a 400-meter speed skating track and a general skating area.
  • Programs: The facility offers a range of programs, from public skating sessions to figure skating and speed skating lessons.
  • Facilities: The Oval includes a warming house, skate rental shop, and concessions.

6. Lake Minnetonka – Excelsior Bay

Lake Minnetonka, one of Minnesota’s largest and most popular lakes, offers an expansive outdoor skating experience. Excelsior Bay, in particular, is a favorite spot for locals and visitors alike.


  • Expansive Ice: With its vast expanse of ice, Lake Minnetonka provides ample space for free skating, hockey games, and ice fishing.
  • Community Events: The bay hosts several winter events, including the annual Excelsior Winterfest, which features skating, ice golf, and other winter activities.
  • Scenic Beauty: The natural beauty of Lake Minnetonka, combined with the charming town of Excelsior, makes it a perfect destination for a winter outing.

7. Wells Fargo WinterSkate – Landmark Plaza, St. Paul

Another gem in St. Paul, the Wells Fargo WinterSkate at Landmark Plaza offers a delightful outdoor skating experience in the heart of the city. The rink is part of the vibrant St. Paul Winter Carnival, making it a festive destination during the winter months.


  • Central Location: Situated near Rice Park and the James J. Hill Library, the rink is conveniently located for visitors exploring downtown St. Paul.
  • Festive Atmosphere: The rink is adorned with holiday lights and decorations, creating a cheerful and inviting atmosphere.
  • Free Admission: Skating is free, with affordable skate rentals available.

8. Skate the Star – Mall of America, Bloomington

For a truly unique skating experience, head to the Mall of America in Bloomington. Skate the Star is an outdoor rink located at the mall’s North Entrance, offering visitors a chance to skate under the glow of a giant LED-lit star sculpture.


  • Unique Setting: Skating at one of the largest shopping malls in the world offers a unique blend of outdoor fun and indoor shopping.
  • Family-Friendly: The rink provides a safe and enjoyable environment for skaters of all ages.
  • Convenience: Skate rentals are available, and the mall offers plenty of dining and entertainment options to enjoy after skating.

9. TCF Bank Stadium Ice Rink – Minneapolis

Each winter, the TCF Bank Stadium on the University of Minnesota campus transforms into an ice skating rink, offering a unique opportunity to skate in a collegiate football stadium. This rink is open to the public and provides a memorable skating experience.


  • Unique Venue: Skating on the field of a major football stadium is a one-of-a-kind experience that appeals to sports fans and skating enthusiasts alike.
  • Community Events: The rink hosts public skating sessions, as well as special events and university-themed activities.
  • Amenities: The stadium facilities, including restrooms and concessions, are available to skaters.

10. Hyland Lake Park Reserve – Bloomington

Hyland Lake Park Reserve in Bloomington offers a serene outdoor skating experience on a natural rink set within the park’s beautiful winter landscape. The park is part of the Three Rivers Park District, known for its well-maintained recreational facilities.


  • Natural Setting: The rink is set on the frozen Hyland Lake, surrounded by trees and open space, providing a peaceful and scenic backdrop for skating.
  • Family-Friendly: The park offers a warming house, skate rentals, and a cozy fireplace to relax by after skating.
  • Additional Activities: In addition to ice skating, the park offers cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking trails, making it a great destination for winter sports enthusiasts.


Minnesota’s cold winters and abundant natural beauty make it a premier destination for ice skating. From the urban charm of The Depot Rink and Rice Park to the serene landscapes of Lake Minnetonka and Hyland Lake Park Reserve, there are skating opportunities for everyone. Whether you prefer indoor rinks with modern amenities or outdoor settings with breathtaking scenery, Minnesota’s top ice skating places offer unforgettable experiences for visitors of all ages. So lace up your skates, embrace the chill, and discover the joy of ice skating in the “Land of 10,000 Lakes.”