We doubted it would happen, and we’re happy to be proven wrong. The Chicago Park District has told us that Maggie Daley Park (337 East Randolph Street) will open, as promised, in “mid-December.” More specifically, this coming Saturday, December 13th. And yes, the much-anticipated ice ribbon will be fully functional.
Unfortunately, the skating ribbon will be one of the few parts of the park actually open. Much of the 20-acre $60 million complex, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates out of Brooklyn, will remain under construction through spring. But the shiny sinuous star of the show will be there.
The ribbon will open at 11:30am, and if you don’t have blades of your own, skate rentals run $12. Which is a bargain, considering that in many cities, not only are the rental fees higher, but you also have to pay an admission fee. In Chicago, skating in the parks is free.
If you want to impress your out-of-town guests, the skating ribbon will be open both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, though with limited hours (10:00am-6:00pm and 10:00am-4:00pm, respectively). If I hadn’t broken my arm prematurely hanging Christmas lights, you’d have a hard time keeping me away.
Today the Park District sent over the pictures you see showing the ice ribbon in all its tempting, flat, pristine awesomeness. At one time it was envisioned that skaters would be able to schuss up to a booth and get hot cocoa without ever having to leave the ice. Let’s hope the District finds a company willing to take on that concession (*cough*Argo Tea*cough*).