Slice of Life: Skating with the Skyline

Maggie Daley Park skating ribbon

A few hearty souls brave one of January’s coldest days. They had the skating ribbon to themselves.

Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: while Chicago has had some dang cold days in January, it’s been a mild Winter of 2016 so far. And while you’ll never see the elbow-to-elbow crowds like North Avenue Beach draws during the summer months, there are still those in Chicago who insist on venturing outdoors for fun, even as wind chills dip below freezing.

Chicago has two ice skating venues perfectly located for tourists and residents alike.

The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink sits on the east side of Michigan Avenue between Washington and Madison streets in Millennium Park.

McCormick Tribune skating rink

Skaters enjoy the McCormick Tribune Skating Rink directly beneath the Michigan Avenue skyline.

The Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon can be found just to the east, across Columbus Drive. (Walking across the Frank Gehry-designed BP Pedestrian Bridge is the funnest way to get there.)

Now, we want to be responsible citizens of Chicago, so let us first point out the importance of being a friendly, conscientious skater and remaining aware at all times to be respectful of other skaters. Watch where you’re going, don’t cut people off, that kind of thing.

But we’d be remiss in not telling you that occasionally, when safe skating etiquette allows, be sure to take a look upward. Both skating parks offer spectacular views of Chicago’s mighty skyline, and you’ll want to enjoy the breathtaking views as much as possible, even if the combination of cold, wind, and scenery leave you with little breath to give.

McCormick Tribune skating rink

The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink, with the Chicago Cultural Center providing the backdrop.

Maggie Daley Park ice ribbon

Night skating at Maggie Daley Park during its grand-opening weekend 2014.

Location: 337 East Randolph Street, The Loop

Author: Daniel Schell

Daniel Schell is a West Loop social media addict who lives for Cubs baseball, good pizza, and big cities. If you bump into him on the street, it's likely because he's taking photos instead of watching where he's going, and he apologizes.

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