With the holidays upon us, it’s time to indulge in the best winter pastimes: sipping hot cocoa, singing carols and strapping a couple of blades to your feet and slicing across frozen water.
So grab your loved ones and check out one of these 10 outdoor ice rinks near Denver.
Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park
- Location: 1601 Arapahoe St., Denver
- Dates: Through Feb. 3
- Hours: Mon.-Thurs. from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Extended holiday hours start Dec. 25 and vary.
- Cost: Free. Skate rentals are $6 for kids 12 years and younger; $8 for those 13 and older
- More info: downtowndenverrink.com or 303-534-6161
The cozy Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park is as close to New York City’s famous The Rink at Rockefeller Center as it gets in Denver. Nestled in the heart of downtown, the rink is a walk (or free MallRide) away from a host of reservation-worthy dinner spots, making it the ideal kicker for your next date night. Live bands and DJs (on Friday nights) will set skaters’ tempos throughout the rink’s three-month season. It will also host Sunday family days, a broomball competition, yoga on the ice and skating lessons. The best part? Aside from skate rentals, it’s all free.
DEN Plaza Skating Rink at DIA
- Location: 8500 Peña Blvd., Denver
- Dates: Through Jan. 6
- Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
- Cost: Free
- More info: denevents.flydenver.com or 303-342-2521
The best holiday flights are the ones taken after a couple of rounds on the rink. The day after Thanksgiving, Denver International Airport put up an ice rink at its open-air plaza outside the adjoining Westin Hotel. The 34-by-60-foot rink is free and includes complimentary skate rentals. (The rink stocks more than 200 pairs, including trainer skates for toddlers.) About 16,700 skaters utilized the rink in 2017, which was more than double from the year before, said Tracey Wright, the special events director at DIA.
On Fridays, steaming cups of free hot chocolate will be available starting at 11:30 a.m. until supplies last. And as you sip on your cocoa, hang out with either the Avalanche mascot, the Avs Ice Girls, the Denver Figure Skating Club or whoever else is making an appearance that day.
For those heading out to the airport just to skate, short-term parking is $4, or you can take the A-Line from Union Station, which charges $9 for a day pass. (The rink is outside the terminal, so no need to worry about TSA.)
WinterSkate at Northfield Stapleton
- Location: 8240 Northfield Blvd., Denver
- Dates: T.B.D. through mid-February (weather-dependent)
- Hours: MMon.-Wed. 11 a.m.-8 p.m.; Thurs.-Fri. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Holiday hours vary. (Hours subject to change; see website for more information.)
- Price: Free for children 3 and under, $10 for adults; $9 for kids 12 and under; $8 for seniors 65 and older, college students and military members. Admission includes rentals.
- More info: bceproductions.com/winterskate or 303-449-3137
WinterSkate is opening up its first Stapleton rink this year. It’ll be on the east side of Northfield near Zen Asian Sushi Bar & Grill. If you’re tired, there are plenty of stores to pop into. Or, take a complimentary carriage ride around the shops (until Dec. 23). WinterSkate hasn’t announced an opening date yet so check its website and Facebook page for updates.
Skate in the Park, downtown Colorado Springs
- Location: 115 E. Platte Ave., Colorado Springs
- Dates: Through Jan. 21
- Hours: Times vary from week to week; check website for rink hours.
- Price: Free for children under 4 with paid adult. $10 per adult, which include skates. $9 for military.
- More info: downtowncs.com/event/skate-in-the-park or 719-385-6521
Colorado Springs is home to one of the country’s three Olympic Training Centers, but you don’t have to be an Olympian to enjoy a good time on the ice. Although it does help, which is why it may be worth heading over to the rink on Dec. 15 for free 30-minute group lessons with U.S. Figure Skating folks. (Although it’s free, make sure to register ahead of time at learntoskateusa.com/skate-in-the-park). Check out the website before you go to find other skate-centric events throughout the season.
Beaver Creek Ice Skating
- Location: 60 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek Village
- Dates: Through April 14
- Hours: Open daily noon-9 p.m.
- Price: $5 flat fee if you bring your own skates, $10 for children ages 12 and under including rentals; $15 for adults including rentals.
- Website: beavercreek.com or 970-845-0438
If you hate skiing, the rink at Beaver Creek might change your mind — even if it requires a trip up to Avon. The ice is big and centered in the middle of Beaver Creek Village, which means you’re close to hot chocolate, food and beer at any point while making your laps. And if you decide that skating really isn’t for you, there are several gas fireplaces and heaters scattered around, too.
The rink at Dorsey Lake
- Location: 2515 Tunnel Rd, Estes Park
- Dates: Generally early December through early February. Weather-dependent, so call before you head up.
- Hours: Morning to night
- Price: Free with YMCA of the Rockies membership, for people staying on the property, and for children 5 and under. Day pass required for everyone else: $10 for children 6-12; $20 for those 13 and older.
- Day pass includes skate rentals and other activities on-site.
- More info: 970-325-7065, extension 1104
Hugged by a grove of pine trees, Estes Park’s Dorsey Lake gives skaters an unimpeded view of Lily Mountain. If the ice is too crowded, just shimmy on over to a second outdoor rink at the YMCA’s upper cookout shelter, which is about a 20-minute walk away. The rink borders Rocky Mountain National Park, so you can also strap on some snowshoes while you’re there.
Rink at Belmar
- Location: 439 S. Teller St., Lakewood
- Dates: Through Jan. 27
- Hours: Through Jan. 6, Sun.-Thur. 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Jan. 7-27, closed Mon.-Wed.; Thurs. 4-9 p.m.; Fri. 4-10 p.m; Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 11 a.m.-9 p.m. Holiday hours vary; see website for more info.
- Cost: Free for children 2 and younger and seniors 65 and older; $7.50 for children 12 and under; $9.50 for adults. Prices include rentals. $5 flat fee if you bring your own skates.
- More info: belmarcolorado.com or 303-742-1525
Want some room to twirl or jump or fall flat on your face? Hit up Lakewood’s 7,000-square-foot Rink at Belmar. The rink features synchronized skating performances and an ugly sweater party throughout the season, among other events, so check its website for a schedule. If you skate up an appetite, the surrounding shopping plaza offers plenty of noms to snack on. Or, if you need any holiday gifts, check out the Horseshoe Market during the weekends until Dec. 23.
WinterSkate in Louisville
- Location: 824 Front St., Louisville
- Dates: Nov. 23 to Feb. 18
- Hours: Mon.-Wed. 2-7 p.m.; Thurs. 2-10 p.m.; Fri. 12-10 p.m.; Sat. 10 a.m.-10 p.m.; Sun. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Holiday hours vary. (Note: Hours are subject to change. Call the rink to check conditions.)
- Cost: Admission (which includes skates) is $4 for children (ages 3 and under); $8 for college students, military and senior citizens (ages 65 and up); $9 for ages 4-12; $10 for adults. Bring your own skates and get $5 off.
- More info: bceproductions.com/winterskate or 303-604-1010
Sometimes you just want a classic ol’ ice skating rink. When that mood hits, head over to Louisville for WinterSkate’s 15th season there. The rink’s adjacent Steinbaugh Pavilion turns into a concession area, serving hot chocolate, tea and cider, as well as hot dogs and chips. If your feet begin to hurt, hop on a free horse-drawn carriage and ride around downtown Louisville. There will also be carolers, figure-skating performances and other special events so check the rink’s website before you go.
The rink at Evergreen Lake
- Location: 29612 Upper Bear Creek Road, Evergreen
- Dates: Dec. 15 (weather permitting) to March 3
- Hours: Mon.-Thurs. 3:30-7 p.m.; Fri. 3:30-8 p.m.; Sat. 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun. 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Extended winter break hours Dec. 22-Jan.8, 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Holiday hours vary. (All hours are weather permitting. Find the latest conditions at 720-880-1391.)
- Cost: Free for kids 3 years old and younger. Admission is $6 for kids 4-17 years old; $7 for 18- to 59-year-olds; $5 for seniors 60 and up. Military price is $5.
More info: evergreenrecreation.com or 720-880-1300
Sometimes it’s tempting to just stay bundled up in your home. But the 40-minute drive from Denver to Evergreen Lake will be worth the effort of dragging yourself out of your pajamas. The lake claims to be the largest Zamboni-maintained outdoor ice rink in the world. The lake house manager at Evergreen Lake previously told The Denver Post that staff researched other outdoor rinks across the world before making its bold assertion.
“You don’t find too many outdoor rinks in the U.S.,” Bednar said at the time. “You can go out to Canada and Russia and they skate on rivers, but it’s not Zamboni-maintained.”
The 8½-acre lake is divided into several different rinks, including about 10 hockey rinks (the exact number is weather dependent) and a public skating rink. The public rink is 600 feet long and 200 feet wide. If it gets too chilly on the ice, huddle around the gas fireplace in the main hall of the lake house, which is big enough to warm dozens of skaters at a time. Make sure to call the skating hotline (720-880-1391) to check conditions before you load up the car.
Longmont Ice Pavilion
- Location: 725 8th Ave., Longmont
- Dates: Through March 13
- Hours: Vary; check website for hours (weather-dependent)
- Price: $5.50 for kids 2-5; $6 for seniors, $6.50 for adults. Rentals are $3.50.
- More info: longmontcolorado.gov; 303-774-4777
Located in Roosevelt Park, the Longmont Ice Pavilion is the perfect place to go if you’ve got one kid who wants to learn how to twirl and another who is dying to hit pucks with a stick. There are skating and hockey lessons available, as well as party facilities if there’s a birthday to celebrate.
Thank you for collecting the great list Denver Post! Now, lets get skating!