Ice Skating in the Twin Cities: A Local’s Guide to Ice Rinks in Minneapolis & St. Paul

ice skating rinks minneapolis st paul

Is it really winter in Minnesota if you don’t go ice skating?

Most Minnesotans will tell you that they love getting to experience all four seasons. And what better way to experience the winter season than by ice skating!

Whether you’re a beginner or have the skills to get recruited to the Mighty Ducks, there are plenty of great places throughout the Twin Cities to enjoy an hour or two of skating. (Or more, if you’ve got enough winter layers to keep you cozy!)

Here’s the list of our favorite places to lace up.

Map of the Best Ice Skating Rinks around the Twin Cities

Outdoor Ice Rinks

Embrace the bold north with some skating the way it was meant to be – outdoors!

Groveland Ice Rinks (St. Paul)

The Mac-Groveland neighborhood of St. Paul is home to many gems, so it’s no surprise that it would also have one of the best outdoor skating rinks in the Twin Cities! 

There are actually five different skating areas here: two hockey rinks, one general rink, a pond hockey rink, and a skating oval. The entire charming outdoor rink complex is completely operated and maintained by volunteers seven days a week during the winter skating season.

Skate and equipment rentals are free and the rinks are open seven days a week. You and your friends, family, or special winter date can easily spend a whole day skating . (With occasional breaks in the warming house!)

Groveland Ice Rinks is the perfect place for spontaneous outdoor fun all winter long. 

Lyndale Farmstead Skating Rink (Minneapolis)

There are a handful of rinks in Minneapolis that are designated for general staking only, and Lyndale Farmstead is one of the best of them. (So you don’t have to worry about interrupting a competitive hockey or broomball game while you’re here!)

The City of Minneapolis maintains dozens of outdoor skating rinks in the winter, but Lyndale Farmstead Park’s rink is a great choice that’s just slightly off the beaten path, so it typically isn’t as busy as other parks. If you find yourself in Uptown, this rink is nearby and minimal planning is required for a good time because skate rentals are available. Plus, there’s convenient off-street parking as well as a sledding hill to add to the winter fun. For a really special experience, go after dark when the rink is lit up! 

Sociable Cider Werks (Minneapolis)

A cozy winter combination: skating and a warm beverage! Friday nights are open skating at Sociable Cider Werks home-grown parking lot turned ice rink. Bring skates or rent them and enjoy some skating under the lights while music plays.

Previous theme nights include hits of the 2000s, Taylor Swift, and Teenage Angst. Skate-dance the night away, and if your dance moves aren’t hot enough, it’s both easy and delicious to warm up with a hot version of cider from this Minnesota favorite.

Phalen Park Recreation Center (St. Paul)

Lake Phalen is a fantastic summer destination, and you’ll love it just as much for winter skating – either in the daytime or under the lights! The Recreation Center serves as a warming house and typically has plenty of off-street parking.

In addition to open skating, the Phalen Park Recreation Center hosts a few community fun nights each season. You can come to stake and while you’re there, enjoy treats like hot chocolate and prize drawings from local community partners.

Indoor Ice Rinks

There’s no shame in wanting to enjoy one of winter’s best activities more comfortably indoors. Skip unpredictable wind, snow, or sleet when you check out these awesome indoor ice rinks.

Parade Ice Garden (Minneapolis)

Parade Ice Garden is within walking distance from Walker Art Center, so you could easily add on a quick skate to a day full of other fun winter weather friendly activities.

While Parade Ice Garden has some of the most affordable indoor skating in the Twin Cities, you’ll want to make sure you check their schedule before showing up. Open skate hours are limited because this venue hosts so many local games, events and practices. But once you’re there, you’ll be able to enjoy off-street parking and snacks from their concession stand.

Charles M. Schulz – Highland Arena (St. Paul)

Tucked away in Highland Park is this indoor ice rink gem. This is one of the only indoor skating options that is free to the general public – and rental skates are available for only $10. Their open skate times are varied throughout the season, so make sure to check times online or call before you go.

One of the most under-rated winter event options is hosting a skating party at Charles M. Schulz – Highland Arena. There are private meeting rooms you can book to host a special event, with discounted skate rentals available as part of their party packages. This is the perfect spot to host your office holiday party, your kid’s birthday party, or an off-beat start to a memorable bachelor party for your favorite hockey fan.

Suburb Ice Rinks

Of the many options for ice rinks around the Twin Cities suburbs, these are our three favorites.

Central Park Skating Loop (Maple Grove – Outdoor)

Maple Grove’s Central Park has a popular outdoor skating loop that’s well-maintained and conveniently open daily during the winter season for general skating. The warming house has skate rentals, a concession stand, and even a fireplace to help you warm up.

The Central Park ice loop design is a bit unique – it’s too narrow to make this your first choice for an activity with a larger group. But the loop is absolutely perfect for some laid-back skating with a special date, whether you go during daylight hours or after sunset, under the lights.

  • Address: 12000 Central Park Way, Maple Grove, MN 55369
  • Website: Central Park

Bloomington Ice Garden (Bloomington – Indoor)

Bloomington Ice Garden is the perfect destination for both the beginner skater or the seasoned pro. Their generously-sized rink and reasonably-priced skate rentals make it a great destination if you’re just starting out. And if you absolutely love Minnesota winter’s best pastime, you’ll be thrilled that Bloomington Ice Garden has open skating sessions year-round!

Roseville Skating Center (Roseville – Indoor and Outdoor)

Roseville Skating Center brings together the best of both indoor and outdoor ice skating. They offer year-round open skating times in the indoor arena, so you can enjoy a bit of winter during the hot, humid days of summer.

During the winter months, you’ll want to make sure you skate the outdoor oval during nighttime hours when you can see the surrounding trees lit up in brilliant multicolored holiday lights. It’s both family-friendly and Instagram-worthy fun!

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