Ice skating rinks are synonymous with wintertime fun. Strap on some blades and, depending on your skill level, chop or glide across the ice for a jolly good time. But perhaps the best part of ice skating is the rink itself, which provides a perfect winter vignette, whether it’s a classic scene, like the Christmas tree towering over skaters in London or something unexpected, like palm trees and the Pacific Ocean providing the backdrop at a rink on Coronado Island in California.
Take a look at these 12 scenic ice skating rinks around the world.
Skating by the Sea at Hotel del Coronado in Coronado, California
California dreams meet holiday magic at Hotel del Coronado, which has a beachfront ice rink overlooking the Pacific Ocean, plus a rink-side lounge, Frostbite, which has comfy seating and firepits. The hotel’s historic pine trees are draped in holiday lights to set the holiday scene in sunny southern California
Skate at Somerset House in London, England
London has a fantastic selection of ice skating rinks. But Skate at Somerset House in the heart of the city is especially festive, with a neoclassical courtyard transforming into a rink with a 40 foot Christmas tree. The rink partnered with Moët & Chandon this year and there will be skating lessons, DJs at rink-side decks, and a pop-up alpine restaurant.
Bobby Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee
The Rooftop Lounge at Bobby Hotel embraces a 70’s camp-inspired theme, which includes a rooftop ice skating rink that resembles a frozen pond, plus “campfire sites” in heated igloos and a retrofitted 1956 Scenicruiser bus. To round out a cozy night in Nashville, order hot cocoa (with the option of spiking it) and snacks like baked goat cheese and tomato fondue.
The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, Nevada
Skating on the strip? Bet on it. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has transformed its Boulevard Pool in a rooftop rink with more than 4,200 square feet of real ice, as well as an aprés-ski scene with s’more at fire pits and seasonal cocktails.
The Rink at Rockefeller Center in New York City, New York
This iconic rink is such a special place, it has engagement packages for those who plan to pop the question on the ice. A Christmas tree and a Prometheus statue provide the photo-worthy backdrop at the Rink at Rockefeller Center.
Covid-19 cut this year’s ice skating season short at Museumplein Netherlands, a cute-as-can-be rink that will reopen next holiday season. After working up an appetite, skaters can enjoy fondue and hot drinks at an on-site bistro.
Nathan Phillips Square in Toronto, Canada
With an urban backdrop, sparkling lights, a glowing Toronto sign and Christmas tree, the ice rink at Nathan Phillips Square is full of cheer. Or, Harbourfront Centre, which is on the shoreline of Lake Ontario, is another popular ice skating spot in Toronto.
Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada
With a mountainous backdrop and the fairytale-like Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise on its banks, Lake Louise is one of the most beautiful places to ice skate. It gets even better during SnowDays (an annual event; it’s Jan. 19-30 this year) when ice carvers create a giant ice castle on the lake.
Edgewood Tahoe at Lake Tahoe in Nevada
With cobalt blue waters and the Sierra Nevada mountain range, Lake Tahoe is a stunner in the winter. Edgewood Tahoe, a luxury mountain lodge on the shoreline of South Lake Tahoe, offers plenty of wintertime fun, including an ice skating rink draped in lights, snowshoeing to a “Champagne Chalet” where you can sip Veuve Clicquot and snowga (think: yoga you’ll want to bundle up for).
Desert Ice at Fairmont Princess Scottsdale in Arizona
Book the “Sip, Savor and Skate” package at the Fairmont Princess Scottsdale, which dazzles this time of year with more than 6 million twinkling lights. The package includes warm fireside cocoa, modern Mexican cuisine at the resort’s La Hacienda restaurant and ice skating at the resort’s Desert Ice Skating Rink and the Alpine Skate Trail.
Beaverbrook Estate in Surrey, England
Go ice skating in the British countryside at Beaverbrook Estate,where guests can listen to yuletide melodies, sip mulled cider and indulge in sugary waffles at the rink-side cabin. A Laurent Perrier rosé van sits rink-side, serving rosé.
Oceanfront Ice Rink at Paséa Hotel and Spa in Huntington Beach, California
It’s a choose-your-own outdoor adventure this time of year in Huntington Beach. Glide across the ice at the Paséa Hotel and Spa’s oceanfront ice rink, enjoying s’mores kits and VIP firepit experiences. Or, put on a wet suit and hit the beach. January happens to be the best time of year for surfing in Huntington Beach, which gets consistent waves rolling in. (Book a surfer’s massage at the hotel’s Aarna Spa).