Photo courtesy of Downtown Denver Rink
Now that we’re pretty much into the thick of winter, it’s time to jump headfirst into the best winter activities (if you haven’t already, because Colorado). A seasonal favorite among many is, of course, ice skating, which you can enjoy outside and in throughout the winter season. Though two beloved destinations—one in Belmar center and one at DIA—won’t be hosting rinks this year, there are plenty of other places to get your skate on. And the great thing about going ice skating is no one really expects you to be the next Michelle Trachtenberg. You’re free to latch desperately onto that railing and shuffle your way around the rink and maybe have a few wipeouts and no one will judge. Not even that four-year-old doing a triple in the center of the ice. Show-off.
This lake is popular for all kinds of activities all year long but something about skating in the fresh air surrounded by that Evergreen aesthetic is just… special. The team at the Evergreen Parks and Recreation Department is currently waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate so the lake can freeze and skating can commence (we did just have a sporadic bit of December wildfires, if don’t recall) but the hope is that within the next month, winter will catch up and you can skate your heart out. Hours are typically Monday through Friday, 3 pm – 7 pm, Saturdays 8 am – 7 pm and Sundays 8 am – 7 pm, all weather permitting. You can also call the Skating Hotline to double check availability prior to setting out for Evergreen. Admission is $10 and skate rentals are $7, with private parties, Broomball, and a ton of other add-ons available to make your skating experience even better.
Central Business District
Perhaps the most popular and most centrally located is the Downtown Denver Ice Rink presented by Southwest Airlines, right on the 16th Street Mall. Through December 24, the rink is open Monday through Thursday 11 am – 7 pm and Fridays and Saturdays 10 am – 10 pm, switching to 10 am – 10 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am – 6 pm on Sundays after Christmas. Then expect another schedule change from January 10 through February 20 to close out the season. All ages are welcome, and skate rentals are $9 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and under, but you skate free if you bring your own. Assisted skate walkers are also available for $5. Unique opportunities include hosting private parties and you’re very much encouraged to build a team for the annual Broomball Challenge, happening January 3 – February 10, 2022.
Enjoy the absolute charm that is historic downtown Louisville in addition to visiting the WinterSkate rink, a holiday must for locals. The rink actually has a lengthy history itself, having moved several times over the course of its life, which technically was thought up way back in the 1950s. Skating hours are Monday through Wednesday from 3 pm – 7 pm, Thursdays from 3 pm – 9 pm, Fridays from 3 pm – 10 pm, Saturdays from 11 am – 10 pm, and Sundays from 11 am – 8 pm, with hours varying based on holidays and school vacations. Admission is $10 for adults and kids 4 years and older, and children 3 and under skate free. Plus, admission covers complementary skate rentals if you don’t have your own. Expect the full holiday experience when you do decide to go, complete with holiday music, free horse-drawn carriage rides through the holidays and free parking (name a better holiday treat, we’ll wait).
Over in Parker—next to its library at Discovery Park—is its famed Ice Trail, one of the only ice trails in the country. Skate for a while then warm up at one of three fire pits alongside the trail or with hot chocolate in hand while watching other skaters pass by. Admission is $8 for adults and kids 11 years and older, $6 for kids 10 years and under, and skate rentals are $4. You can also purchase a four-visit pass for $38, which includes admission and skate rental, and private rink and birthday parties rentals are available and encouraged. Hours are Monday through Friday, 5 pm – 9 pm, Saturdays 11 am – 9 pm, and Sundays 11 am – 7 pm.
For those closer to the eastern side of Denver, purchase tickets in advance or simply show up ready to skate at Aurora’s Pond at Southlands, right by the AMC on Town Square. Admission is $12 and hours are Monday through Thursday 4 pm – 9 pm, Fridays 4 pm – 10 pm, Saturdays 11 am – 10 pm and Sundays 11 am – 7 pm. Be sure to bring your mask if you’re renting skates, as they’re required within the skate rental space for ages 2 and up. But most importantly, enjoy yourself with friends or family for daily skating throughout the entire winter season.
Indoor, year-round public skates
In addition to our favorite outdoor and seasonal rinks, don’t forget that you can skate virtually any time of year in Denver at one of the local ice rinks. Check out Littleton’s Edge Ice Arena (and stop by the Penalty Bar and Grill for a cold beer and some pub grub after) or Ice Ranch (complete with Ice Ranch Coffee Co.), Apex Center Ice Arena in Arvada, Big Bear Ice Arena in Lowry, or Family Sports Ice Arena in Centennial for a varied schedule of public skates or drop-in hockey to keep your skating fix going year-round.