Best Outdoor Skating Rinks

January 10, 2011 8:01 AM

Best Outdoor Ice Skating Venues
There’s nothing quite like skating around an outdoor rink and warming up with a cup of hot cocoa when the Zamboni clears the ice. Nowadays, it’s not hard to find an indoor ice skating rink; but for those who love the way the crisp winter air feels as they glide across the ice, it can be a little trickier. We put together a list of some local outdoor ice skating rinks to help!

The Schenley Park Skating Rink

1 Overlook Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15207

One of Pittsburgh’s most popular skating rinks hit a milestone in 2010 – celebrating its 35th anniversary. The Schenley Park Skating Rink is a bit of a hidden gem that you can’t see from the road. The rink is actually tucked into a niche, bordered by hills to maintain the natural beauty of the park. At 200-feet by 85-feet, the Schenley Park Skating Rink is the only regulation sized rink within city limits. The rink hosts several popular events throughout the season – from “Skate with Santa” to a “Mascot Skate.”

South Park Ice Rink

Corrigan Drive, South Park

If you don’t already know how to ice skate, the South Park Outdoor Ice Skating Rink is a great place to learn – and best of all, lessons are free! Located at the end of South Park’s “main drag” on Corrigan Drive, the South Park rink features free learn to skate lessons for beginners aged five and up. Paid lessons are also available throughout the season; and specially-priced family sessions are available on Wednesday evenings. Weather-permitting, the South Park Ice Skating Rink is open to skaters from early November (Nov. 4, 2010) through mid-March. The rink is closed on Mondays as well as Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

North Park Ice Rink

303 Pierce Mill Rd
Allison Park, PA 15101

Like South Park’s skating rink, the North Park Ice Rink is also run by Allegheny County’s Parks Department. Skating lessons are available at both rinks; and active volunteer firefighters and EMTs can skate for free at any time! Families can take advantage of a specially-priced session on Wednesdays from 4:30pm until 7pm throughout the 2010-2011 season, which runs from November 4th through mid-March. The rink is closed on Mondays, Thanksgiving and Christmas Day.

The Rink at PPG Place

4 PPG Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
412-394-3641 (in-season)

Believe it or not, but 2010 marks the tenth season for The Rink at PPG Place. When it opens for the season, the 104-foot by 104-foot downtown ice skating rink features a 60-foot Christmas tree at its center. The rink traditionally opens when the city kicks off the holiday shopping season on Light Up Night (Friday, Nov. 19) and remains open through March – including all major holidays. Skaters can bring their own skates or rent a pair. Lunchtime passes are available for downtowners looking to blow off some steam during the work day!

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