Even though I complain about the cold, one of my favorite things about Minnesota is that even in the cold winter months we Minnesotans still find a way to have a great time outdoors. For example, outdoor ice skating! And our free rinks in Rochester, Minnesota will be open soon.

The other weekend my husband, myself, and my family went to check out the European Christmas Market at the Union Depot in St. Paul. It was a super cool event that I would definitely recommend checking out if you can. It was also literally cool because the event is entirely outside and the high was something like 17 degrees that day. But that didn't matter. Everyone bundled up, grabbed plenty of hot mulled wine, and had a great time.

So even when it's super cold outside, we still figure out a way to have fun outdoors, whether that's going to an outdoor event, sledding, skiing, hiking, or ice skating.


Rochester's Free Outdoor Ice Rinks

There's both public outdoor skating available and also outdoor hockey rinks plus warming sheds for those really cold days.

This is all put on by Rochester Parks and Recreation. Right now they don't have an official date that they'll have the rinks open (because, ya know, Minnesota weather) but they plan to open the rink sometime mid to late December. On their website, they say that they tentatively plan to have the warming houses opened on Monday, December 26th as long as the rinks are ready to go. They'll be open until late February or early March depending on the weather.

Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash
Photo by Chris Liverani on Unsplash
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Rochester Outdoor Ice Rink Locations

There are a few different locations for skating. The track oval will be at Soldiers Field Park along with a warming house and lights for night skating. At the Soldiers Field location, they'll also offer skate rentals for $3 on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 4 PM starting on January 7th.

The other spot open for public skating is what they call the studio rink. That will be at Southern Woods Park but there will not be a warming house, no lights, and no skate rentals either.

Then there are plenty of locations for outdoor hockey rinks. Those locations are Allendale Park, Manor Park, Lincolnshire Park, Viking Park, Northern Heights Park, Withers Sports Complex, Soldiers Field Park, and Bear Creek Park. All of them will have a warming house and lights for when it gets dark except Bear Creek Park (they won't have either) and Viking Park (they won't have a warming house but there will be lights).

When there is an official opening date for the ice rinks that will be shared on the City of Rochester Facebook and the Rochester Parks and Recreation Facebook.

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