As the temperatures drop and the snow falls, most of us want to take part in all of the fun wintry activities that go with the season. While skiing and snowshoeing are all fine and well, perhaps nothing sums up the winter season better than lacing up some ice skates and practicing your attempts at triple axles. All around the world, you can find unique rinks that are above and beyond your average rectangles of ice. We have rounded up some of the coolest ice skating rinks around the world from on top of the Eiffel Tower to the possibility of skating in between your connecting flight in Denver.
Rideau Canal Skateway
Set up in Ottawa, Canada, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Rideau Canal transforms each winter into the world’s largest ice skating rink. Known as the Rideau Canal Skateway, the rink winds through the heart of Ottawa, from the downtown area to Dows Lakes. Stretching 7.8 kilometers, this Canadian ice rink is bigger than 105 National Hockey League rinks or more than 90 Olympic-sized hockey rinks. The Rideau Canal Skateway hosts on average 19,000 visitors daily during the winter, including many Ottawans using the rink as a means to get to school or work. If you need a break while skating those 7.8 kilometers, there are plenty of vendors located on the ice serving up drinks and snacks along with heated changing huts. The skating season typically runs from January until late February and admission is free.
Dubai Ice Rink
There is perhaps nothing quite like strapping on some skates in the middle of a desert. In Dubai, you can do just that at the Dubai Ice Rink. Located in the Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, the Olympic-sized rink makes it possible to partake in a classic wintertime activity despite being in the desert of the Middle East. In addition to just your regular old ice skating, the Dubai Ice Rink also hosts a whole slew of programs including skating lessons, disco sessions and snowfall skating where you can skate as snow falls, the only place snow falls in Dubai.
Eiffel Tower Ice Rink
Cool might not even cut it when it comes to the Eiffel Tower Ice Rink. Perched on the first floor observation deck of Paris’ most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower Ice Rink makes it possible to skate literally on the Eiffel Tower. Covering 190 square meters of ice and towering 57 meters over Paris, you can ice skate with commanding views of the City of Light. Open mid-December through mid-February, the rink takes on different themes each year. 2016 is focused on ice hockey. You can even take an ice hockey lesson free of charge! The rink also features a bar at the edge offering food and drink in between all of your twists and turns on the ice.
Denver International Airport Ice Rink
Have a long layover in Denver this holiday season? Denver International Airport is making the holidays at the airport much more bearable by opening up an ice skating rink for the first time in 2016. In partnership with United Airlines, the rink sits in an open-air plaza at the airport. Since it is pre-security, the public can strap on their skates and hear planes takeoff and land in the process no matter if they are catching a flight or not. Free and open daily from late November to January, the airport ice rink also features carolers, a holiday market and screenings of classic holiday films throughout December.
Red Square Ice Rink
Settled in front of the GUM department store, Moscow offers travelers and locals alike the chance to ice skate with St. Basil’s Cathedral and the Kremlin watching your ice skating moves. Easily the most famous rink in the city, the Red Square Ice Rink measures 32,000 square feet. It takes up a quarter of the historic Moscow square and is open late so that you can skate as long as your feet can stand it.
Tower of London Ice Rink
Right next to the crown jewels and London’s most famous castle on the north bank of the River Thames, you can lace up your figure skates and skate on a centuries-old moat in London. Called the Tower of London Ice Rink, the rink not only lets you skate on top of a moat, a rarity in itself, but you also get to skate while the Tower of London looks on at your moves. Skating runs from mid-November to the first week of January. At night, hundreds of snowflake-shaped lights cast a glow on the castle wall. The rink also features an onsite pop up bar and lounge made entirely of ice.
Love ice skating? Share your favorite ice skating rink in the world with us in the comments below!