Winter’s chill brings its own set of magic to Cincinnati, transforming the city into a wonderland perfect for ice skating enthusiasts like me. Whether you’re a seasoned pro gliding effortlessly across the ice or someone who’s still finding their balance, there’s something incredibly joyful about ice skating during the holiday season.

I’ve scoured the city, lace up my skates, and hit the ice at various rinks to bring you the ultimate guide to the best places for ice skating in Cincinnati. From picturesque outdoor rinks to state-of-the-art indoor facilities, there’s a spot for everyone to enjoy this winter tradition. So, let’s slide into the fun and explore where you can make your ice skating dreams come true right here in the Queen City.

Overview of Ice Skating in Cincinnati

When it comes to experiencing the joy of ice skating, Cincinnati has always held a special place in my heart. Each winter, I find myself lacing up my skates and embarking on a journey through the city’s top skating spots. From scenic outdoor rinks that sparkle under the holiday lights to state-of-the-art indoor facilities offering year-round ice time, Cincinnati truly provides a diverse ice skating experience fit for enthusiasts of all levels.

One of my favorite things about ice skating in Cincinnati is the sheer variety of options available. Whether you’re looking for a romantic evening gliding under the stars or a family-friendly outing on a Saturday afternoon, there’s a rink here that meets every need. Some rinks also offer lessons and hockey leagues, adding a competitive edge to the fun for those looking to improve their skills or engage in a bit of friendly competition.

Outdoor rinks in Cincinnati typically open their gates as soon as the temperatures allow, usually from late November through February. These rinks become magical winter wonderlands, offering picturesque backdrops of snow-covered trees and glowing cityscapes. On the other hand, indoor rinks serve as a perfect escape from the chill, allowing skaters to enjoy the ice regardless of the weather outside.

  • Fountain Square Ice Rink: Perhaps the most iconic, located right in the heart of downtown Cincinnati, offering breathtaking views of the city skyline.
  • Winterfest at Kings Island: Offers not only ice skating but a whole winter festival experience, complete with holiday-themed attractions.
  • Northland Ice Center: A favorite among competitive skaters and hockey players, providing a wide range of programs for all ages and levels.

For anyone new to ice skating or visiting Cincinnati during the winter months, I highly recommend giving these rinks a try. They each offer something unique, from the magical outdoor atmosphere of Fountain Square to the comprehensive ice sports programs at Northland Ice Center.

Don’t forget to dress warmly and maybe grab a hot chocolate after your skating session. There’s nothing quite like warming up with a hot drink after spending time on the ice. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or just looking to try something new, ice skating in Cincinnati is an experience you won’t want to miss.

Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks

Venturing into the crisp, open air to enjoy ice skating is a truly special experience. I’ve rounded up some of the best outdoor rinks in Cincinnati that you won’t want to miss. Each offers something unique, making them perfect for creating those cherished winter memories.

Fountain Square Ice Rink is a staple in Cincinnati’s winter scene. Situated in the heart of downtown with the city lights twinkling overhead, it’s an idyllic spot for both romance and family fun. There’s something magical about gliding across the ice here, surrounded by the buzz of the city. Plus, the rink often hosts themed nights and live music, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to your skating experience.

  • Location: Downtown Cincinnati
  • Unique Feature: City lights backdrop
  • Themes and Music: Often available

Next on my list is the Winterfest at Kings Island, a seasonal favorite that extends beyond just ice skating. The entire park transforms into a winter wonderland, complete with festive decorations and holiday music. The ice skating here is on a picturesque pond, making you feel like you’ve stepped into a classic holiday card. It’s not just about the skating; it’s about the immersive holiday experience.

  • Location: Kings Island
  • Unique Feature: Part of a larger holiday event
  • Extra Tips: Dress warmly and explore the whole park

For those who love the great outdoors and stunning views, Summit Park Ice Rink is a must-visit. This rink is a bit newer to the scene but has quickly gained popularity for its spacious size and beautiful park setting. Imagine skating with a backdrop of snow-covered trees and open skies. It’s also a great spot for beginners, as the open space allows for plenty of room to practice and fall without worry.

  • Location: Summit Park
  • Unique Feature: Natural park setting
  • Beginner Friendly: Spacious and open

Indoor Ice Skating Facilities

While outdoor ice skating has its charm, Cincinnati also offers fantastic indoor facilities that ensure the fun doesn’t have to stop due to weather conditions. I’ve had the pleasure to visit a few and trust me, each one delivers its unique ice-skating experience.

The Northland Ice Center is first on my list. It’s not just any indoor rink; it holds the title of being one of the oldest running year-round ice skating rinks in Cincinnati. The rink caters to all skill levels – from beginners trying to find their balance to seasoned skaters perfecting their triple axels. What I particularly enjoy here are the public skating sessions that feel incredibly welcoming and inclusive.

On the other side of town, Sports Plus is a haven for ice enthusiasts. It boasts two NHL-size rinks, which is a rarity in the area. What sets this place apart for me is its wide range of offerings, from hockey leagues to figure skating classes, and even curling! The facilities are top-notch, and the staff is incredibly helpful, making every visit a breeze.

Finally, there’s the Cincinnati Skating School, which, though not a rink itself, operates out of several ice arenas in the city. This school offers programs for all ages and abilities, focusing on fostering a love for skating. I’ve seen firsthand the joy it brings to individuals who take their first steps on the ice here, and it’s genuinely heartwarming.

Here’s a quick rundown of what each facility offers:

Facility Offers Highlights
Northland Ice Center Public sessions, Figure Skating, Hockey Oldest rink, Welcoming atmosphere
Sports Plus Hockey, Figure Skating, Curling, Public Skating Two NHL-size rinks, Wide range of sports
Cincinnati Skating School Skating Programs for all ages Operates in multiple arenas, Inclusive programs

For those who prefer the warmth while enjoying some ice time, these indoor facilities in Cincinnati are perfect. Each location brings something special to the table, ensuring that your love for ice skating continues to grow, no matter the season. Whether you’re looking to casually glide across the ice, learn from seasoned professionals, or watch an exciting game of hockey, there’s something here for everyone.

Family-Friendly Ice Skating Venues

When it comes to enjoying ice skating with the family, Cincinnati doesn’t disappoint. The city offers several venues that cater specifically to families, ensuring a fun and safe experience for everyone, regardless of age or skating proficiency. I’ve had the pleasure of visiting these places myself, and I’m excited to share what makes each of them special.

One of the top spots on my list is The Fountain Square Ice Rink. What sets it apart is not just the ice-skating experience but also the vibrant atmosphere of downtown Cincinnati that surrounds it. During the winter months, the rink becomes a magical place for families, with music playing in the background and the city lights twinkling. What’s more, it’s affordable, making it a great option for a family day out. The area is outfitted with amenities to ensure everyone’s comfort, including a heated tent for changing shoes and sipping hot cocoa.

Then there’s Miami Whitewater Forest Ice Skating Rink, nestled in one of the most picturesque parks in Cincinnati. This venue takes pride in its natural setting, offering a serene ice-skating experience amidst the beauty of a winter landscape. It’s particularly appealing to families who enjoy combining physical activity with an appreciation for nature. The rink provides rental equipment, and the staff are always ready to assist beginners or children taking their first steps on the ice.

For those seeking an indoor option, Northland Ice Center deserves a mention. It’s not only one of the oldest year-round rinks in Cincinnati but also one of the most welcoming to families. They have various programs tailored for children, including ice hockey and figure skating lessons. Public skating sessions are thoughtfully scheduled to cater to families looking to spend quality time together. The center’s warm and inclusive atmosphere makes everyone feel at home, right from the moment they step in.

Venue Highlights
The Fountain Square Ice Rink Outdoor, vibrant atmosphere, affordable
Miami Whitewater Forest Rink Natural setting, serene, rental equipment
Northland Ice Center Year-round, family programs, inclusive

Tips for a Memorable Ice Skating Experience

Heading out for an ice skating adventure in Cincinnati, I’ve picked up a few tips over the years that can turn a regular outing into a cherishable memory. Whether you’re a seasoned skater or it’s your family’s first glide across the ice, these pointers ensure everyone has a fantastic time.

First and foremost, dress in layers. The climate in Cincinnati can be unpredictable, and while it may feel chilly when you first hit the ice, you’ll warm up as you move. A good base layer, combined with a waterproof outer layer, keeps you comfortable and dry. Don’t forget gloves or mittens, not just for warmth but also to protect your hands should you take a tumble.

Choosing the right time to visit the rinks can make all the difference. Weekends and holidays are naturally busier, so if you’re looking for a more relaxed experience, try going on a weekday. The ambient lighting during evening sessions at places like The Fountain Square Ice Rink adds a magical touch to the experience, making it especially memorable.

For families or beginners, taking a short lesson can be a game-changer. Many rinks, including Northland Ice Center, offer group or private lessons. Even learning the basics can boost your confidence on the ice, ensuring you spend more time enjoying the glide and less time worrying about falling.

Packing snacks or planning for meal breaks is another tip I’ve found invaluable, especially with kids. While most venues have concessions, bringing your own snacks ensures you have favorites on hand and can save a little money, too. For a special treat, combine your ice skating day with trying a new restaurant or café in the city – it’s a great way to warm up and refuel.

Finally, don’t forget to capture the moment. Whether it’s a selfie, a group shot, or a candid moment of laughter caught on camera, these photos are treasures. But remember, it’s not just about the pictures – it’s about being present and making memories together, so balance capturing the moment with living in it.


I’ve shared some of my favorite spots and tips to make your ice skating adventure in Cincinnati unforgettable. Whether you’re gliding under the stars at Fountain Square or perfecting your pirouette at Northland Ice Center, there’s something magical about hitting the ice. Remember, it’s all about enjoying the moment, whether you’re a seasoned skater or stepping onto the ice for the first time. So lace up those skates, dress warmly, and get ready to create some wonderful winter memories. I can’t wait to hear about your experiences and see the city’s ice rinks through your eyes. Happy skating!


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