Ice Skating: Rinks in the Michigan Outdoors

By: Toni Cunningham | January 1, 2012

Like most, I’m not a huge fan of winter. Unfortunately, we Michiganders must make the best of the long frost. Engaging in winter sports is the perfect way to do just that, and ice skating falls at the top of my list.

In order to really get the full experience, I suggest heading to an outdoor rink. You can skate indoors any time, and the ambiance of skating al fresco is half the fun.

If you’re looking for an evening plucked straight out of a Hollywood film, The Rink at Campus Martius Park in Detroit is your best bet. With city lights a-twinkling and a 60 ft. holiday tree atop the Woodward Fountain, what could be more festive? The Rink officially opened for the season on Friday, November 16 and you can do your best Tara Lipinski impression through March 3.

Belleville’s Lower Huron Metropark has not one but three ice skating rinks—triple the opportunity to fall down in front of strangers! With heated restrooms and a toasty bonfire a few feet away, you won’t run the risk of getting frostbite. One rink is reserved for hockey only, so grab your gear and work out your frustrations over the NHL lockout.

Stony Creek Metropark in Shelby Township features an ice rink on Stony Creek Lake, providing a much larger canvas than a do-it-yourself rink in the backyard. If the weather outside is frightful, head to the “warming room,” which has a heated lobby and vending machines for when you work up an appetite. BYOS (bring your own skates), as rentals are not available.

The rinks at Kensington Metropark in Milford are divided into a hockey section and a free skate section to prevent any Henrik Zetterberg wannabes from crashing into the little ones while they’re teetering along. Both remain open until 9 p.m. and are well lit, so there’s no need to call it a day simply because the sun sets. Also BYOS.

As the snow begins to fall, don’t let seasonal affective disorder turn your days grey. Grab a friend, a pair of skates and hit the ice!