Augustaplatz in Baden-Baden, Germany
During the summer months, Augustaplatz is a shallow pond with a massive fountain in front of the city congress building and Evangelical Church. However, once the weather gets colder and the snow starts falling, the fountain gets turned off and the pond becomes public ice skating rink for everyone to enjoy.
Fuji-Q Highland in Fujiyoshida, Japan
Fuji-Q Highland is an amusement park at the base of beautiful Mount Fuji. During the summer months, huge roller coasters give thrill-seekers amazing views of Mount Fuji before they fly down the tracks at top speed.
However, when winter hits, many of the roller coasters close down and a giant outdoor ice rink opens up. Measuring 3.8 acres, this ice rink is the largest outdoor ice rink in Japan and among the top 10 largest rinks in the world.
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink in Chicago, Illinois, US
McCormick Tribune Ice Rink is located in Chicago’s front lawn – Millennium Park. Thousands of gallons of water Lake Michigan and pumped onto the rink, frozen and smoothed out. Usually, the area is known as Park Grill Plaza, Chicago’s largest outdoor dining facility. However, for four months of the year it serves at the city’s premiere outdoor ice rink. Over 100,000 skaters use this rink each year.
FlevOnice in Biddinghuizen, Netherlands
creativecommons.org/JoopDorresteijnDue to the many canal systems in the Netherlands, ice skating is a popular winter pastime. These long canals can sometimes reach lengths of 200 kilometres, but they only freeze solid enough in the coldest of winters – so in milder weather they are not safe. To appease the skating masses, many artificial rinks have popped up. FlevOnice is the biggest artificial ice rink in the world. FlevOnice is not a traditional circular ice rink – it’s more like a five-kilometre race track that’s set up in lines with many twists and turns.
Rideau Canal in Kingston and Ottawa, Ontario
When the Canadian winter sets in, the Rideau Canal becomes one of the largest natural outdoor ice rinks in the world, at a length of 7.8 kilometres. Once the canal freezes and is deemed safe, skaters from both towns can ice skate from one town to the other.
Vienna Ice Dream in Vienna, Austria
Vienna Tourist Board
The Wiener Eistraum, or Viennese Ice Dream, is a gift from the city of Vienna to its citizens and visiting guests. Each year, the city fills City Hall Square with water and turns it into a giant public ice rink. The ice rink also connects to the city’s 415-metre-long ice skating trail.
What really sets the Vienna Ice Dream apart is its sheer beauty – especially at night. When the sun goes down and the strings of lights running along the City Hall building frame turn on, the whole area seems a winter wonderland.
Red Square Ice Rink in Moscow, Russia
For the last six years, Moscow has hosted a beautifully-lit and decorated ice rink on what is considered to be one of the most famous city squares in the world. Hockey veterans frequently play on the ice for exhibition matches and Olympic figure skaters also put on shows for Moscow locals and visiting guests alike.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess Desert Ice Holiday Rink in Scottsdale, Arizona, US
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
Located Scottsdale, Arizona — the last place you would expect to find an ice rink — is the Desert Ice Holiday Ice Rink, which is nestled within a picturesque Cactus Garden. As it would be rather pricey to keep this artificial ice rink open all year round, as the ice is created via cooling elements underwater, the rink is only open from November through January. Though those months may mean winter for most of the United States, it is still fairly warm in Scottsdale!
Rockefeller Center Ice Rink in New York City, US
creativecommons.org/ggvicThe ice skating rink outside of Rockefeller Center in New York City is probably the most famous ice rink in the United States — if not the world. Each holiday season, Rockefeller Plaza is filled with water and becomes a beloved hang out for both native New Yorkers and tourists. With the towering cityscape as a backdrop, this is still a very romantic location for an ice rink. Although many visitors opt for the slightly less crowded Wollman Skating Rink in nearby Central Park, Rockefeller Ice Rink is still New York City’s most popular option for this particular winter sport.