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During the winter months some of the world most attractive settings are converted into ice skating rinks. This list features the largest, most spectacular and attractive outdoor ice rinks around the world. They offer a great winter activity and the opportunity to have some fun in the cold winter air.
At 5 km (3 miles), FlevOnice is the Netherland’s longest artificial ice rink. Thanks to the myriad of canals and rivers, skaters in the Netherlands can enjoy courses of up to 200km, but these courses only freeze over during cold winters. The five meter wide track of FlevOnice has cooling elements that guarantee real ice. It operates every year during the winter months, about 100 days in the year.
10. Fuji-Q Highland
flickr/liquidxFuji-Q Highland is an amusement park near the base of Mount Fuji in Fujiyoshida. It has a number of roller coasters, as well as The Haunted Hospital, the world’s largest haunted attraction. In winter the park features the largest outdoor ice skating rink in Japan with an ice area of 165,750 square feet (equal to 3.8 acres).
8. McCormick Tribune Ice Rink
flickr/kern.justinChicago’s Millennium Park is a public park near the Lake Michigan shoreline. It was opened in 2004. The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink within the park, is a free public outdoor ice skating rink. It is generally open four months a year, from mid-November until mid-March, when it hosts over 100,000 skaters annually. For the rest of the year, it serves as Park Grill Plaza, Chicago’s largest outdoor dining facility.
7. Rideau Canal
flickr/XiaozhuliThe Rideau Canal is a scenic canal that connects the cities of Kingston and Ottawa in Ontario, Canada. The canal was opened in 1832 as a precaution in case of war with the United States and is still in use today. In winter, a section of the Rideau Canal passing through central Ottawa becomes one of the world’s largest outdoor ice skating rinks. The cleared length of the ice rink is 7.8 kilometers (4.8 miles).
6. Red Square Ice Rink
photo: reutCFor the fifth consecutive year Moscow has an ice rink on the Red Square. Beautifully illuminated, the ice rink lures Muscovites and tourists to enjoy skating on one of the world’s most famous city squares. It has been the stage for ice shows by Olympic figure skaters and ice hockey veterans have played an exhibition match here.
5. Somerset House
flickr/nick_blickSommerset House features London’s original and most beautiful outdoor ice rink in the winter seasons. During daytime visitors can skate in the spectacular setting of Somerset House’s 18th century courtyard. As darkness falls the rink is transformed by flaming torches and architectural lighting to illuminate the classical facades of the building.
4. Nathan Phillips Square
flickr/bensonkuaLocated in front of City Hall, Nathan Phillips Square is a city square in the center of Toronto, Canada. During the summer the square is in motion daily, with concerts and dance performances. In the winter months, the reflecting pool becomes an ice skating rink, with skates available for rental. Ice skating during the winter months runs from mid-November to mid-March each year.
3. Rockefeller Center
flickr/jeffpearceProbably the most famous ice rink in the world, the Rockefeller Center ice rink has become a quintessential New York City winter experience for generations. Here you’ll find New Yorkers and tourists alike, skating amid the watchful eye of the gilded Prometheus statue and the unique urban backdrop of Rockefeller Center’s sparkling lights.
2. Vienna Ice Dream
flickr/J..RWiener Eistraum (Viennese Ice Dream) is an annual ice skating event organized by the city of Vienna in Austria right in front of the Rathaus (City Hall). From January to March the City Hall Square is transformed into a large ice rink. Besides the main ice skating ring, you can also skate along a 415 meter (1,361 feet) long ice skating trail through the Rathauspark, or try one of the six curling rings.
1. Wollman Rink
flickr/James TroshWollman Skating Rink is an outdoor ice rink in the southern part of Central Park, New York City. With a backdrop of Manhattan skyscrapers it is one of the most picturesque skating rinks in the world. The rink was opened in 1949 with funds donated by Kate Wollman. It is open for ice skating from October to April and in the summer seasons is transformed into a venue for other purposes.