Sock skating on a wooden floor might be fun, but there’s nothing like feeling the cool breeze on your face as you glide across a real ice rink. It’s time to lace up your skates for an essential winter activity. Keep reading to find great places to skate outside. Some of them are new — and many are free!

Maggie Daley Park

The Maggie Daley Park ice skating ribbon is one of the best spots in the city to figure eight because of the stellar lake and city views. The railing that lines the loop is the perfect pick-me-up for wobbly skaters. 

Good to know: A skate assist penguin is available for use by skaters who need assistance. 

Skate rental is $16, $5 to skate with your own skates. 337 E. Randolph St., Loop. More Info

Watts Center at Watts Park

Double the fun! Watts Center boasts not one but two outdoor ice rinks. Tucked away in north suburban Glencoe, this gem offers plenty of free parking. Warm up in the rec room and grab a snack from the concession stand.

Bonus: Adjacent to the ice rinks is a sledding hill.

Nov. 27-Feb. 28; 305 Randolph St., Glencoe. More info.

— Maria Chambers & Amy Bizzarri

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