Ice skating places near the Twin Cities feature winter fun


Blake Mesenburg

The ROC is a popular place for skating and pick-up hockey. It is just one of the options in the Twin Cities for skating fun.

Blake Mesenburg, Staff Writer

As the temperature continues to drop and walls of makeshift ice skating rinks pop up around the metro’s parks, Minnesotans welcome back the state’s pastime: ice skating. For a kid in Minnesota learning how to ice skate is a right of passage. From birthday parties to phy ed class, ice skating is a prerequisite for any child growing up in Minnesota. 

All the guys show up, and sometimes we will play against St. Louis Park kids.

— Dylan Rash

On October 12th, the local St. Louis Park Rec Center, home of the Benilde St. Margaret’s boys’ and girls’ hockey teams, opened their outdoor rink. It is a refrigerated rink with lights and a cover for dark snowy nights. The outdoor rink at the Rec Center is a common spot for many BSM students. “A bunch of us guys will talk at school and plan to meet up at night to play some pick-up hockey at the ROC (SLP Rec Center outdoor rink) before the lights go out at 10. “All the guys show up, and sometimes we will play against St. Louis Park kids,” senior Dylan Rash said. 

Off of France Avenue in southeast Edina is Centennial Lakes. In the summer, it is a spot to paddle boat and play mini-golf. In the winter, as the water freezes, it becomes an outdoor rink. There are a variety of ponds that are connected by skatable paths under bridges. There is a large warming house with a fire and snack bar for when it gets too cold. It is a great place to learn how to skate or bring a date to skate around under the bridges. Aside from the Quinn Cup, which was a Common Basket at BSM two years ago, no hockey is allowed at Centennial Lakes. “The Quinn Cup is an annual three vs three tournament for Mites and Squirts. It is run by a family who lost their son due to a heart condition. They raise money to be donated to go to research for a heart condition,” freshman Ryan Baird said.

Deep in the heart of Edina are the neighborhoods that run along Minnehaha Creek. On any given night you will see a flurry of activity from figure skaters to pick up hockey games. There is a sense of gathering and connection in the area as the neighborhood prepares their rinks for all the kids. In certain areas, you can stand in someone’s backyard and be looking at upwards of 10 rinks within 20 yards of each other. “It’s always a good time when we are playing hockey with some neighbors and friends outside. We will meet up and play on one rink and as the ice gets snowy we will move over to the next rink that has fresh ice,” sophomore Mitchell Dokman said. 

Minnesota is the land of 10,000 lakes, which also means it is the land of 10,000 options for outdoor ice rinks. Give skating a spin this winter. Pull out the skates or rent a pair at SLP Rec Center and skate at the outdoor rink with some friends. If you would rather enjoy the warm indoors then try out open skating at your local arena on the weekends.