It used to be you only had one choice for a seasonal outdoor ice skating rink in Atlanta, but now there are lots of places to ice skate during the winter months, each with it’s own character. We’ve visited several Atlanta area ice skating rinks. Here are our favorites and what to consider about ice skating Atlanta style.
Ice Skating Atlanta | Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
I always wanted to be an Olympic ice skater when I was little. I’m too old for Olympic gold, but not too old to have fun ice skating with my kids at these seasonal outdoor ice rinks. Our family has visited most of the ice skating rinks in Atlanta and each one has it’s own unique character. We did a little comparison shopping of all the ice skating rinks in Atlanta and here’s what we found. Got a different opinion? Let us know.
Ice Skating Atlanta | Outdoor Ice Rink Reviews
Ice Skating Atlanta: The Rink at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park
Park Tavern, 500 10th St. N.E., Atlanta | 404-249-0001
Pros: This rink is housed in a tent on the Park Tavern patio, so unlike the others, it’s semi-inside. I loved the comfy couches and toasty fireplace. There’s also a full bar if you need an adult hot chocolate. The kid friendly version is pretty awesome too. The location off Piedmont Park can’t be beat and has a beautiful view of the Midtown Skyline. This rink is open through Valentine’s Day, so if you don’t get there over the holidays, there’s still time to skate after the other rinks end their season.
Cons: After 9 pm this rink is adults only. Parking in this area is tricky. You may want to go ahead and spring for paid parking in the lot next to The Park Tavern. The Park Tavern does not have trainers or other assistance for young skaters.
Ice Skating Atlanta: PNC Bank Skate at Atlantic Station
Pros: This outdoor ice rink feels most like one of the big city rinks in New York City. The rink is tucked in between skyscrapers with a seating area for folks to watch if they don’t want to get on the ice. They have a pretty good sized zamboni to keep the ice smooth too. When you are done with skating, check out the nightly snow shows, ride the train or just admire the huge Christmas tree in Central Park. There is a concession stand within a retail store front and a pleathora of food, drink and shopping options all around. Personally, I think Kilwin’s should set up a hot chocolate hut right outside the skating rink for some gourmet hot chocolate treats. For wee ones, double bladed skates are available, as well as skate trainers.
Cons: This ice skating rink is outside, which is wonderful on a beautiful evening, but not so great during rain or extremely cold weather. Free parking is available in the deck for up to two hours.
Ice Skating Atlanta: The St. Regis Astor Ice Rink
St. Regis Atlanta. 88 W. Paces Ferry Road | 404-563-7797
Pros: This is an intimate setting, only 30 people on the ice at a time. Perfect for younger kids who aren’t too sure of themselves. Staff wait on you as you would expect at the St. Regis. The hot chocolate is like drinking a chocolate bar and I loved the crunchy jimmies on top. If you’d rather, there is a full bar, so you can enjoy an adult beverage while the kids skate. If you have an extra $12, buy a s’more kit and roast marshmallows by the poolside fireplace. The life-sized gingerbread house in the lobby is not to be missed.
Cons: Price. At $30 for an adult and $18 for kids, this is the most expensive option and it’s only an hour of skate time.
Ice Skating Atlanta: Centennial Olympic Park Ice Rink
Centennial Olympic Park Drive N.W. Atlanta | 404-223-4412
Pros: This rink is the least expensive of the three above. I love the location in Centennial Olympic Park and at night the holiday lights in the park and on nearby buildings add a festive atmosphere. This is probably the biggest of the three rinks as well, so there is more space for skating.
Cons: This is by far the busiest of the three (at least when we went) and the little ones can get a bit overwhelmed with the crowds. The larger rink can also be a bit scary for those that don’t know how to skate. Parking downtown can be expensive.
Ice Skating Atlanta: Avalon Ice Skating Rink
2200 Avalon Blvd., Alpharetta | 770-765-1000
Pros: This Atlanta ice skating rink is similar to Atlantic Station. It’s a very family friendly rink and there are bathrooms nearby, as well as an indoor soft playground for the little ones that either can’t skate, or get a little too cold. Free parking nearby is always a plus. There are also plenty of shops nearby, including Goldberg’s where you can get a hot coffee and watch the skaters – there are plenty of places to comfortably watch them skate, or just sit in front of the fireplace on a comfy couch (although you won’t see the skaters from here). If your child wants to skate, but they don’t have skates small enough, ask about blades only that can be attached to their shoes.
Cons: This could be a pro, depending on where you are, but we live in-town, so Avalon is a bit of a hike for us. If you live on the north side of town, this rink will be super convenient.
Ice Skating Atlanta: Polar Ice Skating Rink Presented by Coca-Cola at Lake Lanier Islands
7000 Lanier Islands Parkway, Buford | 770-945-8787
Pros: This rink is right in the middle of the action at the Holiday Village. When you’re tired of skating, roast some marshmallows by the fire pits, shop in the holiday store or ride some carnival rides. It’s a decent sized rink and they have a zamboni golf cart that cleans the ice every two hours, so it’s fresh for guests.
Cons: The ice rink is in the middle of the Magic Nights of Lights at Lake Lanier Island, so you’ll want to see the lights while you are there as you’ll have to purchase an entry which is based per car. If you only want to skate, visit after 5 pm when skating is free.
Pros: The Marietta Square is a quaint, family friendly destination any time of year. Glover Park is surrounded by on street parking and lots of shops, restaurants, museums and even theaters. During the Marietta Square Winter Wonderland festival, there are holiday lights, music and the ice skating rink. After skating, visit Sarah Jeans Ice Cream for some tasty hot chocolate. This rink is open on Christmas and New Year’s Day.
Cons: This rink is quite small. We visited before it opened for a media event and the ice wasn’t quite frozen yet, so the quality of the actual skating is hard to say. The rink itself is only open through January 3, so make sure to go during the holidays.
Additional Ice Rinks we have not visited:
As Field Trips with Sue visits the ice rinks below, we’ll update this post with a review. In the meantime, if you’ve been and have some insight to share, please let me know by posting on Field Trips with Sue on Facebook or email me at sue (at) fieldtripswithsue.com.
- Ice Rink at Sugar Hill
5039 West Broad Street, Sugar Hill | 770-945-6716
- Olde Town, Conyers, Georgia
949 S. Main St., Conyers | 706-237-9796
- Marietta Ice Rink – This is an indoor hockey/skating facility, not a holiday rink.
- The Cooler, Alpharetta – This is also an indoor hockey/skating facility, not a holiday rink.
Got an opinion on these ice skating rinks in Atlanta? Tell us about it.