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. We frequently get requests like, “Help me find an ice skating rink near me!” Whether you want to hit Atlantic Station or try the newest skating adventure at Marietta Square or Jekyll Island, we’ve got you covered!
Ice Skating Atlanta | Outdoor Ice Skating Rinks
From November -February, visitors can lace up and Skate Atlantic Station style! This unique, 10,000-square-foot, open-air track-style rink will offer a magical winter atmosphere to skaters. Dazzling lights and holiday décor will have skaters dreaming of a white Christmas. Don;t forget you’ll get two hours of validated parking if you make a purchase. Christmas music plays in the background and lockers are available. The ice is real, so keep an eye out for the Zamboni. Last year many people reported that the skates were uncomfortable. I imagine that is because the rink (and skates) were new. They should be broken in by now! DISCOUNT TICKETS HERE
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.
The Centennial Olympic Park Ice Rink and the Holiday in Lights display in Downtown Atlanta kicked off in November. The Ice Rink is centrally located steps away from many popular Downtown attractions. Preparation for this year’s Holiday in Lights began in early September, when over 180 volunteers worked to string 10,000 feet of lights! You’ll aslo find a 40-foot Christmas tree and other lighted holiday displays to make over 150,000 lights total throughout the Park glitter this holiday season.
The 115-by-64 foot ice rink features the Coca-Cola© Skate Cam where skaters can see themselves on the ice as well as view special programming throughout the season. In addition, the ice rink offers its very own concessions with carnival favorites like funnel cakes, fried PB&J, and corndogs. There is also hot chocolate, a make-your-own s’mores station and apple cider. Private restrooms and lockers available.
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.
The Rink at Park Tavern can accommodate approximately 200 skaters at a time and it is 85 feet long and 40 feet wide. At 8:30pm the SW Rink is a 16+ venue until Midnight (last year is was 21+.) We love skating here because… well… it’s a tavern! Great food, and tons of fun.
The Rink is in a fully enclosed heated and air-conditioned tent. Amenities include: lighting for day & night skating, a heated tent or air conditioned tent (depending on the weather), piped-in music with a mega sound system and rink-side dining. Ice-skating is available “Rain or Shine!” DISCOUNT TICKETS HERE.
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.
During the holiday season, Avalon will turn the Plaza into an ice-skating rink that will be the size of the intimate Rockefeller Plaza. Open from late Nov. to mid-February, the rink will be surrounded by twinkling lights, a gingerbread house, and other holiday decorations, creating a magical experience for kids of all ages.
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.
Not to be confused with the Marietta Ice Center (indoor ice hockey,) Marietta Square annonced a new holiday ice rink this year. Features are to include an open-air ice skating rink, Santa’s Workshop, multi-story Christmas Tree and the inaugural New Year’s Eve Celebration. While it is made of real ice, the venue is small, with a neighborhood feel. Great for those who live nearby!
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.
The Astor Holiday Ice Skating Rink harkens back to the elegant era of the distinguished Astor family who founded the flagship St. Regis New York in 1904. Under the warm glow of twinkling lights, glide around the exquisite ice rink to sounds of holiday melodies and enjoy seasonal favorites including hot cocoa and s’mores. Reservations are recommended.
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.
There’s exciting news for Lake Lanier fans: Ice Skating is now included with admission to Lanier Islands Christmas. Skate rental and ice skating are free after 5pm.
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.
Additional Ice Rinks we have not visited:
As we 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 us know.
- Ice Rink at Sugar Hill. 5039 West Broad Street, Sugar Hill | 770-945-6716
- 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.
- Olde Town Conyers Pavilion. Experience an indoor/outdoor rink for the family in a botanical setting.
- Reynolds Plantation. If you happen to be staying with Reynolds Plantation this year – and holy cannoli, do they have some great holiday packages and events – then you an experience ice skating and a life-size gingerbread house. WOW!