The beloved winter pastime of ice skating is alive and well in the city known to many as Hotlanta. Between seasonal venues and year-round destinations, northern transplants who grew up on the ice and southerners who enjoy the occasional twirl around the rink can lace up their skates for an afternoon or evening of frosty fun. From hockey and figure skating lessons to birthday parties and public skate times, there’s something for everyone at the following locations that offer up some of the best ice skating in Atlanta.
Centennial Olympic Park’s Ice Rink
Centennial Olympic Park
265 Park Ave. West N.W.
Atlanta, GA 30313
Open now through January 27, 2014, this particular outdoor ice rink is set in the heart of Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park. A terrific way to enjoy a winter’s day in the city, it’s the closest thing the south has to New York’s famed ice rink at Rockefeller Center and only costs a reasonable $10/person to skate, which includes skate rental. Visitors can use the rest of the afternoon to tour their fair city from the back of a horse-drawn carriage or in the warmth of one of Atlanta’s nearby venues, like World of Coca-Cola, Georgia Aquarium or ImagineIt! Children’s Museum – just across the street.
Reynolds Plantation Ice Skating Rink
The Ritz Carlton Lodge, Reynolds Plantation
1 Lake Oconee Trail
Greensboro, Georgia 30642
Serving as a seasonal homage to the days of “Currier & Ives,” Reynolds Plantation’s ice rink at the Ritz Carlton Lodge is open now through February 22, 2014. After a few trips around the rink, guests can warm themselves from the inside out with a perfectly prepared cup of hot chocolate. Admission to the ice rink is complimentary for overnight guests of the Ritz Carlton, providing a very convincing argument for an impromptu ice skating staycation.
The Ice Forum
2300 Satellite Blvd.
Duluth, GA 30097
3061 George Busbee Parkway
Kennesaw, GA 30144
Providing two locations to serve southern skate fans year-round, the Ice Forum offers public skate times plus youth hockey, adult hockey, figure skating, skating classes and a unique spot for birthday parties. The Ice Forum’s most exciting claim to fame is that it serves as the official practice facility of the Gwinnett Gladiators minor league ice hockey team.
The Cooler – Alpharetta Family Skate Center
10800 Davis Drive
Alpharetta, GA 30004
Touting the tagline “where fitness meets fun,” Alpharetta Family Skate Center (aka The Cooler) offers up two ice rinks and one roller rink for skate fans of both the blade and wheel variety. In addition to public skate times, hockey, figure skating, group classes, and birthday party packages, The Cooler offers a state-of-the-art fitness center for a full-on winter workout experience.
Marietta Ice Center
4880 Lower Roswell Road
Marietta, GA 30068
Home to both the Empire Junior Hockey League and United States Premier Hockey League divisions of the Atlanta Knights, Marietta Ice Center (aka The MIC) is a sprawling ice complex that offers public skate times, group skate lessons, hockey lessons, youth hockey, adult hockey, synchronized skating, freestyle figure skating and even curling – an ice-based sport that is similar to shuffleboard.
Kasie Bolling is a freelance writer covering all things Atlanta. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.