Ice skating Atlanta style used to mean heading to Centennial Olympic Park, but now Atlanta has more than 15 seasonal ice skating rinks with two new ones added for 2017. Read on to help you choose the best ice skating rink in Atlanta for you, because each one has a little different character, and your kids aren’t welcome everywhere.
So whether you want to hit Atlantic Station or try the newest skating adventure at Ponce City Market or The Battery, we’ve got you covered!
Also, we frequently get requests like, “Help me find an ice skating rink near me,” so we’ve added a handy map of ice skating rinks in Atlanta at the end of this post.
Ice Skating: Atlanta ‘s Best Outdoor Ice Rinks
Atlantic Station | Centennial Olympic Park | Park Tavern | Avalon | Marietta Square | St. Regis | Lake Lanier | Ponce City Market Skate the Sky | Additional Rinks | New Ice Skating Rinks in Atlanta |Best for Teens| Adults Only
Courtesy of Atlantic Station
Skate Atlantic Station. Ice Skating amid gleaming skyscrapers on a chilly winter evening is magical. Outdoor ice skating in Atlanta has become quite popular over the years, and the Atlantic Station ice rink is one of the coolest venues because of it’s location among high-rise buildings.
Ice skating in Rockefeller Center is an iconic picture of holiday fun. But New York City is a bit far for an evening of skating. If you want to go ice skating in Atlanta amid skyscrapers, just like Rockefeller Center, then head to Atlantic Station’s 10,000 square foot track style rink.
The Atlantic Station ice skating rink is tucked between high-rise buildings, just one block off of Central Park, where the holiday tree is located. For those who aren’t interested in skating, there is ample seating to watch in a nice climate controlled area with food and your favorite beverage.
After skating, or just watching, there is a lot of holiday fun within the Atlantic Station complex or get a bite at one of the restaurants. My favorite is the nightly snow shows. The little ones will like the miniature train that takes them all around the station. A stop at Kilwin’s for hot chocolate or other sweet treats is also a must.
A few things to know before you go:
- The parking deck for Atlantic Station is underground. If you come up at Central Park, you’ll be one block away from the ice skating rink. Parking is free for up to two hours. Stairs 11 (orange), 12(green), 14, & 15 (both blue) are also adjacent to the Skate rink.
- The Atlantic Station ice skating rink is completely outside, and uncovered, which makes it really cool, unless it rains, then not so much. The colder it is, the better the ice, so if there are wintery temperatures, just bundle up.
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.
Atlantic Station has a pretty good-sized Zamboni (it’s actually a size for ice hockey rinks) to keep the ice smooth too. For wee ones, double bladed skates are available, as well as skate trainers.
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 plethora of food, drink and shopping options all around.
There are concessions, like warm nuts, hot cocoa and other seasonal munchies right next to the rink, or visit any of the 17 restaurants before or afterwards for more choices.
Cons: This ice skating rink is outside, which is wonderful on a beautiful evening, but not so great during rain or extremely cold weather. Warm weather can be a problem too because the ice won’t set up and it could be a bit watery on the ice. However, the biggest threat to the ice is actually rain.
**NOTE: The Park’s holiday lights and skating rink are on hiatus for the 2017 season, due to park construction.**
This is a nice size rink with good amenities. Couches and chairs line the waiting area and there is even a fireplace inside the bar area. Special rink desserts are available including gourmet hot chocolate with whipped cream and chocolate shavings – Mmmm. For those that just want to watch the little ones, there is a full bar available within the ice rink.
Tickets for The Aquafina Rink at Park Tavern must be ordered online. You can order them prior to going, or use a computer that has been set up at The Tavern for that purpose. Skate rentals are hockey skates and there is only one kind, so if you’re little princess wants skates like Olympic skaters, better bring your own.
Cost: $15 to skate all day on non-peak days, which includes rental for ice skates.
$20 all day skate during peak season days. *Guests are strongly encouraged to purchase tickets beforehand to verify availability. (Parking at The Tavern is $3 – $5)
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: 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.
Ponce City Market announced they will have an outdoor ice skating rink at the Skyline Park for 2017. That’s pretty exciting and should be quite a beautiful place to skate. We’ll update this once we’ve tried it out.
Note: On Fridays and Saturday after 5 pm, this rink is 21+ Only
Cost: Admission to The Roof is $15 per adult, $8 per child. 50 minutes of skating, and skates are included.
Pros: Skyline Park Atlanta invested in a cooler for this ice rink, which sits below the ice. This means that when the other rinks are melting, Skyline Park Atlanta will be solid ice. There’s also a tent covering so you can skate when it’s raining outside. We loved the views of the city too…and having Nine Mile Station right there. Light snacks, hot chocolate and a full bar are right off the rink.
Cons: Go “potty” before getting your kids on the rink…in order to go to the restroom, you have to remove your skates.
For a luxurious winter experience, take the family ice skating at the St. Regis Astor ice rink in Buckhead. This rink is an intimate affair, limited to only 30 people per hour. Parents sip cocktails ringside while kids glide around, or roast marshmallows nearby for s’mores.
Reservations are recommended, but when we went, there were still a few reservations that evening, so don’t assume they’re booked. However, as it gets closer to Christmas, things do get a bit more crowded, especially on the weekends.
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.
For more about Avalon Ice Skating, see our full post here: Festive Ice Skating at Avalon Mall
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.
This is not to be confused with the Marietta Ice Center (indoor ice hockey). This family friendly rink features include an open-air ice skating rink, Santa’s Workshop, and multi-story Christmas Tree. There are viewing areas on either side- Buddy the Elf can be spotted from there, skating and goofing in the park on Saturdays. There is a 15 foot toy soldiers greeting guests as they arrive, Reindeer Games to play in the park, a new Santa house, a peek inside a Toy Store and they have minted a beautiful commemorative coin to celebrate the holiday.
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, and into February.
Cons: This rink is quite small (for some, this is a PRO!)
Special thanks to Southern Family Fun for this sweet picture of her daughter at the rink.
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. They also have a huge tubing run which is a lot of fun.
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. In 2016 they changed this from a real ice rink to a plastic ice surface and added bubbles. The bubbles are fun, but the ‘ice’ is difficult to skate on and is not the same as a rink with real ice.
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.
- Athens on Ice. The Classic Center is home to the only indoor NHL-sized Ice Skating arena and outdoor skating pavilion. From late November to early January, the rink will be indoors, then moved to the outdoor pavilion from late January through mid-February.
- 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!
- Jekyll Island Ice Skating Village. The ice skating village at Jekyll Island is right off the beach
New Ice Skating Rinks in Atlanta for 2017
These three ice skating rinks are new for 2017. We’ll keep you posted on the pros and cons once we check them out.
- The Ice Rink @ North Georgia Premium Outlets. Enjoy a new rink in the parking lot of this Dawsonville shopping center.
- Skate the Sky at Ponce City Market. As an extension of Skyline Park, Skate the Sky rooftop ice-skating will take place at Rooftop Terrace, the Roof’s private event space.
- Augusta on Ice. This new rink is part of a whole winter village on the Augusta Common. In addition to the holiday ice rink, there is an ice slide, train ride, family friendly concerts, live music, dancing, s’mores, hot chocolate and lots of merry-making fun.
- Ice Skating at The Battery. The new home for ice skating this holiday season in Atlanta is right outside the home of the Atlanta Braves.
Ice Skating Atlanta: Best Place Teens
Ice skating at one of Atlanta’s outdoor rinks is the perfect teen date night or outing with friends because you can only do it for a few months out of the year. The limited availability makes it new and exciting each time. Plus the festive environment adds a bit of magic to the evening. Here is our pick of the best ice skating in Atlanta with teens.
The Rink at Park Tavern in Piedmont Park
This rink is housed in a tent on the Park Tavern restaurant patio, and it’s pretty much enclosed in a tent, so weather isn’t an issue. There are comfy couches (but not too comfy) and a fireplace if kids want to get off the ice and warm up a bit with some hot chocolate. The location off Piedmont Park can’t be beat and has a beautiful view of the Midtown Skyline, a perfect backdrop for selfies with friends or romantic view. Teens can feel grown up in the restaurant setting, and parents can feel good knowing there are other families skating too. Note: There is paid parking next to the Park Tavern and I’d suggest going ahead and doing that rather than trying to find free parking on the street. Police will boot your car in adjacent lots.
Skate at Atlantic Station
My favorite part about this rink is the setting amid the sky-scrapers. It makes me feel like I’m at a NYC rink like Bryant Park or Rockefeller Center. If teens get tired of skating, they can walk a block to Central Park to look at the Christmas tree or stroll amid the shops under the holiday lights. Kilwin’s is a great stop for something sweet or a hot chocolate. Parking here is underground and free for the first two hours.
Centennial Olympic Park Ice Rink
(Note this rink will not open in 2017 due to construction) I always see lots of teenagers at this skating rink. I’d go here with friends more so than on a date. Not sure why I say that, perhaps because it always seems busy with big groups of kids. When you’re done skating, it’s fun to walk through the lights in the park. Even though this is Downtown Atlanta, Centennial Park is the center of the tourist attractions in Atlanta and usually very active. There are several parking lots around Centennial Park, or if you’d rather not park in a lot, the Aquarium deck is also a good option.
Adults Only Ice Skating Atlanta
Some of the ice skating rinks in Atlanta are adults only during certain times. Here are a few.
Ponce City Market. On Fridays and Saturday after 5 pm, this rink is 21+ Only
The Rink at Park Tavern. After 8:30 pm, this rink is 16+ only.
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