Locals and tourists hop on the ice at the Maggie Daley Park Skating Ribbon to enjoy a new view of the city.
Winter can be a great time to take advantage of everything Chicago’s downtown area has to offer. People embrace the cold weather by going to museums, shopping on Michigan Avenue, visiting the Christkindlmarket, seeing The Bean and much more. One of the most popular activities for visitors during this time is skating at the Maggie Daley Park Ice Skating Ribbon.
The unique skating venue opened for the season in November and plans to close on March 5. Throughout the holidays, families and tourists gathered to celebrate and catch a view of the city’s snowy skyline.
Initial ticket sales went live almost two weeks before the opening date with skaters paying $20 per session. Before jumping on the ice, the rink offers skates and locker rentals to participants.
In January, many of the people skating were students studying in Chicago looking to destress and have some fun over the weekend. Chicago residents Faiza Arif and Sara Tejeda visited the ice rink after a long school day.
“Since we are always so busy, this is just a nice way to enjoy the winter weather, relax and hang out,” Arif said.
When asked if they have any prior ice skating experience, Arif said, “Well, we’re Chicagoans, so a little,” to which Tejeda clarified that although they have skated before, they are not professionals.
DePaul University student Colleen Bryant’s first trip to the ribbon brought back memories of skating as a child. She enjoyed spending time at the ice rink alone and drinking hot chocolate.
“I have never been to the [Maggie Daley] ice skating rink, and I just wanted to try it out,” Bryant said.
First opened in the mid-1970s, Maggie Daley Park brings people together year round. The park was renamed in 2009 to honor Chicago’s first lady, Maggie Daley, who worked to help the youth of Chicago by creating multiple after-school programs for high school students.
Although the ribbon is a big attraction, it is just one of many activities offered at the park that make a day in the city all the better. During the warmer months, people can enjoy climbing walls, mini golf, tennis courts and rollerblading in the ribbon after the ice skating season has ended.
In celebration of DePaul’s 125-year anniversary, the university partnered with the Chicago Park Districts to provide free ice skating for 125 people at the ribbon on January 25. Those interested in participating can learn more here.
Header Illustration by Madeline Smith