Denver

Where to Go Ice Skating in Denver This Winter

Don't miss your chance.

Photo courtesy of Downtown Denver Rink
Photo courtesy of Downtown Denver Rink
Photo courtesy of Downtown Denver Rink

Now that we’re pretty much into the thick of winter, it’s time to jump headfirst into the best winter activities (if you haven’t already, because Colorado). A seasonal favorite among many is, of course, ice skating, which you can enjoy outside and in throughout the winter season. Though two beloved destinations-one in Belmar center and one at DIA-won’t be hosting rinks this year, there are plenty of other places to get your skate on. And the great thing about going ice skating is no one really expects you to be the next Michelle Trachtenberg. You’re free to latch desperately onto that railing and shuffle your way around the rink and maybe have a few wipeouts and no one will judge. Not even that four-year-old doing a triple in the center of the ice. Show-off.

Evergreen Lake

Evergreen
This lake is popular for all kinds of activities all year long but something about skating in the fresh air surrounded by that Evergreen aesthetic is just… special. The team at the Evergreen Parks and Recreation Department is currently waiting for Mother Nature to cooperate so the lake can freeze and skating can commence (we did just have a sporadic bit of December wildfires, if don’t recall) but the hope is that within the next month, winter will catch up and you can skate your heart out. Hours are typically Monday through Friday, 3 pm – 7 pm, Saturdays 8 am – 7 pm and Sundays 8 am – 7 pm, all weather permitting. You can also call the Skating Hotline to double check availability prior to setting out for Evergreen. Admission is $10 and skate rentals are $7, with private parties, Broomball, and a ton of other add-ons available to make your skating experience even better.

Photo courtesy of Downtown Denver Rink
Photo courtesy of Downtown Denver Rink
Photo courtesy of Downtown Denver Rink

Downtown Denver Rink

Central Business District
Perhaps the most popular and most centrally located is the Downtown Denver Ice Rink presented by Southwest Airlines, right on the 16th Street Mall. Through December 24, the rink is open Monday through Thursday 11 am – 7 pm and Fridays and Saturdays 10 am – 10 pm, switching to 10 am – 10 pm Monday through Saturday and 11 am – 6 pm on Sundays after Christmas. Then expect another schedule change from January 10 through February 20 to close out the season. All ages are welcome, and skate rentals are $9 for adults and $7 for kids 12 and under, but you skate free if you bring your own. Assisted skate walkers are also available for $5. Unique opportunities include hosting private parties and you’re very much encouraged to build a team for the annual Broomball Challenge, happening January 3 – February 10, 2022.

Louisville WinterSkate

Louisville
Enjoy the absolute charm that is historic downtown Louisville in addition to visiting the WinterSkate rink, a holiday must for locals. The rink actually has a lengthy history itself, having moved several times over the course of its life, which technically was thought up way back in the 1950s. Skating hours are Monday through Wednesday from 3 pm – 7 pm, Thursdays from 3 pm – 9 pm, Fridays from 3 pm – 10 pm, Saturdays from 11 am – 10 pm, and Sundays from 11 am – 8 pm, with hours varying based on holidays and school vacations. Admission is $10 for adults and kids 4 years and older, and children 3 and under skate free. Plus, admission covers complementary skate rentals if you don’t have your own. Expect the full holiday experience when you do decide to go, complete with holiday music, free horse-drawn carriage rides through the holidays and free parking (name a better holiday treat, we’ll wait).

Parker Parks and Recreation
Parker Parks and Recreation
Parker Parks and Recreation

Parker Ice Trail

Parker
Over in Parker-next to its library at Discovery Park-is its famed Ice Trail, one of the only ice trails in the country. Skate for a while then warm up at one of three fire pits alongside the trail or with hot chocolate in hand while watching other skaters pass by. Admission is $8 for adults and kids 11 years and older, $6 for kids 10 years and under, and skate rentals are $4. You can also purchase a four-visit pass for $38, which includes admission and skate rental, and private rink and birthday parties rentals are available and encouraged. Hours are Monday through Friday, 5 pm – 9 pm, Saturdays 11 am – 9 pm, and Sundays 11 am – 7 pm.

Photo courtesy of The Pond at Southlands
Photo courtesy of The Pond at Southlands
Photo courtesy of The Pond at Southlands

The Pond at Southlands

Aurora
For those closer to the eastern side of Denver, purchase tickets in advance or simply show up ready to skate at Aurora’s Pond at Southlands, right by the AMC on Town Square. Admission is $12 and hours are Monday through Thursday 4 pm – 9 pm, Fridays 4 pm – 10 pm, Saturdays 11 am – 10 pm and Sundays 11 am – 7 pm. Be sure to bring your mask if you’re renting skates, as they’re required within the skate rental space for ages 2 and up. But most importantly, enjoy yourself with friends or family for daily skating throughout the entire winter season.

Indoor, year-round public skates

Various locations
In addition to our favorite outdoor and seasonal rinks, don’t forget that you can skate virtually any time of year in Denver at one of the local ice rinks. Check out Littleton’s Edge Ice Arena (and stop by the Penalty Bar and Grill for a cold beer and some pub grub after) or Ice Ranch (complete with Ice Ranch Coffee Co.), Apex Center Ice Arena in Arvada, Big Bear Ice Arena in Lowry, or Family Sports Ice Arena in Centennial for a varied schedule of public skates or drop-in hockey to keep your skating fix going year-round.Want more Thrillist? Follow us on InstagramTwitterPinterestYouTubeTikTok, and Snapchat.

Erica Buehler is a Denver-based freelance writer. Follow her @e_buehler on Instagram and @e_buehler_ on Twitter for more updates on Denver food and other Mile High shenanigans.

Denver

How to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Denver This Year

For a successful St. Patrick's Day, hit these parades, barcrawls, parties, and festivals.

VISIT DENVER
VISIT DENVER
VISIT DENVER

Grab your green and your Guinness-St. Patrick’s Day is around the corner, and there’s fun to be had. In addition to being the first big celebratory holiday after New Year’s, St. Paddy’s is also a signal of spring; more hours of sunshine, T-shirt temps, and filling Blake, Market, and Larimer with drunken revelry make up a particularly Denver type of equinox. However you plan to celebrate-with family friendly activities or for those over the legal drinking age only-there are parades to be watched, playful drinks to be sipped, and a whole lot of shamrock-ing to do.

Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits
Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits
Photo courtesy of Mile High Spirits

Dance a jig or two at Mile High Spirits’ Shamrock Shenanigans

March 17
If you’re ready to put your dancing shoes to good use, wiggle your way on over to Mile High Spirits-doors are opening at 12 pm and there’s no cover ‚Äėtil 10. Enjoy MHS’ drinks, big dance floor, and even bigger outdoor patio for all the Irish pride and shenanigans you can handle.

Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts
Cook Street School of Culinary Arts

Whip up steak for a St. Paddy’s Date Night

March 17
Cook Street’s special St. Paddy’s Day class involves making the perfect steak while sipping on Irish whiskey. On Friday only, learn about proteins, cooking methods, and choosing side dishes carefully while cooking up traditional Irish cuisine.

Crawl around town. You know, figuratively…

March 17 – 18
Is it a drinking holiday in Denver if there aren’t a handful of bar crawls happening? Probably not. St. Paddy’s Day is no different; you can start crawling from a number of bars, but a few in particular have everything plotted out for you (for a small fee). Start at the Ginn Mill and receive a map of over 10 pub locations you’ll be crawling to either Friday or Saturday, plus drink special vouchers. There’s also a crawl departing from Nola Jane (Friday only) with its own food and drink specials, plus a scavenger hunt and some St. Paddy’s merch, too.

The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat
The Fainting Goat

Visit one of Denver’s Irish Pubs

March 17 – 18
If you can’t think of a better place to spend St. Paddy’s Day then at a local Irish pub, we salute you-just be prepared to throw a few elbows making your way to the bar. Denver’s got several good ol’ pubs from Broadway to Larimer Square that’ll be in full swing this weekend, pouring fresh pints as far as the eye can see. Check out Scruffy Murphy’s, Nallen’s, The Irish Rover, Finley’s, The Celtic on Market, or the Fainting Goat for that SPD revelry you know, love, and trekked out for.

Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square
Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square
Photo courtesy of The OG/McGregor Square

Sip and savour St. Paddy’s themed bevvies

Through March 17
Everyone pulls out the green food dye and mint flavouring for St. Paddy’s, but there are some other creative drink specials to sample, too. The OG’s got a boozy milkshake for the occasion, aptly named “Who’s Your Paddy,” a mix of vanilla ice cream, Cr√®me de Menthe, Tullamore Dew, Bailey’s, and whipped cream. BEZEL’s Irish Matcha Man is pretty unique, with Teeling Small Batch whiskey, lime, thyme-infused honey, and matcha powder. And then Slater’s 50/50 takes it to another level (unsurprisingly) with its Lucky Mint Green Shake: mint-flavored ice cream in a frosting-rimmed glass with Lucky Charm marshmallows, rainbow stripe sour strips, whipped cream and green sprinkles. Other notable specials can be found at Poka Lola Social Club, Dairy Block’s Moo Bar, and Seven Grand.

Sing along and cheers to live music

March 17
Denver’s The Monkey Barrel is known for its regular live performances, and this St. Patrick’s Day you can tune in to Elijah Petty & The Part-Times and other musical guests if you’re in search of a chiller spot to sip your Guinness. Or, have one of the best burgers in town while relishing the shenanigans and live music of Cherry Cricket Cherry Creek this St. Paddy’s Day. Food and drink specials will also be available through the holiday weekend, so leave extra room or wear your stretchy (green) pants.

HRCA Race Series
HRCA Race Series
HRCA Race Series

Show your St. Paddy’s spirit by‚Ķ running?

March 18
Feeling restless? Or maybe you’re itching to get a few laps in before hammering down several pints this Saturday? Either way, Highlands Ranch is hosting its St. Patrick’s Day 5K where finishing the race gets you St. Patrick’s Day merch, an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast, and of course, a complimentary pint courtesy of Living the Dream Brewing.

Holidaily Brewing Company
Holidaily Brewing Company
Holidaily Brewing Company

Drink and do good at Holidaily Brewing Co.

March 17
This St. Paddy’s Day, Holidaily and the Gluten Intolerance Group are putting on their Raise a Pint, Lend a Hand fundraiser. A special glitter and green Firkin tapping is happening at 4 pm at both taprooms, with special (and gluten-free) treats available at the Golden location, thanks to Farmhouse 5280 and Waive the Grain bakery. 10% of all St. Patrick’s Day sales will be donated to the Gluten Intolerance Group.

Talnua Distillery
Talnua Distillery
Talnua Distillery

Party at a local distillery

March 17 – 18
Talnua Distillery is hosting a St. Patrick’s Day bash to remember this year, featuring food trucks, live music, special themed cocktails, and more. Limited bottles of Talnua’s exclusive Olde Saint’s Keep whiskey will be available for purchase, which you can hang onto while you dance along to pipe bands or eat a brat or two from El Jefe’s.

Watch some Irish step dancing

March 17
Head on over to Stanley Marketplace to witness the talent and skill of the students at the Wick School of Irish Dance at 12 pm, and follow it up with a green cerveza at Cheluna Brewing Co. Of course, plenty of tasty lunch and dinner options are available around the marketplace so you can soak up a bit of that beer.

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Erica Buehler is a Denver-based freelance writer and editor. Follow her @e_buehler on Instagram and @e_buehler_ on Twitter for more updates on Denver food and other Mile High shenanigans.

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