As a kid, I was obsessed with ice skating. I even took lessons; that's how dedicated I was to the sport. And now ice skating season is nearly upon us once more.

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My all-time favorite rink is Maple Grove's enchanting Central Park Ice Skating Loop. In fact, I even spent my 16th birthday at the rink.

Shel B
Photo Credit: Shel B
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The loop is an 810-foot long and 20-foot wide trail that is simply beautiful in the winter, especially at night when the Christmas lights turn on.

But the best part....the rink is free to use! All you need to do is bring your skates. 

Of course, if you don't own skates, you can always rent them at the adjacent Phenow Pavilion warming house. Skate rentals are $7 per pair. The warming house is open from 10 am to 9:30 pm on weekends and 4 pm to 9:30 pm on weekdays.

The rink is perfect for beginners and professionals. No hockey games are allowed on the ice, so you don't need to worry about getting checked by players. 

Below is a picture of my mother tentatively testing her skills. (Isn't she cute?)

Credit: Shel B
Credit: Shel B
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Of course, remember to dress appropriately. Don't over or underestimate when it comes to layers. When you're flying down the trail, you may get a bit warm. In other words, having layers on may impact the whole experience. And of course, you don't want to be freezing. That's never good.

So, it's time to bust out those old skates. I'm ready, are you?

See the Fun of Holidazzle 2021 in Downtown Minneapolis

Holidazzle 2021 from Peavey Plaza to Loring Park In Downtown Minneapolis

A free and fun-for-the-whole-family experience complete with seasonal
entertainment, Santa, local foods and beverages, holiday shopping from local small businesses, and amusement rides (Ferris wheel, carousel, and a giant slide). Plus, Friday and Saturday feature festive fireworks at 7 p.m.

The 2021 Holidazzle will feature:

November 26 – December 3: Holidazzle Yeti at Peavey Plaza
December 4 & 11: Free Santa Zoom virtual calls
December 17 – 19: Holidazzle in Loring Park:

HOURS: Friday 5 - 9 p.m., Saturday 2 - 9 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.