February 25, 2021

Bring a mate, lace up your skates

A guide to rinks in northern Michigan
By Kristi Kates | Nov. 30, 2016


Centre Ice Arena, Traverse City

The dual rinks primarily host team ice sports, so if you’re into hockey and/or curling, this is your destination. Hockey teams congregate here, including the local Midwest Junior Hockey League, and you might spot a Detroit Red Wings player, as the team’s NHL training camp is held here. Find it: 1600 Chartwell Drive, centreice.org, 231-933-7465

Griffin Arena, Harbor Springs

This seasonal indoor rink, locally nicknamed “The Bubble,” stays open until early spring and is free of the elements. It hosts high school hockey teams, the Char-Em adult hockey league, and Little Traverse Figure Skating as well as open skates, lessons and pickup hockey games. Find it: 3450 M-119, griffinarena.net, 231-487-1843

Howe Arena, Traverse City

Opportunities abound for skating, all out of the elements in this indoor facility. The schedule includes a general open skate as well as drop-in figure skating, drop-in hockey and the nighttime fun of the twilight open skate; the Traverse City Figure Skating Club calls this rink home. Find it: 1125 W. Civic Center Drive, centreice.org, 231-922-4893

Kaliseum, Kalkaska

This modern facility offers an extensive roster of hockey activities, including drop-in games and stick and puck; unique to the Kaliseum are its Arena Borealis skate nights with colored lights and the Moonlight Skate, where doors are opened to the outdoors and a bonfire is lit. Find it: 1900 Fairgrounds Road, kaliseum.com, 231-258-5913

Wexford Civic Center, Cadillac

Whether you’re just learning to skate or you’re looking to take on some more seasoned hockey opponents, “The Wex” can oblige with its NHL-sized rink. You can purchase open-skate passes by the season or catch an action-filled Cadillac High School Vikings hockey game.
 Find it: 1320 N. Mitchell, thewex.com, 231-799-9520


Avalanche Preserve, Boyne City

This location has well-groomed ice and pleasant surroundings, including music piped through outdoor speakers, hot cocoa, skate sharpening services and a warming house. It’s not only a place to skate — hit the famed sledding hill and indulge in two winter activities in one day. Find it: 1129 Wilson St., cityofboynecity.com, 231-582-6597

Boyne Highlands, Harbor Springs

With the Slopeside Lounge right nearby for apres-skate relaxing, the rink directly in front of the Highlands’ main lodge is loaded with alpine ambiance, from the surroundings (the highest vertical drop in lower Michigan is here) to the ski instructors heading over to ski school. Find it: 600 Highland Drive, boyne.com, 231-526-3000

Boyne Mountain, Boyne Falls

Set in vintage, old-school surroundings right behind the clock tower, this rink is small but well-groomed, a low-key, pleasant choice for both expert skaters and weekend twirlers. Bring along some pals and take turns hitting the slopes and taking spins around the ice. Find it: 1 Boyne Mountain Road, boyne.com, 231-549-6000

Mt. McSauba outdoor rink, Charlevoix

A warming cabin on the south side of the rink offers a place to catch your breath on cold days, and if you get tired of making turns around the rink you can check out Mt. McSauba’s cross-country ski trails or lighted sledding hill on the north side of the recreation area. 
Find it: 09223 McSauba Road, charlevoix.recdesk.com, 231-547-3267

Sk8 Park ice rink, Harbor Springs

In the summer, it welcomes skateboarders; in the winter, it shifts to a winter fun park for ice skaters, with lessons offered on the weekends. The park also offers pickup hockey games, and ice skating games and races Saturday afternoons.
 Find it: 740 East Main St., (231)-526-0610

Suttons Bay rink, Suttons Bay

Local residents chip in to help keep this neighborhood rink groomed for general skating and pickup hockey games in the winter, with the lighted park also offering lights for late skating and picnic tables perfect for your thermos of hot cocoa. Find it: corner of Broadway and Lincoln streets, upnorthtrails.org

Winter Sports Park, Petoskey

Two skating rinks anchor this venue, which also offers skiing and sledding. Ice-based activities include figure skating, hockey, curling and ice scooters for skating newbies. The deluxe warming house has a concession stand, fireplace and even Wi-Fi so you can Instagram photos of you on the rink. Find it: 1100 Winter Park Lane, petoskey.us, 231-347-1252


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