1. Saratoga Spa State Park
The Spa Park rules the winter with two outdoor ice rinks so beloved that as soon as the holidays pass, dozens of committed skaters call the park every single day asking if the ice is ready—which the park also announces with great fanfare on its Facebook page. The bigger rink, 225 by 75 feet, magically appears in front of the picture-perfect Victoria Pool (and is thus dubbed “Vic Mall”) and the other, 150 by 75 feet, is near the Roosevelt II Bath House (nicknamed “Admin Mall”). Once they get going, the rinks are open 8am to dusk; bring your own skates, as rentals aren’t available. Need a quick warm-me-up? Stop by Wired Coffee Roasters in the Roosevelt II building for coffee or hot chocolate (and restrooms), or head to the warming hut near the Route 9 entrance to the park to toast those tootsies around the indoor fire.
Fun fact General skating is more common on the Admin Mall, with hockey games more likely to break out on the Vic Mall—but there are no actual rules about rink usage.
2. Gavin Park
Not a resident of the Town of Wilton? No problem. Everyone is welcome to glide about on the 80-by-120 foot ice rink in Gavin Park’s new picnic pavilion, which is lit and open until 8pm nightly. If you’re bringing the little ones along, be sure to grab them one of the provided push carts to help them balance on their blades. (But make sure everyone brings their own skates!)
Fun fact The 7,000-square-foot rink’s proximity to the public pavilion brings one huge bonus: heated restrooms.
3. Moreau Lake State Park
It’s only 10 miles from Saratoga Springs, but a visit to Moreau feels like stepping into an Adirondack postcard. The lake has long been an ice skating destination—park entry is free this time of year—but last winter, for the first time, the park turned the beach section of the frozen lake into an actual skating “rink.” This winter, after the snow arrives, they are hoping to do it again (daily 10am to 3:30pm), with rental skates available. Down the road from the beach, a charming log cabin serves as a warming hut where skaters can defrost next to a wood stove, read books from a donated library or play a board game.
Fun fact The lake is maintained by two homemade Zamboni machines pulled by hand by staff members who also provide an oft-checked Daily Ice Report that kicks off the day the ice on the lake is deemed safe to skate on.
4. Crandall Park
Every winter for more than a century, kids in Glens Falls have waited for Crandall Pond to freeze so they could lug their skates over for a glorious day of free skating. The natural water feature is one of the most scenic spots in the park and is visible as one drives up Glen Street. Ice skaters are welcome at the lighted rink from dawn to dusk.
Fun fact Don’t worry if the weather isn’t cooperating, Crandall Park has a Plan B: Visit cityofglensfalls.com for the skating schedule at the nearby (and indoor!) Glens Falls Recreation Center.