Top family-friendly spots to ice skate this holiday season

Show off your figure eights at these outdoor and indoor rinks

Nothing says it’s wintertime like an afternoon spent ice-skating followed by a mug of hot cocoa or a glass of mulled wine. Or at least, that’s what my Czechs friends say. With hockey as a national sport and a tradition of world class figure skaters, it’s no surprise that ice skating is a beloved winter sport across the Czech Republic.

While cross-country or downhill skiing means driving to a ski resort in the mountains (see our recent line-up of Czech ski resorts) or waiting for enough snow to try cross-country skiing in Prague’s city parks, ice skating can be done without snow right in the city center. Ice skating requires no equipment other than proper winter clothing and ice skates. A helmet is a safety recommendation for children as well as any beginner.

One of my first dates in Prague was an afternoon spent relearning how to ice skate at the historic Štvanice Stadium, the Czech Republic’s first hockey stadium built in the 1930s. Although I’d skated a few times as a child, I’d gone years without practice. It was my first taste of how good the average Czech skater is and a humbling experience. But watching the other skaters gave me something to aim toward and compared to the perils of learning to cross-country ski, ice skating seemed like a piece of cake.

After a few laps around the rink, my rudimentary skills came back to me. Since that time I’ve enjoyed trying out different ice skating rinks in Prague with my family. I’m still learning how to stop, but I’m getting better.

From ice skating under Prague’s TV tower to skating on the roof of the Harfa shopping center, from joining a learn-to-skate lesson at Hvězda Stadium to visiting the modern Letnany ice arena for free skating, choose the location that best suits your tastes, grab a pair of ice skates (most locations offer them for rent) and hit the ice.

Outdoor Rinks in Prague

Towerpark Prague

Prague’s newest addition to the ice skating scene opened last December. Located under Prague’s famous TV Tower just a short metro ride from the center, Towerpark’s skating rink has quickly won the hearts of neighborhood locals. With its family-friendly atmosphere, range of open times and convenient Miminoo café to grab a hot chocolate, the rink is ready for families with small children. Since Prague 1 closed the Ovocny Trh skating area, this rink is a welcome addition to the outdoor skate options close to the center. It’s a great spot to take your child after school or visit in the morning by yourself to get some practice time in before skating with your children. What can beat skating under crawling babies? 

Location: Mahlerovy sady 1, Prague 3, green metro Jiřího z Poděbrad
Weekdays: 09:00-11:00 60 CZK, 12:00-14:00 80 CZK, 15:00-17:00 100 CZK, 18:00-21:00 120 CZK
Weekends: 09:00-11:00 100 CZK, 12:00-14:00 100 CZK, 15:00-17:00 100 CZK, 18:00-21:00 120 CZK
Skate rental available

Na Františku

Both locals and tourists frequent this seasonal ice skating rink in Prague 1. From late November to mid-March, this multi-functional sports field bordering Vltava River turns into an ice-skating rink. The rink is open from morning till late afternoon on the weekdays with extended weekend hours. On Saturday mornings, there is a special open session for hockey. While the rink is too small to get much quality skating in, it’s perfect for people watching and experiencing the atmosphere of wintertime skating in the center. It’s also a nice complement to a visit to the Christmas Markets in Old Town Square.

Location: Kozí, Prague 1
Regular Open Skate: Monday – Thursday 8:00 - 17:30, Friday 8:00 - 14:00, 16:00 - 17:30, Saturday 10:00 - 11:30 (special hockey open skate), 12:30 - 19:00, Sunday: 10:00 - 19:00
Holiday Hours: 22.12.2015 8.00 -10.00, 12.00 – 19.30, 23.12.2015 10.00 – 17.00, 25.12.2015 15.00 - 19.00, 26-31.12.2015 10.00- 19:00, New Year’s Day 15.00 - 19.00, 2-3.1.2016 10.00 – 19.00
Price: 50 CZK (for a two hour session)
Skate rental available

Galerie Harfa Rooftop

Take a break from Christmas shopping at Prague’s Harfa shopping center and head to the rooftop to experience the thrill of ice skating in the clouds. With a special hour daily reserved for children up to 10 years of age at no cost (even for their adult chaperone), this rink is sure to please parents who need to get shopping done but would still like to enjoy a family activity.

Location: Českomoravská 2420/15a, Prague 9
Regular Open Skate: 4.12.2015 – end of February, Children up to 10 years daily 13:00 – 14:30, Mon-Fri & Sunday 15:00 – 18:30, Saturday 15:00 – 20:30,
Price: 50 CZK, Children up to 150 cm with adult chaperone skate for free
Skate rental available

Indoor Arenas in Prague

While Prague’s outdoor ice skating rinks win hands down in terms of wintery atmosphere, conditions are relative to outdoor weather. For consistent skating options from October – April (and at Letnany year-round) see the indoor arenas below. Several of these rinks also offer lessons for children and holiday session hours.

Ice Arena Hvězda

The Hvězda rink in Prague 6 is my personal favorite for evening skating on the weekends. On Sunday afternoons, the rink offers a one hour group lesson for children (usually three groups of different abilities) and parents are allowed on the ice with beginners. After the lesson, stay for the evening open skate (admission is included in lesson price). The rink is popular with teenagers and can get crowded later in the evening, but they have bleacher areas for watching and a small snack bar. For beginner skaters, they also have a range of stability bars to help both adults and children keep their balance. Skate free of charge on New Year’s Day.

Location: Na Rozdílu 725/1, Prague 6 (off Evropska)
Regular Open Skate: October – March Sat 18:30 – 20:30, Sunday 17:30 – 19:30, Sunday 16:00 – 17:00 Open group lesson for children (COST: 100 CZK)
Holiday Hours: 24.12.2015 12:00 – 14:00, 25-26.12. 2015 16:00 – 18:00, 31.12.2015 – 1.1.2016 12:00-14:00
Cost: 100 CZK
Rental: 80 CZK
Sharpening skates: 50 – 100 CZK

Ice Arena Letňany

Located steps away from the Letnany shopping mall, Prague’s newest ice arena offers two rinks – one for professional hockey training, and the second rink for figure skating, lessons and open skate. Built in 2001, the arena is the only indoor stadium constructed in the past 20 years in Prague. They have open skate hours during the week as well as weekend and special deals for residents of the Letnany district. Combine weekend shopping with a trip to the ice rink. Or spend the afternoon skating and then visit the Letnany Lagoon water park for a double treat. The facility includes a fitness center, sauna and a restaurant. They also have a parking lot.

Location: Tupolevova 669, Prague 9
Regular Open Skate: Open year-round – Check website for up to date schedule
Holiday Hours: Monday: 10.00 – 12.00, Thursday: 10.15 – 12.15, Saturday: 10.00 – 12.00, 14.00 – 16.00, 20.00 – 22.00, Sunday: 10.00 – 12.00, 14.00 – 16.00
Cost: 80 CZK
Skate Rental: Call a day ahead to reserve skates tel. 286 920 040

Ice Arena Nikolajka

Come to skate at Prague’s Ice Arena Nikolajka, one of the city’s oldest still functional winter stadiums, built as an open rink in 1961 and later covered in 1973. It’s where the legendary Jaromír Jágr trained for world championship matches and where the SSSR hockey team prepared for the 1978 World Championships. The arena has a long tradition of preparing national figure skating talents. Today, the club offers both hockey and figure skating training and individual lessons for children. They also operate special weekend day open skate times for preschool children and seniors. For ten years, their entrance price of 40 CZK hasn’t changed, making this arena also one of the cheapest in the city.

Location: U Nikolajky 28, Prague 5
Regular Open Skate: October – April, Sat-Sun, 14:00 – 16:00
Holiday Hours: 25.12.2015 14:00 -17:00, 26-12.2015 – 3.1.2016 14:00-17:00
Contact for figure skating club: Mrs. Nedobitá, tel.: 603723323
Price: 40 CZK, Children up to 110 cm 30 CZK

Whether you’re aiming to refresh your skills or learning to skate for the first time, you can find a range of family friendly options in Prague this holiday season. Happy skating!

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