World's Highest Ice Skating Rink Coming to Chicago

Posted Sep 9th 2010 07:38 AMUpdated Sep 9th 2010 08:03 AM


Chicago locals and visitors will soon be able to boast that they skated on the world's highest ice skating rink.

Located on the 94th floor of the 100-story John Hancock Center, the rink is the brainchild of officials of the popular John Hancock Observatory attraction, and is being dubbed "Skating in the Sky."

The skating action will take place some 1,000 feet above Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, with the rink open January through March.

A state-of-the-art synthetic substance called XTRAICE will be used for the surface, and the rink will measure about 50 feet by 20 feet, officials say.

A replica is being used in a preview today, featuring stars from "Disney on Ice."

"Our guests already feel like they're floating on air, so now they can literally glide around the sky," says Daniel Thomas, general manager of the John Hancock Observatory. "This rink is going to provide our visitors with an opportunity you just cannot get anywhere else in Chicago, or the world."

The city already has a rich tradition of public skating rinks, Thomas adds. "Who knows, maybe a future Stanley Cup or Olympic Gold Medal Champion will lace up his or her skates right here."

Skates will be available for rent, and non-skaters will be able to watch attempts at figure-eights and other moves from bleachers, with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop.

The John Hancock Observatory is known for its open-air viewing Skywalk – where on a clear day you can see four states – and recently added a new bar and café. Entrance fees apply.

Photo, John Hancock Observatory
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Agree with Pandora...Chicago rocks!!! Sounds like a bit of jealousy haha....Grow up people.

November 10 2010 at 6:04 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Aw, come on, people! Can't you just let Chicago have it's ice rink and not cause a big stink about it? Sea level, my ass. Chicago rocks.

September 11 2010 at 3:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

My best guess is that the highest indoor year round skating rink is in Breckenridge Colorado. The "official" elevation is 9600 ft., but the rink is at the south end of town and that's the highest part. The permanent population is about 2500 but on any nice summer day or during ski season, the population swells apparently to the millions (or it just seems that way in the lift lines).

September 10 2010 at 6:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And waht about the ice skating rink on the top of the Jungfrau mountain in Switzerland????

September 10 2010 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph and Jessica

P.S. Can you call it an "ice" skating ring when it isn't really ice, but a synthetic substance called, "ESTRAICE"? Perhaps it should be called "Chicago's highest synthetic skating rink"

September 10 2010 at 2:53 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Joseph and Jessica

World's Highest... not so... Don't you know that every city in the Colorado Rockies has an ice skating rink and every city is Denver itself is 5,280 feet above sea level. Grand Lake, Colorado has an ice skating rink every year and it sits at 8,450 feet above sea level... Duh... Maybe Chicago needs to rephrase their boast...

September 10 2010 at 2:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to Joseph and Jessica's comment

Hello, has anyone ever heard of Squaw Valley, CA? They have an ice rink at the top of the gondola but probably not as high as Colorado. Chicago, get real.

September 10 2010 at 5:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ugh know what they mean. It is the highest altitude from a building. Come on people, you know that is what they mean. Dont be ridiculous. I think it sounds like a fantastic idea!

September 14 2010 at 2:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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