4 Rinks Open for Public Skating and Icy Fun

By Drew Brown

Published on | Last Updated

Buffalo is an all-encompassing destination when it comes to winter fun. Just south of the city, you’ll find skiing and snowboarding, snowshoeing and cross-country ski trails, and high-speed tobogganing. But maybe you’re looking for an activity that’s a little more low-key. Or maybe you’re looking for winter fun a bit closer to downtown. Well then lace up your skates, bundle up and chill out at our favorite rinks all around town.

Ice at Canalside

The Ice at Canalside

130 Main St, Buffalo

Not many people can say they look forward to winter. But the folks at Canalside have quite a passion for the season as they’ve rolled out winter’s red carpet for hundreds of thousands of visitors over the years. Constructed on the canalways of the Erie Canal, a national historic landmark, Canalside offers visitors the option to skate, hone their curling skill, take out some aggression on the ice bumper cars, or take a cruise on the Buffalo-born ice bikes! Once you’ve skated your heart out, head over the rentable igloos to warm up over a cup of hot cocoa and treats from local vendors.

The Ice at Canalside has a tentative, weather-dependent open date of December 1, 2023. Check out Buffalo Waterfront for ice hours and rental information.

Rotary Rink

20 Fountain Plaza, Buffalo

There’s something magical about skating at downtown’s Rotary Rink at night. The air is crisp, the lights of the surrounding high-rises provide a warm glow as big, puffy snowflakes gently descend from the sky, the above-ground rail car provides a familiar honk as it passes, and dozens of skaters circle the ice to the sound of music. That’s winter perfection right there! Admission to the ice is free and skates rentals are $2 for kids and $3 for adults.

Public skating opening date is to be determined. The Downtown Tree Lighting is scheduled for December 9th, 2023 from 5pm-8pm. Check out Buffalo Place for open skate times and special events.

Buffalo RiverWorks

359 Ganson St, Buffalo

Set among the towering grain elevators that were once the crux of Buffalo’s booming industry along the Buffalo River, RiverWorks is a one-of-a-kind sports and entertainment complex. Housing two full-sized hockey rinks, visitors can enjoy open skating and curling before heading inside to a menu of warming comfort food and cold beers made right on site.

As ice space is limited, reservations for winter activities are recommended prior to your visit.

Public skating opening date is to be determined for 2023. Check out RiverWorks for ice hours, rental rates and more information.

Classic Rink

41 Riley St, East Aurora

After the 2008 NHL Winter Classic, where the Buffalo Sabres took on the Pittsburgh Penguins, the rink was broken down and reassembled as Classic Rink on Riley Street in the charming village of East Aurora. Today visitors can skate where the pros skated during the rink’s regular open ice hours and for special events. After you’ve carved a lap or 20, order some takeout from Bar-Bill Tavern for some of the region’s best wings or head to 42 North Brewing Company for a six pack of fresh brews.

Public skating now open through March 2024. Check out Classic Rink for ice hours and rental information. Admission is $6 and skate rentals are $4.

Please note that the Martin Luther King Jr., Park rink will not be open in the 2023/2024 winter season.

Drew Brown headshot

Drew Brown

Born in Buffalo's Historic Polonia District, raised in East Aurora, current resident of the West Side, and I'm still discovering new things in Buffalo every day. I'm proud to represent our community as the Director of Media & Content Strategy for Visit Buffalo Niagara. Let's go Buffalo!