3 of the Best Places To Go Ice Skating in Nebraska

Shannon Peterson
| January 25, 2024 | 1 Minute Read
Girl tying shoelaces on ice skates before skating on the ice rink, hands in red knitted gloves. View from top. iStock

Nebraska is better known for its unpredictable winter weather than for the seasonal sports found in many other northern states. But one winter activity can coax you outside to enjoy the brisk Nebraska air and seasonal beauty: ice skating.

Heartland of America Park, Omaha

In Omaha, the debut of a new skating venue is guaranteed to draw large crowds. The summer opening of Heartland of America Park brought an outdoor skate ribbon to The RiverFront, a new park renovation in downtown Omaha.

Roller bladers have been enjoying the skate ribbon and themed events for a few months, and now that the weather has turned colder, it is open to the public for ice skating. It’s free if you bring your own skates or rentals are available.

Two people ice skating in the evening at University of Nebraska Medical Center's outdoor ice rink with the medical center in the background Kent Sievers-UNMC Strategic Communications

University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha

Worried about crowds lining up to check out the new facility? The University of Nebraska Medical Center operates an outdoor ice rink (above) through mid-February. The more traditional skating space, located on UNMC’s Omaha campus, also has skate rentals.

Various adults and children ice skate outdoors at the Glaciarium at Grand Island’s Stuhr Museum. A white fence is behind the ice skaters Stuhr Museum

Stuhr Museum, Grand Island

Another fairly new option for skaters is the Glaciarium (above) at Grand Island’s Stuhr Museum, which opened in 2021. Named for the first artificial ice rink that opened in London in 1841, the synthetic surface allows for skating even when the temperatures aren’t below freezing, and it’s quite similar to skating on natural ice. Skate rental is included with your ticket, or bring your own skates (no toe picks) for gliding around the 40-by-60-foot rink.

The museum opened the rink to offer more fun family activities in the winter and because ice skating was popular during the era the museum celebrates, the 1840s through 1920. Visitors can explore the entire Stuhr campus with regular museum admission, or pay a reduced fee just to go out and skate at the Glaciarium.

Another fun and popular spot for ice skating is the pavilion at Eugene T. Mahoney State Park near Ashland, which is consistently among the top 10 annual attractions in the state. 

The covered outdoor rink offers skate rentals and the opportunity to warm up in their activity center, where you can also purchase hot chocolate—a perennial favorite among young skaters. The center also boasts a large indoor playground and a climbing wall for a little extra adventure.  

Hours at each rink vary and frequently depend on weather conditions. Checking social media or calling ahead are recommended to ensure skating is available when you’re ready to take to the ice.

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