Ice Skating Reaches New Heights

Imagine ice-skating in mid-air, how about 1,000 feet off of the ground? If you have ever dreamed it or even if you haven’t, it is now a reality.

“Skating in the Sky,” an indoor ice-skating rink is a brand new attraction at the John Hancock Obeservatory Deck. This 900 sq. foot, state-of-the-art rink sits on the 94th floor, with outstanding 360 degree views of the city and Lake Michigan. And did we mention that  no zamboni is required on this special ice.

The John Hancock Center partnered with the 2010 Stanley Cup World Champion, Chicago Blackhawks to bring this special feature to the heart of the Mag Mile. “If you’re going to open the highest skating rink on the globe, at one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, you’d better be sure your ice holds up to such high standards!”, Daniel Thomas, general manager of John Hancock Observatory, said.

Daniel Thomas; photo by Kevin Gebhardt

Coaches and special guests from the Blackhawks will offer free skating lessons every Monday afternoon, starting Jan. 3.

In addition to the Blackhawks, the Observatory has many other partners including Sports Surfaces LLC, who are responsible for the unique synthetic

ice featured at the new rink. The synthetic ice, which is installed in 130 rinks worldwide,  allows skaters the same glide as skating across water ice, keeps skaters warm and dry; and with no zamboni coming into play, more time on the ice!

For those who are in doubt, no worries, as the ice was tested by the “experts” themselves, penguins from the Shedd Aqaurium and Tommy Hawk as a part of the exclusive ribbon cutting ceremony on Dec. 28.

Reservations can be made online for the twenty-five minute skating session, which costs $5 (in addition to general admission) and $1 for skate rental or skaters can bring their own. Daily skating is available from  9:00am-11:00pm beginning Jan. 1 through March 31. For more information visit