Ice Skating in the South? Slide Into the Holidays at One of These 11 NC Rinks.

Ice Skating in the South? Slide Into the Holidays at One of These 11 NC Rinks.

Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of opportunities to ice skate below the Mason-Dixon Line. North Carolina has facilities across the state for beginner to expert skaters, as well as opportunities for hockey, figure skating, curling and more. (Photo by Evelyn Hockstein/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)

By Max Millington

December 21, 2021

Ice skating isn’t just up North! North Carolina has some of the best indoor and outdoor ice rinks around; here’s where to find them.

The kids are out of school and you’re looking for affordable activities the whole family can enjoy. Try ice skating!  While some facilities in North Carolina offer skating (and skating lessons) year-round, this is also the perfect time of year to take advantage of outdoor ice skating, as those venues only operate during the winter. Check out Cardinal & Pine’s guide to some of the best indoor and outdoor ice skating venues in the state. 

Western NC

Sugar Mountain Resort – Sugar Mountain

If you’re a fan of cold-weather activities like skiing, sledding, tubing, snowboarding, and ice skating, there may not be a better place for you than Sugar Mountain, NC. Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains, the Western North Carolina resort has been an oasis of winter activities for over 50 years.

Sugar Mountain’s 10,000-square foot refrigerated outdoor ice skating rink is open daily from November through March. Guests can use the rink in one and a half hour sessions from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., but call ahead to confirm, as times are subject to change. 

Get the most up-to-date information and tickets here

Appalachian Ski Mountain (ASM) – Blowing Rock

Opened in the late 1960s, ASM overlooks the Blue Ridge Mountains and is about 20 miles east of the town of Sugar Mountain. The facility stands alone as North Carolina’s only Zamboni-maintained outdoor ice rink. 

The resort offers three daily ice skating sessions from noon to 9 p.m. and provides comfort for non-skating onlookers with rink-side seating by a bonfire. Watauga County residents get half off their ice skating session every non-holiday Tuesday and Thursday from 3-5 p.m. 

Get more information and tickets here

Eastern NC

Wilmington Ice House (WIH) – Wilmington

Just a six-mile drive from Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington Ice House is New Hanover County’s ice skating destination. You can also cheer on UNC-Wilmington’s hockey team on game days at the WIH rink. If you’re a beginner, it’s recommended that you bring along a bicycle helmet or a hockey helmet, as they cannot be rented. 

For more information and schedules, go here.

Carolina Ice Zone – Greenville

Greenville’s Carolina Ice Zone is open to the public year round. Like many of the rinks listed here, they offer ice skating, hockey, and figure skating activities, but the prices for admission and skate rental are comparatively a little lower. 

Carolina Ice Zone updates its weekly schedule on the homepage, but you can take a look at the overall season schedule and pricing here


Greensboro Ice House – Greensboro 

Greensboro Ice House offers a variety of on-ice activities including ice skating, figure skating, and ice hockey. Don’t know how to skate? There are group classes and one-on-one private lessons. Parents, guardians, or siblings of children taking classes can watch in person or virtually. There’s plenty to do for non-skaters, too: The center includes an arcade, snack bar, and a large viewing section. 

Check out public skating times and grab tickets here

Piedmont Winterfest – Greensboro 

Triad residents who prefer outdoor ice skating have an alternative thanks to Piedmont Winterfest, located in downtown Greensboro. Open until January 30th, this outdoor rink features ice skating and curling, plus other activities. Winterfest is open from noon to 10 p.m. throughout the holidays but the schedule varies afterwards. Check here for up-to-date hours and ticket prices.  


Polar Ice House – Various Locations

Polar Ice House has several locations throughout the Triangle. The Raleigh location is called “Raleigh Iceplex,” but the locations in Cary, Garner, and Wake Forest are all named “Polar Ice House.” 

Each outpost offers ice skating classes from age 3 to adult, figure skating, curling, and ice hockey. If you’re trying to think of after-school activities for the kids, consider “Camp Chillin,” open year-round for kids 6-12 to practice ice skating and hockey skills. It is currently available at the Cary, Raleigh, and Wake Forest locations. 

Here’s more on ice skating times and tickets at Raleigh, Cary, Garner, and Wake Forest.  

Orange County Sportsplex – Hillsborough 

Located in Hillsborough, NC, Orange County Sportsplex offers youth and adult hockey, figure skating, synchronized skating, and broomball in addition to public ice skating. There are skating classes for all ages. 

The OC Sportsplex ice rink also has music playing day and night and a neon light show after dark. And because it’s a sportsplex, there are numerous fitness activity options for non-skaters. 

Check out the public skating calendar and admission details here

Charlotte Area

US National Whitewater Center – Charlotte

Enjoy outdoor ice skating in Charlotte at the Whitewater Center. Known for activities like kayaking, ziplines, and of course, whitewater rafting, the center’s ice rink is more than 24,000 square feet, with two ice trails for experienced skaters and two free-skate zones. 

Whitewater also has an on-ice Airstream trailer serving up hot and cold beverages. Learn more and take a look at pricing here.

Pineville Ice House – Pineville

Since 1995, Pineville Ice House (PIH) has been a Mecklenburg County destination for indoor winter activities. PIH offers youth and adult hockey, figure skating, ice skating, and ice skating classes. There’s also a full-service restaurant and bar, but we don’t recommend getting on the ice after too many IPAs or glasses of prosecco.

Plan your visit here.

Extreme Ice Center – Indian Trail

Take your love of skating to the “extreme” over in Union County. The Extreme Ice Center in Indian Trail boasts the best ice skating in the Charlotte area (and they have snow, according to their website). While we can’t confirm the claim, one cool perk that the center offers is “Bobby The Seal,” the pushable skating aid. If you want to skate with your child but you’ve never skated before, Bobby is there to give your child a ride while you push him around the rink by his tail. 

Check out the calendar and pricing information here.


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