As long as I can remember, taking my kids ice skating has always been a favorite part of what can be a dreaded Buffalo winter. Once you lace up and bundle up, not much can beat it.
You don't even have to be out there all that long. In fact the kids tire rather quickly. Still, there's something about that time on the ice. Your little sweetie doing her best to balance. That little nose red and runny. And that ear-to-ear smile. Once you've had enough, a good hot chocolate is a must.
There are many local options when it comes to skating. For most rinks, the days and times for open skate vary so check their weekly or monthly schedules on their website.
Buffalo RiverWorks, 359 Ganson St.
This is an indoor/outdoor rink. It is covered with open sides. Skating cost: $5 all ages. Rentals: $5.
Canalside, 44 Prime St.
This is an outdoor rink, so it is weather dependent. You'll find gorgeous views and likely loads of other skaters. Skating cost: ages 13 and older, $6; ages 6 to 12, $4; ages 5 and younger, free. Rentals: $5.
Lincoln Park Arena, Decatur Road
This indoor rink offers limited open skate. Skating cost: $4. No skate rental.
North Buffalo Ice Rink, 156 Tacoma Ave.
The rink is indoors, but gets pretty chilly so bundle up. Skating: 18 and older, $2; ages 5 to 17, $1; ages under 5, free. Rental: $2.
The Rinks at HarborCenter, 100 Washington St.
There are two indoor rinks here offering limited open skating. It is beautiful and you never know when or if you might run into a Buffalo Sabre. Skating: $6; under 7, $1.26. Rental: $3.
Rotary Rink, 20 Fountain Plaza
This is one of my favorites. It's totally outdoors and weather dependent. Skating is free. Rentals: $3 adults, $2 kids.
Northtown Center at Amherst, 1615 Amherst Manor Drive, Williamsville
Everything is inside including a bunch of video games. Skating: $6 all ages. Rental: $3.
Hamburg Town Arena, 2982 Lakeview Road, Hamburg
An indoor rink. Skating : Adult with resident ID, $5; adult non-resident, $6; ages 17 and younger resident, $4; ages 17 and younger non-resident, $5. Rental: $3. Ages 14 and younger must wear helmets.
The Healthy Zone Rink, 41 Riley St., East Aurora
This rink is pretty cool considering it was used for the NHL Winter Classic back in 2008 when the Sabres played the Penguins. Skating: 5 and older, $5; ages 4 and younger, free. Rental: $3.
Niagara Falls Ice Pavilion, 911 Robbins Drive, Niagara Falls
This rink always seems to be packed with skaters. It is indoor and has a rich history. Skating: Adults, $5; ages younger than 12, $3.50. Rental: $2.50.
Cornerstone Arena, 1 Grigg Lewis Way, Lockport
Skating cost: $6; ages 4 and younger admitted free. Rental: $4.
Northwest Arena, 319 West 3rd St., Jamestown
They actually have a DJ during open skate making it a bit more lively. Skating: $6. Rental: $2.