By Alicia Dziak

Winter is in full swing, and it’s time to get out there and take advantage of all the opportunities that come your way this time of year! If ice skating is your thing, or even if you just want to give it a whirl for the first time, there are plenty of cool rinks to choose from.

East Aurora’s Healthy Zone Rink is an outdoor rink right in the heart of the village of East Aurora. Open skate is offered Fridays 7-8:45 p.m., Saturdays 1-2:20 p.m. and 7-8:45 p.m., and Sundays 1-2:20 p.m. Admission is $5, and

children 4 and under are free with a paying adult. Skate rental is $3. For more info, visit

Head to Buffalo for a waterfront rink! Lace up your skates for The Ice at Canalside presented by BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York. Hours are as follows: Sunday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.; Monday: closed except for Jan. 16 and Feb. 20; Tuesday and Wednesday, 3-7 p.m.; Thursday, 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, 10 a.m. -10 p.m. Admission is $6 for ages 13 and over, $4 for ages 6-12, and free for kids ages 5 and under. Skate rentals are $5. For more info, visit

Also in downtown Buffalo, Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza offers free ice-skating, made possible by presenting sponsor, Five Star Bank. Regular hours of operation are as follows: Tuesday through Friday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. and  5 p.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday,11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Sunday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.; closed Mondays, except for Jan. 15, when it will be open 11a.m.-9 p.m. Skate rental is available for $2 for children and $3 for adults. For more info, visit

Some of Buffalo’s Olmstead Parks, like Cazenovia Park and Martin Luther Kind, Jr. Park offer outdoor rinks. Visit for info.

This weekend, celebrate MLK Day with a visit to Martin Luther King, Jr. Park (West Parade Circle Buffalo, NY 14211) for Winter Blast 2018. Jan. 13, 11 a.m.-2 p.m. There will be indoor and outdoor activities hat include old fashioned pond ice skating with free rentals, face painting, balloon art and healthy snacks.  This event is free and open to the public. For info, visit

Whether you’re the type who glides gracefully across the ice, someone who likes to show off their speed, or are just slowly making your way around the rink while people-watching, there are ice skating opportunities for everyone this winter.