Best time to visit Beijing

Outdoor Ice Skating in Beijing

Lakes in Beijing turn into natural outdoor ice rinks in winter

Best time: late December–early February

Outdoor Ice Skating
Outdoor Ice Skating
Outdoor Ice Skating
Outdoor Ice Skating
Outdoor Ice Skating
Outdoor Ice Skating
Outdoor Ice Skating

As the temperature drops, ice skating in Beijing becomes a popular activity for people of all ages. Lakes in Beijing start to freeze and turn into natural outdoor ice rinks. They are usually open for visitors from late December or early January to early February, depending on the weather and ice conditions on the lakes.

One of the most famous spots is the Shichahai Skating Rink, which is composed of three parts—Qianhai (Front Lake), Houhai (Back Lake), and Xihai (West Lake). Qianhai would even open the night rink for tourists where you can enjoy skating at night with colorful lights.

At the Shichahai Skating Rink, you can have lots of fun not only being involved in traditional ice skating but also other amusing activities such as ice bicycle, ice slides, ice-castles for children, and others.

Kunming Lake covers three-quarters of the Summer Palace grounds. Kunming Lake Skate Rink is the largest one in Beijing that has an area of 70 hectares (about 170 acres). It usually opens later than other regions. There are other two main skating parts in the Summer Palace—one is at Suzhou Lake while the other is the ice slide at Xidi Wharf. All fun activities on ice are a great mix of exercise and amusement. Teenagers and children are the main visitors here. They can enjoy more than ten kinds of ice entertainment including electric iceboats and electric ice bicycle.

Lakes in parks also become popular skating rinks, such as Beihai Park Skating Rink and Taoranting Park Skating Rink. Primary activities are ice skating, ice chairs, and ice bicycles while Taoranting Park also offers a long ice slide. The opening dates for the outdoor rinks depend on the lake condition. For visitors' safety, they can only open when the ice is more than 15 cm thick. This usually occurs in late winter, namely January–February.

There are lots of other natural ice rinks across the city in places such as Zizhuyuan Park, Peking University, Yuyuantan Park, and Beijing Botanical Garden Ice Rink. Most of the lakes and ponds are available for skating as soon as the water freezes, but dates vary annually.

Practical info

When is the ideal season for skating in Beijing?

Skating in Beijing is most enjoyable from late December to early February, as this is the time when the lakes in the city become natural outdoor ice rinks. It is worth noting, however, that the opening dates of these rinks may vary significantly each year as they depend on the prevailing weather conditions and the lakes' ice status. Show more

Which skating rink in Beijing boasts the highest surface area?

Of all the skating rinks in Beijing, Kunming Lake in the Summer Palace stands out for being the most extensive. The rink, which measures up to 70 hectares (around 170 acres) in size, is also famous for opening later than other rinks. In addition to the Summer Palace, there are also two other main skating locations in Beijing: Suzhou Lake and Xidi Wharf's ice slide. Show more

What are some other fun activities that Shichahai Skating Rink offers besides ice skating?

Alongside standard ice skating, visitors to the Shichahai Skating Rink in Beijing can also try out other activities that are sure to be entertaining. These activities include ice bicycles, ice slides, and ice castles that young children can play inside. Additionally, during peak tourist season, Qianhai usually opens the night rink, which allows individuals to partake in skating while relishing lovely, colorful lights and magnificent night scenery. Show more

When can you expect most outdoor skating rinks in Beijing to formally open?

The outdoor skating rinks located around Beijing can only open for the public once their ice has reached a thickness of at least 15 cm, a requirement they must meet to ensure the safety of visitors. These rinks typically open in late winter, primarily between January and February, as this is when the ice is the right thickness. Weather and ice conditions play a significant role in determining when these rinks open. However, the exact opening dates can differ slightly from one year to another. Show more

Besides the ones mentioned in the article, which other natural ice rinks can you find in Beijing?

In addition to those highlighted in this article, there are several other natural ice rinks located across Beijing. Some of these include the ice rinks at Zizhuyuan Park, Peking University, Yuyuantan Park, and the Beijing Botanical Garden. Although, most of the lakes or ponds can be skated on once their water has frozen, the opening dates of rinks around Beijing can vary year by year depending on the weather and ice quality. Show more

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Last updated: by Eleonora Provozin