World's Highest Ice Skating Rink Coming to Chicago

Chicago locals and visitors will soon be able to boast that they skated on the world's highest ice skating rink.

Located on the 94th floor of the 100-story John Hancock Center, the rink is the brainchild of officials of the popular John Hancock Observatory attraction, and is being dubbed "Skating in the Sky."

The skating action will take place some 1,000 feet above Michigan Avenue and Lake Shore Drive, with the rink open January through March.

A state-of-the-art synthetic substance called XTRAICE will be used for the surface, and the rink will measure about 50 feet by 20 feet, officials say.

A replica is being used in a preview today, featuring stars from "Disney on Ice."

"Our guests already feel like they're floating on air, so now they can literally glide around the sky," says Daniel Thomas, general manager of the John Hancock Observatory. "This rink is going to provide our visitors with an opportunity you just cannot get anywhere else in Chicago, or the world."

The city already has a rich tradition of public skating rinks, Thomas adds. "Who knows, maybe a future Stanley Cup or Olympic Gold Medal Champion will lace up his or her skates right here."

Skates will be available for rent, and non-skaters will be able to watch attempts at figure-eights and other moves from bleachers, with the Chicago skyline as a backdrop.

The John Hancock Observatory is known for its open-air viewing Skywalk – where on a clear day you can see four states – and recently added a new bar and café. Entrance fees apply.

Photo, John Hancock Observatory
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