There are a few "official" signs of winter. This has to be one of them. 

I personally can't skate worth a lick. I tried twice. Once when I was about 19 and again at 25. Both times went horribly. Spent more time on my butt than on my feet and had little 4-year-olds skating circles around me. It wasn't my finest moment.

I used to walk past the skating rink in downtown Chicago all the time and think about how cool it would be to be actually decent on a pair of skates. You're right downtown, the huge tree is light, there's a pleasant nip in the air. It all sounds lovely. Alas, it's not for me.

You, however, are probably a great skater or at least know someone who is. So make sure you head downtown sometime this winter to take advantage of the FREE skating rinks.

The two big ones to see are the Millenium Park rink and the Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon. The Millenium Park rink is your standard rink that's right on Michigan Avenue in front of The Bean  CloudGate. It's lovely. The Maggie Daley Ice Ribbon is only a short walk away and is relatively new. Think of a lazy river but frozen. It's a nice lap in a lovely park.

While admission is free you will have to pay for skate rentals if you don't bring your own. It's $12 M-Th and $14 on the weekends. You can find all the information here.